While you may have been working from home once or twice a week before lockdown descended, you may now be WFH all the time. This may sound like bliss initially. You can wake up without an alarm, you can choose to stay in your pyjamas and you can enjoy sitting in front of the TV while tapping away on your laptop. You soon realise, however, that this is a fallacy. The sofa gives you backache, staying in your pyjamas makes you smell less than delightful, and waking up without an alarm can result in a missed virtual morning meeting.
Working from home is not all it’s cracked up to be. You can begin to miss the camaraderie, morale, and banter of the office. You are no longer seeing people face to face, and you are wholly reliant on your Internet connection. Another plague of working from home is procrastination. Finding anything other than work to take up your time can become habitual. Take a look at this guide to help you avoid procrastination.
Remind Yourself You Are At Work
Forget that you are in the comfort of your own home and remember that you actually have a job to do for which you are getting paid. Set your alarm for the same time as you would on a normal working day. Get up, have a shower, and get dressed. While you don’t have to go all suited and booted, it can pay to get out of your scruff and wear something smart casual. This can get you in a more work-focused frame of mind.
Try to set yourself up in a home office, or a space away from your main living area. This can give you a space solely dedicated to your work. Set up your laptop and printer, and have a to-do list that you work towards every day. Having these daily short term targets can help to measure your productivity and you can feel like you have had an impact at the end of each day. Forget about the comfort of your sofa and get yourself sat at a desk or table. Take a look at the work from home advice available regarding furniture and chairs that can ensure your comfort while trying to design your home office. Being comfortable can ensure that you are less inclined to procrastinate.
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you have to work yourself into the ground or do more work than usual. Keep your working hours exactly the same as when you are office-based. This means finding time to take breaks. Staring at a computer screen all day or having back to back Zoom meetings can make us lethargic and more inclined to waste time. Take breaks and use this time to get some fresh air. Have a stroll down the road, pop to the shop to pick up some lunch, or head to the park to relax. Getting back to nature and soaking up some natural rays can help you soak up the Vitamin D and regulate your natural body clock. This can rejuvenate the senses and keep any screen headaches at bay.
It’s all too easy to spend a few hours scrolling through our Facebook feeds and Instagram grids. There’s nothing worse than getting sucked into somebody else’s seemingly perfectly filtered existence for it to sap your confidence and make you feel inadequate. This can have a negative impact on your mental health and make you less productive in your day job. You wouldn’t dream of whipping out your phone in the office to check out your Twitter feed, so don’t do it during your working day. You need to maintain focus and only use social media during your break times. At all other times, you should be working. Some firms even use remote checking to ensure that you are on your laptop and doing work.
Sometimes you may need to use social media for work. This is normal and okay, but you must recognise what is professional and what is extra-curricular. Update your company’s Twitter feed, but don’t use this as an excuse to search for cute kitten videos.
Working from home can make us feel isolated. No longer are we catching up with friends over coffee or heading for working lunches with colleagues. Instead, we are stuck indoors or in our garden, working on our own. Yes, we have Skype and Zoom, but it is no replacement for being with people. Try and find some time to set up virtual social events with work pals. This might be an afternoon quiz on a Friday, some virtual drinks after a particularly stressful weekday, or you might even fancy joining a webinar to see some different faces. Just because you are on your own doesn’t mean you should be feeling isolated.
Networking can be taking place on your laptop in your own home. If you are eager to make contacts, look for a new position or just put the feelers out, it might be time to focus some of your time-wasting energy on honing your CV and getting it uploaded onto job sites. Do this in a productive lunch hour and utilize your time effectively. Being away from the sofa will mean that you won’t get seduced by the allure of the latest Netflix box set, and you won’t have to deal with the kids when they are arguing over video games.
Procrastinating may mean that you suddenly think that you have a full-on three-hour lunch break to make an elaborate work meal. You don’t. Your boss will not appreciate seeing your three hour stewed lamb shank complete with puy lentils and red wine jus. Instead, eat well and healthily. This can stop the mid-afternoon lull when you want to have a snooze. Don’t carb load and go for the same healthy snacks that you would have had in the office. Hummus and crudites can be a good choice as can fruit and nuts. Forget the candy and alcohol – leave these trets until the weekend.
It can be difficult to work from home effectively. It may sound like every employee’s dream, but before long, you will be hankering after the office. Follow this guide to avoid procrastinating while WFH.