Work has by far been one of the most influential activities in our lives. It consumes a huge chunk of our waking hours and for most, survival depends on it. When things are going well, it puts a sense of fulfillment and gratification but once burnout kicks in, work can easily feel draining.
With the current trend of working remotely, it has probably put people under great pressure to get acclimated immediately. It has never been easy to acknowledge that working from the comfort of our home means ease of doing the job. Often than not, it gets more challenging to balance work and personal life. Long working hours, shifting between household chores and work projects, checking emails on supposed to be personal time – for many of us, this has been part of the new normal.
That is why it is important to draw a clear line between our professional and personal matters when working remotely. More than work ethic, we should also be focusing our efforts on developing a rest ethic.
Here are ways on how you can improve efficiency and productivity while working remotely.
1. Set Boundaries
This is how a harmonious workspace and living space change the quality of working remotely, by setting boundaries. With the lack of physical boundaries between work and home, you have to set limits to efficiently allocate time for doing the job and time for yourself. These boundaries may include habits such as keeping a set schedule, not working overtime, synching work with home schedules, communicating with your colleagues on hours they can reach you, and setting expectations at home. Think about what can help you most: is it a dedicated workstation in your house? Do you need to set limits as to how long you would work?
Ideally, you have to have a space where you can start your work and be done with it every day. If you let your work spill through the rest of your day, it may not only affect your productivity but also make you feel less efficient at the end of the day. You have to find time to figure out how to manage your time and the discipline to stick to the boundaries you set. A planner or daily to-do list will help you keep track of these boundaries. It will allow you to focus on the work at the same time fulfill your responsibilities at home.
2.Take time to relax
Start to take breaks seriously. Unplugging from work is a way to practice self-care and detox. Among the various restful activities, you can simply set pockets of time during your working hours to get up and take a breather. If it means you have to set an alarm to remind yourself, feel free to do it.
It is easy to focus and get more productive if you do not have sensory overload. Taking breaks helps keep your energy levels, provides energy boosts and maintains alertness. Stepping away for a couple of minutes allows you to approach work with a fresh mind.
Once you realize you need help with your workload, reach out to your team and communicate working arrangements. This might be a valuable chance to collaborate with another employee and exchange skills which would increase confidence in both parties. Asking for help should not be viewed as a sign of weakness but rather a strategic approach to set priorities and commitment to the job. After all, working from home does not mean you are not allowed to seek help, you just need to have a little bit of creativity and initiative to find ways on how to work together.
Getting support may also mean having to automate things to increase productivity. Simple automation can lead to huge time savings. Some processes you can automate are syncing calendars to manage your schedules, setting auto reminders for due dates to eliminate manual follow-ups and a self-updating contact book for when you receive an email from a new contact. All these small automation when compounded will create huge benefits in terms of saved time. That means spending more time on the more important tasks.
4. Have proper nutrition and sleep
One of the benefits of working remotely is the ease of access to food. For you to function efficiently without draining your energy, you need to have a healthy diet. Therefore, you must eat healthily and drink water regularly even if you are working remotely. You can ensure to eat healthy meals without taking too much time while working by preparing your meals the night before. Preparing food ahead of time means you can focus your energy on your work for the day while getting proper nutrition.
Keeping a proper sleeping schedule is also vital. While it may be tempting to spend the night doing things you enjoy like binge-watching or reading, it is important to get enough sleep. With the right food and proper sleep to refresh your mind and body, you can effectively work remotely.