Have you recently found yourself working from home?
As you’re no doubt aware, billions of people, including you and yours, feel the impact of the COVID pandemic. Due to the massive footprint of the virus, the world has had to find new ways to do things – and this includes how we go about our work.
What we are seeing is the eventual, inevitable transition from office-based to home-based, remote work. It just so happens to be occurring in the midst of one of the worst pandemics in modern history.
But with great challenge comes great opportunity. Remote work may just be your milieu.
In pre-COVID life, a small minority of individuals (around 18 percent at last count) had the good fortune of remote-based work – and it’s pros and cons. However, it’s a new paradigm for most of us.
As one who worked in a corporate environment for years before transitioning to a remote position for four years, this writer can provide a bit of insight as to the experience.
The transition to working from home usually goes something like this:
“I’m working from home – and it’s AWESOME!!!” You then proceed to dance or do a little shimmy.
“I still don’t know what I’m doing yet! But, working in my PJs is so great!” Sure, you can’t drag the tech support guy to your cube, but who cares? (That dress shirt and pajama bottoms look great by the way!)
“This is pretty much like any other job without the commute. Well, and the not getting dressed thing.” Yep, it still feels like work!
Okay, so I oversimplified things a bit. The truth is that we’re all different; some will fall – and stay – in love with remote work. The majority will come to feel rather indifferent, and a small minority will wish they were still in a cube. (Never understood that last group.)
For those who have only recently moved to their home base for work, you had a different – and probably, more challenging – experience. Everyone seems to be sheltered up. Nothing feels familiar. There’s uncertainty everywhere.
But regardless of the challenges in remote work, we can all agree that it’s necessary to remain productive. You may find that creating the right remote work habits could just take you and your career to a whole new level of success. (The reason for this is simple. In this writer’s extensive remote-based job experience, I’ve found that many people are flat-out bad at working from home. More on this later.)
In this article, we’re going to be discussing how successful people stay productive at home. Let’s do this!
8 Things Productive People Do When Working From Home
Without further ado, here are eight things that the productive among us do when working from home.
1 – They Start Early
From presidents of nations to CEOs of major companies, it seems that most people who are successful – at home or anywhere else- tend to get an early start. Rising earlier than one’s counterparts seems to provide an individual the feeling of having an “edge.”
There are, of course, practical benefits to getting up “at the crack” as well. For one thing, early risers are allotted more time to waking up and getting into their groove. The transition from sleep to wakefulness isn’t necessarily an easy one, so the earlier one starts the process, the better.
Second, people who get an early start are permitted some enjoyment in the morning. Most people go from the fog of sleep to rushing around within a matter of minutes. This approach tends to create a sense of inner conflict and stress that carries over to one’s work.
Making some extra time to relax and enjoy the morning tends to put one in a better state of mind. Of course, such a mindset is also much more conducive to productivity.
2 – They Limit Distractions While Working from Home
Unlike at a traditional office, there is nobody to monitor your activity. While a liberating feeling, this newfound freedom makes it all-too-easy to fall into the trap of endless distraction. Combine the internet, the pandora’s box of aimless distraction with poor impulse control – and we’ve got a real problem.
It is, therefore, crucial to limit unnecessary distractions and train the attention.
Concerning the former, it should go without saying that work is done in a quiet environment. Remote work is not an invitation to permit intrusions upon your workspace. You’ve still got a job to do.
Concerning the latter, now’s a good time to strengthen your attentional muscles. The cool thing is that by avoiding distractions, you are already doing that to a high degree! Follow up this discipline with concentrated (though relaxed) attention to the task at hand. Work in extended spurts with short breaks and finish what you start, always.
3 – They Approach Work The Same Way
Work is work, no matter it takes place. That is why remote work, while satisfying for the many benefits it offers, gradually loses much of it’s initial “Holy crap, this is awesome!” feeling.
Remote work, if gone about in an undisciplined manner, can feel too much like a house chore. You’ll tend to it, but only to get it done and out of the way. While we all get into this sort of funk, it is essential to not allow your environment to overly dictate how you approach your work.
The easiest way to avoid this is to remind yourself that you are indeed at work consistently. While your physical location is at home, your mind should be in work mode.
4 – They Stay Active
This one is perhaps why it is so hard to work remotely in the COVID landscape. Many states have instituted strict “stay-at-home” orders, limiting what one can do outside the home.
Still, it’s entirely possible to venture outside from time-to-time. If you have a lawn, do some backyard calisthenics, yoga, or some other exercise that requires little extra space. If you have a mask (and you should), get out for a short stroll.
In short, do something to keep your body (and just as important, your mind) active and engaged. Speaking from personal experience, you’ll probably slack off in this regard on occasion because it’s so easy to just stay in. That’s okay! Just get back after it!