Your alarm goes off in the morning. You spring out of bed, hop in the shower, and rush downstairs to grab a protein bar before you head out the door for your rush hour commute to work. But wait, it’s been different these last couple of weeks. Your commute no longer consists of weaving in and out of cars on the freeway to make it to your morning meeting on time. Instead, your commute consists of dodging the dolls and Legos scattered on the steps and avoiding the dog toys sprawled out on the kitchen floor.
Maybe you regularly work from home and have a system down that works well for you or maybe you’re just looking for some ways to switch things up. Maybe this is something completely new to you but find necessary in the midst of everything going on in the world right now. It won’t be forever, but if it means doing our part to keep those around us safe and healthy, why not give it a shot! We’ve got some tips for you on how to make sure you stay productive and motivated while working at home and still look forward to ‘going into work’ every day.
How to be Productive and Limit Distractions
The tv is blaring in one room, your phone lights up next to you with notifications as you lay in bed, still in your pajamas, and you just can’t seem to find the motivation to work for eight hours. Maybe there are some phone calls you have been putting off for a couple of days or some emails you are just dreading to write. Try incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine…
Find a Work Specific Spot
Productivity increases when you have a specific spot in your house designated for work to be done. For most, it is hard to feel motivated and get tasks accomplished when you are lying in bed. Places where you sleep or relax should not be places where you do work. Your body will automatically think you are there to sleep instead of getting work done. This goes both ways. If working from bed, your body may have a harder time falling asleep at night because you have now associated work with sleep and vice versa. It is essential to have separation from work and home and finding those boundaries in order to do that. If you have a home office, great! Use that space for only doing work. If you don’t, designate a workspace in a different room or in a different section of the house to give you that work, home separation. If you need a break, that’s great too. Take a stroll out to the kitchen or living room and grab a snack or sneak a peek at what’s on tv.
Limit TV and Phone Use
Obviously if your job requires you to be on your phone, or even watch tv (let me know what job that is, I’d love to learn more), then you are required to be on your phone more than the average person to do work. If it is not required for you to be scrolling through Twitter and Instagram every ten minutes in between searching google for the coolest new gadget to purchase, then think about putting screen time locks on your phone. Even placing your phone in a different room so that you are not tempted to spend excessive amounts of time on it will increase the amount of time you spend working instead of scrolling. I’m not telling you to eliminate phone use completely. Breaks are necessary to take and that’s when you can grab your phone and check up on the latest TikTok dances or whatever the new trend for that hour is. Same thing goes for tv or Netflix shows you have been binge watching causing distractions. Save those for when you have completed your work and are in need of some relaxation.
Keep a Schedule
Maintaining a schedule will start your day off on the right foot and end it feeling accomplished. If you were to go into an office to work, it is likely you have a morning routine you complete every day before arriving to work. After all, we’re creatures of habit. Don’t lose that! Keep a schedule and stick to it so your body knows, “this is what we’re doing today and I’m going to start off on a good note to be productive right away and maintain my productivity.” If you usually wake up and take a shower, continue to do so (not just because that’s the hygienic thing to do and to save the noses of your family members or roommates). If you make yourself a cup of coffee and eat breakfast or drink a protein shake, continue to do that. Most importantly, get dressed! Even if it’s just changing from pajamas to sweatpants and a t-shirt, or if working in dress pants and a button up shirt stimulates your workflow, by all means throw that sucker on in the morning. Just don’t stay in your pajamas all day. Remaining in the clothes you slept in keeps you in a comfortable, relaxing mode which may not be the best for your focus and productivity levels.
Separate Work and Home
Try not to let home fun be mixed in with work. It’s encouraged to take breaks occasionally. Check in on the kids, or play a quick game of Uno, but don’t try and multitask by playing crazy 8s while you are on a conference call with a client. Setting boundaries and limits will help with making sure your work gets done when it needs to get done and not based on what time you finish your game of solitaire.
Set Goals Each Day (big or small)
Goals are a great way to track your progress. If you set goals for yourself the night before, you will wake up with a game plan and motivation to check everything off your list. It doesn’t matter if the goal is as big as bringing in a new client you’ve been working on for months or as small as sending out follow up emails from a previous meeting. Checking off each one will make you feel accomplished and strive to achieve the next one.
Have an Accountability Partner
Having someone to hold you accountable (other than just your boss) for the work you are doing and would like to get done gives a sense of responsibility and positive added pressure to make sure your tasks are done and done well. This person can be a coworker, family member, or friend that checks up on you occasionally to see how you’re doing. Try being someone else’s accountability partner as well. It’s a great way to communicate with others and a good checkup both mentally and emotionally.
Share Your Progress and Successes
Not just with your accountability partners. Sure, share your successes and progress with them for the day but also with coworkers, family members, and even friends. If you would come home from work and share your achievements for the day with your spouse or kids, don’t stop doing that. Other people want to enjoy and celebrate your successes along with you. Don’t isolate yourself, but let people know, “hey I’m working on this and I’m succeeding by doing this.” Maybe it will help and inspire them as well. Building each other up is a great way to make someone’s day!
Ask for Help or Inspiration
The same way that you would share success and progress you’re making, don’t be afraid to ask for help or inspiration from those around you and your coworkers. Working from home, you probably don’t have the luxury of walking over to your buddy’s desk to ask him what he thinks of said idea. Stay in touch and collaborate with others. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you and what you’re working on. Who knows, you might even be able to offer some insight into their work as well and bounce ideas off one another.
Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
This step is very important. Walk over to your fridge, open the freezer, take out the tub of ice cream, grab a bowl and spoon, and dig in! Head to the tv, grab the remote, turn on Netflix, and continue watching that show you’ve been hooked on the past two days. Remember that once your work is done, it’s okay to play and reward yourself for a day well spent making great progress. Whether that comes in the form of snack, movies, or family time, spend some time out of the work mindset to be refreshed and rejuvenated.
Engagement from the Couch
From a business standpoint, during this time, people are likely to be on their phones more often, searching the internet, and on social media platforms. Now is the time to work on getting that engagement from the couch.
Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms
With most people working from home, we naturally find ourselves on our phones more often. Even after work hours, we go to our social media pages to see what we’ve missed throughout the day. Now more than ever, people and businesses are relying on social media for updates and sources of entertainment.
Getting people personally involved in content makes it more exciting and creates connections. Live streams, vlogs – day in the life, polls/games to participate in, contests, at home challenges, or developing a unique hashtag to your company and encouraging people to share posts using it are all great ways to get people involved socially without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Incentives for Engaging
If you decide to hold challenges or competitions from your social media or website, having incentives for joining in or even winning will encourage more people to do it. It doesn’t have to be a million-dollar cash prize. Something as simple as featuring them on your social media channels or website could do the trick. After all, people always want more followers.
Importance of E-commerce
Go-To Version of Browsing When at Home
Right now, many people are at home and confined to that space. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun or look for things to buy online and have a virtual shopping spree. Online sites are a go-to version of browsing when at home. Having an e-commerce site applicable to your product or service will provide a platform for your users to continue to buy from you if they may not have the opportunity to go to a physical store or office location.
With e-commerce being a high priority in the current state of our society, it’s imperative that the user experience is easy and convenient from start to finish without confusion. No glitches and easy to navigate interface will encourage your users to stick around and be repeat customers. Optimizing your site for both mobile and desktop use is incredibly important. With so many people on mobile devices, if your site does not adapt to the platform they are searching on, they may become frustrated and you could lose their business. If you sell a product that is essential right now, being easy to access and easy to use will only increase the amount of business you drive in and get.
24/7, 365 Availability
If a physical location is not open, or the store hours are closed, an e-commerce site is likely accessible 24/7, 365 to multiple areas of the world even if it is a holiday or weekend. Store hours do not apply to a site. This creates opportunity to make sales even when you are asleep. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “I can do that with my eyes closed.”
Whether working at home is a normal thing for you, or it’s something you have been learning how to do more recently, let us know of any tips that work for you in staying productive and motivated while working remotely and share them with us. Stay healthy out there!