What seemed like a temporary experiment at first, “Work from Home (WFH)” has now become a permanent fixture for the foreseeable future. This new way of working has come with many positives including saving time with no commute, more casual work attire, and the ability to work from anywhere. However, working from home also brings new distractions that can slowly kill your productivity leading to longer working hours. This means that you need a targeted time management strategy to make the most out of your WFH day.
Prioritize To-Do Lists
Even though creating a to-do list sometimes feels like a task within itself, it is still an absolute must when working virtually. Following this list will give you a game plan for the day and make it much easier to stay focused. To get the most benefit from this list, prioritize which items are most important and do those first. Keep in mind that this is a flexible list that can be changed as the day goes on. Cross off completed items and add new ones as more urgent tasks appear.
Set Designated Times to Check Email
With little to no in-person interactions, emails have become even more abundant in 2020 and can often be overwhelming. However, consistently checking and responding to emails as they appear can eat away your workday. Instead, consider setting designated times to check your email each day and limit the total amount of times you check it. This schedule could include checking it first thing in the morning, right before lunch, during your mid-afternoon coffee break, and before you log off for the day. Before deciding, reflect on which times work best for your schedule and set exceptions for emails that require immediate attention.
Eliminate the Social Media Distraction
Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter when Working from Home? Don’t worry, I did too! When working virtually, social media might seem like a way to fill the social gap that we have all been missing in 2020. However, it can still be a productivity killer if not managed correctly.
To limit usage, you first need to know which device you use social media on the most. If it is your cell phone, putting it completely out of sight might be the easiest solution. However, if you need it for work, consider simply deleting your apps. This will make it much harder to sign in, giving you time to stop and think if its really worth it. You can also do this on your laptop by turning on Incognito mode.
Dress Like you Would Be Going to the Office
One universally agreed on positive aspect of WFH is the relaxed dressed code. Button downs and dress pants have been replaced with hoodies and sweatpants as you can work without anyone knowing how you might look. This new work attire might keep you comfortable and cozy while working, but make sure it does not hinder your ability to focus. Personally, I find it much harder to focus on my work while wearing lounge clothes that I am used to watching Netflix movies in. To avoid this, I separate the clothes that I virtually work in away from the ones that I lounge in. This keeps me out of the Netflix mindset and focused on the work in front of me. Consider the same if you have the same problem!
2020 is a weird year and Work from Home has caused a few headaches for all of us. Need help? Reach out to Em & A Pen today for a consultation or career coaching!