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Alot of people cannot go to work due to preventive measures regarding the spread of the coronavirus. While we could complain about why God is playing real-life Plague Inc. on Casual mode, let’s instead think about how to spend the days during home office more productively. Working remotely brings a lot of distractions that might not be at the office.
So let’s break down the best seven practices on increasing your productivity when working at the most distracting place in the world – your own home.
1. Prepare your home office for productivity
Why do we study at the library, even if we don’t want to? It’s the environment that influences us! You’ll surely be distracted if you don’t set up your home-office working place for the actual work. A high-traffic room is probably not the best idea, so pick a room with the least amount of distractions that you can. Find a quiet place, preferably with a window and a nice desk. Make sure that you keep all the things that distract you away from you.
2. Turn on Do Not Disturb mode
While this might apply to office work as well, turning off your notifications will undoubtedly boost your home office productivity. Checking your phone for the latest news or replying to messages will result in zero work done. Remember, it can take only one notification that will break your productivity flow.
3. Start a Pomodoro timer and take (eye) breaks
When you go for a coffee break, meeting, 1on1 or lunch at work, you also keep your brain refreshed. Arrange yourself a good productivity timer such as the Pomodoro technique. A Pomodoro block usually consists of 25 minutes of work followed by a short five-minute break. This repeats 4 times, after that, you take a longer 15-minute break. If you catch a productivity flow, feel free to carry on working without stopping. During breaks, reward yourself to increase concentration and focus on major tasks. Also, don’t forget to take breaks to reduce eye strain – 20-20-20 rule is a fine start. You can practice it by looking at something 20 metres away and closing your eyes for 20 seconds and repeating every 20 minutes.
4. Clean your home office workspace
That’s right, get rid of the clutter. Books, papers, pens, food – whatever is stuck at your home office station should be unmercifully cleaned up. Maintain a high standard of cleanliness at your desk to keep help you focus on what’s on the screen.
5. Prepare your Asana (and other apps too)
Communication with your colleagues needs to go strictly digital when working at home. That way, your task-management and communication tools such as Asana and Slack (or any other productivity apps) will be even more crucial for you. And it’s not only about communication. Keeping your Asana list close and open also reminds you about your most important tasks, so seeing your deadlines will actually help you work more.
6. Put a ⛔️ sign on the door
You surely know those people too. Those who don’t understand that working at home is still working. It doesn’t mean you can go wash the dishes, repair something at your bathroom or, perhaps, go shopping whenever you want. Establish your home office hours, inform your loved ones and friends, and put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door so everyone knows you’re unapproachable. Unleash the creative monster in you and make a funny N/A sign for you and your team members. Inspire here.
7. Proper home office planning does good work
Before you start doing anything, prepare a list of tasks you’re going to work on and schedule your day. Since you work from home, you can arrange your home office hours to completely fit your needs. Use the flexibility that remote work gives you to allocate time for “being in the zone”, virtual meetings and calls more efficiently. For example, you can do some deep work in the morning while others sleep and take calls in the afternoon. Arrange your schedule so you have time to for both deep focus work and calls.