Hello social distancers, how are we? Have we eaten all our isolation snacks and already broken our own rule of not working in our pyjamas? Amen to that.
Whether you’re working from home daily, intermittently, or simply having what I’m coining as ‘low season’ weekends, you’re gonna have to be a bit more self-disciplined with getting stuff done than usual. Usually our lives have an element of boundary, with micro deadlines set by our 11am coffee date or our 6pm gym class. But without these fixations in place, we risk losing any sense of direction. Now don’t get me wrong, if your plan for this weird period of limbo is to veg the heck out and live with unknown purpose, go nuts, be my guest, you do you.
But if you’ve got bigger goals for your new found free time, these productivity tips are for you.
1. Make tomorrow’s list, today
This is an old work-from-home hack that I learned during my 3 years working for a company that worked remotely every Monday and Friday. Dreamy as it sounds, you’ve really got to be disciplined if you want to get anything done (not to mention reign in those Thursday night wines and remember that Friday is very much a working day).
At the end of each day, make a to-do list of things you want to achieve the next day. This applies to non-work days, too. If you want to get some shit done while you’re stuck inside – painting, organising, clearing out, etc – pen it down the day before. It’s way easier to get stuck in when you’ve got a concrete plan of action.
2. Get a change of scenery
Now, I hear ya. This can be tough in smaller spaces. I live in a one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and cat. I don’t have a smorgasbord of aesthetic velvet spaces upon which to pitch up my work space (or creating space). But, I do what I can. Every expert in the book will tell you not to work from bed, but to be honest, that’s one of the luxuries of working from home that I won’t sacrifice for anyone. I personally like to mix up my setup 3-4 times a day. Start with my laptop and a coffee in bed, doing trivial bits and pieces like answering emails and responding to Trello mentions/Slack messages. Then, I’ll move to my little table, and then spend the afternoon on the couch.
3. Plan by the hour
I do this in my usual work day, and I’ll be doing it on weekends spent entirely inside, if it becomes 100% necessary. Plan some or all of your day by the hour, and assign each task a time slot. It helps you get much more realistic about what you can really fit into a day, and helps quash those dreams you get of achieving inconceivable amounts more than normal, just because you’ve been granted a couple of bonus days.
4. Get fresh air
If you’re not exhibiting symptoms of the virus, you’re probably safe to go outside for some fresh air, if you keep your distance from others. Getting up and out for a short walk helps refresh the mind and renew your sense of motivation – and remind you that the world is still turning!
5. Set a weekly goals list
This will be helpful as we get more accustomed to social distancing and get more creative with our time spent at home. Set a list of fun things you’d like to do during this bonus time we’ve been given (that’s the new positive spin I’m trying to cast upon this whole shit show, by the way), and tick off each thing as you do it. Make it fun things, like calling family or playing a game of cards. I’d like to say ‘bucket list’, but associating with a term meaning a list of things to complete before you die doesn’t feel too cute right now.
Stay well, fam!
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