Working from home always sounds like a nice idea. The commute to your desk is cut down from a bus ride to a staircase, and the dress code extends only as far as last night’s pyjamas, but home comforts can also make for unfortunate distractions. Breaks might start out with one episode of your favourite series, but that one can easily slip into two, then three, and before you know it it’s six o’clock and you’ve binged the whole boxset. This week, as many of us are being told to continue working from home, it’s important we stay busy and productive in our duties, not just for the sake of the economy but for our own mental health too. Here are some tips for turning your home into a productive workspace.
Create a dedicated workspace
Office spaces are designed to be clear and organised, so as to maximise productive output. They might not be the most colourful and exciting of places, but they’re good for keeping employees regimented and focussed on the task at hand. If you’re struggling to keep your attention where it should be, try replicating the work environment by creating a dedicated space at home. Declutter your desk, remove any potential distractions from the room and create your perfect work station.
Get up, get dressed
When working from home, without the immediate pressures of a boss looming over your shoulders, the temptation to stay in bed can be overwhelming. Wanting to remain within the cosy microclimate of your bed sheets doesn’t make you a bad person, but your productivity will drop off dramatically. It’s important to replicate your usual routine when working from home, as you’ll get so much more done. Set your alarm, get up, get dressed, pour yourself a coffee and get cracking.
As well as staying in bed, the appeal of lengthy breaks – eventually turning into entire afternoons off – can sometimes be too alluring to resist. Fight it. By all means, take breaks when they’re needed, but set yourself a daily schedule and stick to it as best you can. Disciplining yourself by sticking to allocated break and work sessions will see you get so much more done throughout the day. Then, once five o’clock comes around, you can reward yourself with a nice relaxing evening off.
There’s a reason why offices aren’t designed to look like dark and dreary dungeons. They may feel like one sometimes, depending on how much you enjoy your job, but the vast majority are well lit spaces where productivity can be maximised. Opening the curtains, and maybe a window if it gets warm, will create the sort of space you want to be in, and thus will help you stay feeling fresh, chipper and ready to work.
A tidy work station is a productive work station. Allowing your desk to slip into a pseudo-Chenobyl like a blast site of paper, stationery and Hobnob crumbs will deter you from getting on with what you want to do. Make sure your workspace is an area where you enjoy being; keeping it clean and tidy is a good start.
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