COVID-19 in the Philippines has changed the normal operations of business in the country. Jobs have become remote and more companies in the Philippines now offer a work-from-home setup. Although working from home leads to increased productivity, distractions can never be avoided. There could be loud family members or pets. Since you’re at the comfort of your home, you can get tempted to watch Netflix and lay in bed all day. When working from home, procrastination can be your worst enemy. It is hard to differentiate your work space from your comfort space. This makes remote workers prone to more distractions and interruptions. We gathered some tips you can apply to boost your productivity. If you’re a big time procrastinator (like me), I suggest you follow this list:
1. Set up a dedicated workspace
The first thing to do to boost your productivity at home is to create your own home office. It is important to set a boundary between your workspace and your personal space. Avoid doing work on your couch or your bed as it may signal your body to slack off. Having a separate workspace will allow you to work without interruptions. This will help you eliminate distractions and activities that are unrelated to your work. Ensure that your workspace has a productive atmosphere so you can turn on your “work mode” everytime you’re in that area.
2. Maintain a consistent working schedule
Consistent time management is key to being productive. At home, it’s easy to lose track of time especially when you’re surrounded by distractions. To avoid this, you must set a daily or weekly working schedule. Assign work hours throughout the day and make sure to only work during these times. Pick specific times of the day (or night) to work and apply it to your daily routine. An organized timetable or a to-do list of activities is helpful in keeping track of your activities. Following a consistent work schedule will allow you to be organized and deliver outputs on time. However, it is also important to incorporate break times onto your schedule. This will allow you to recharge and avoid being drained from work-from-home setup.
3. Block social media
Social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube are popular in the Philippines. They can be the ultimate distractions that can keep you from accomplishing your workload. Since jobs are online, we spend most of our time on our gadgets and technology. Notifications from our socials can easily throw us off our schedule and make us procrastinate. Did you know that being distracted from social media can cost you nearly 50 hours monthly? The solution here is to block or turn off your notifications in these applications. You can also turn off your phones or set it to silent mode. There are also helpful applications you can use to block social media sites within a specific time period. Check out Appblock, Offtime or Freedom.
4. Declutter your desk
To be productive, your work environment must also be set up for productivity. To create a distraction-free workspace, organize your desk and declutter it. Ensure that your desk is free from unnecessary items that will only interrupt your work. A clean and tidy workspace can motivate you to focus and get jobs done.
5. Never Multitask
Sometimes, you have other responsibilities at home you need to accomplish. Although it’s tempting to work on different tasks simultaneously in order to feel productive, don’t. Constantly switching between work and personal chores diminishes your productivity. In fact, multitasking can make you lose 40% of your productivity. Doing two tasks simultaneously will only make each activity feel longer to accomplish. It will only add excess stress and fatigue to your day.
6. Take breaks
An important aspect of productivity is taking reasonable breaks and rest times. Be sure not to overwork yourself as it can lead to over fatigue and stress. Whenever you feel drained already, try to take a walk or do some stretches. Overworking may actually lead to decreased productivity and inefficiency. You wouldn’t want to produce poor quality outputs because of working excessively, do you?
If you work from home, I suggest you apply these strategies to further improve your productivity. These techniques may sound simple but it will work wonders for your work-from-home arrangement.
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By: X. Borja
Worky Online Contributor
Salcido, B. (2018, April 17). Social Media Distractions Could Be Costing You Nearly 50 Hours/Month. Medium. https://blog.usejournal.com/how-unhacking-your-tech-can-improve-your-productivity-a513a8d966ab
Weinschenk, S. (2012, September 18). The True Cost of Multi-Tasking. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201209/the-true-cost-multi-tasking