Many of us are working and/or studying from home right now, and some of us may not be quite used to it yet. I personally had never worked from home until now and I can acknowledge that it is a very big adjustment. There are just so many distractions like your phone, your family, and your fridge! Working from home can definitely be challenging and if you feel like you still have not found your groove, here are some tips that may help.
1. Set up your space. It’s important to have a designated space where you work from. Figure out where that space will be and work there every day so that your brain learns to associate that space with doing work. Your workspace should include the following elements:
- Comfort since you will be spending lots of time there.
- Convenience – You should have all the materials you need at arm’s length.
- Good vibes – Choose somewhere where you feel productive and motivated to work and choose a few key items to lift your spirits like a nice plant or a favourite picture.
If you will be using a multi-purpose space such as the kitchen or dining room table, try setting up a bag or kit with all of your work essentials that you can unpack to set up your space for work at the beginning of the day and pack up at the end of your shift to help differentiate the space’s use. For more tips on setting up your work space, see my previous blog post Setting Up Your Space to Work/Study from Home.
2. Incorporate some healthy habits into your day by HABIT STACKING. It can be challenging to incorporate new habits into your routine. How many times have you told yourself, “I’m going to start working out everyday this week” and then the end of the week comes and you’ve worked out zero times! We are very much habitual creatures. We run on autopilot and we often don’t even realize how our day to day habits are so heavily ingrained. Habit stacking is one way to hack your brain and make it easier for a new habit to stick.
Habit stacking is the act of attaching a new habit right before or after something that is already a fixed part of your routine.
For example, doing a 5-minute meditation right before you brush your teeth because you already brush your teeth everyday (at least I hope you do!). Incorporating things like exercise and meditation into your daily routine can be especially beneficial, as they are both what are known as “keystone habits” meaning that when done consistently, they can positively influence many other areas of your life!
3. You must make a plan. As the famous saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It is amazing how hours and hours can just fly by with little to no productivity. Have you ever said to yourself that you’ll just check Instagram quickly and next thing you know it’s 3 hours later?! If you want to increase your productivity, you have to make a concrete plan to take control of your day. I recommend starting with the Rule of 3. First choose 3 things that you want to accomplish that week. Then, each day, choose 3 steps that you can take in order to get closer to achieving one of your weekly goals and plan when you will work on those goals during the day. Trust me on this one, you will be way more likely to accomplish your goals if you make a plan for what you would like to do and exactly when you plan to do it. Don’t leave it to chance.
Next week I will share Part 2, which will include some additional tips to help you work those productivity muscles. Be sure to subscribe if you would like to receive my weekly tips delivered right to your inbox.