In this post , I will be sharing a few things that are helping me to work from home more effectively and beat procrastination.
I am sure that I am not the only one who is yet to fully adjust to working from home. Initially, I thought that having more freedom and flexibility with my schedule would result in enhanced productivity. Boy was I wrong. However, I have no regrets because I have had time to rest, bond with my family and develop new healthy habits.
Let me start by saying that I love and prefer productive days; they bring me joy. This post is for people who, like myself, would like to get back into the flow of getting things done.
- Simulate or develop a standard daily routine
Do you normally wake up , shower , have breakfast and go to work/school by 9 am ? You need not wake up at 5 am but your pre-Rona routine is a good template for creating a new one. Keep what works for you and eliminate what did not.
Waking up and sleeping at a standard time is a great place to start. This makes things infinitely easier, at least for me. I also think a morning routine is paramount for productivity and for my mental health. Usually, the first 4 hours upon waking will determine the overall outcome of my day. Even the simple act of having breakfast and showering can be enough to jump-start your day.
- Limit your screen time
There is nothing that drives my procrastination more than social media. If I happen to go onto YouTube or Instagram within the first hour of waking up, I will waste at least 40 minutes on there.
I am currently trying not to check my phone for the first hour of my day so that I can carry out my morning routine without any distractions.
Consider not checking social media or your emails until you’ve accomplished at least one task from your to do list (Unless checking emails is one of those tasks)
- Cap the work and slot in the fun
You don’t have to allocate 6 hours to working if you only need 3. There is no point sitting at a desk for 8 hours in the name of productivity when your actual output is 3 hours worth of work. Choose your most productive hours and get things done during that time so that you can enjoy the rest of your day guilt free.
Slot in the episodes of Netflix or the YouTube videos you want to watch into your schedule. I always find that if I am intentional about my leisure time, it never feels like time wasted .
- Have different areas for work and play
This has been crucial for me. Even if you have limited space, you can make it work. It could even be in the same room but the simple difference is the floor is your work area while the bed is your chill spot.
Treat this delineation with seriousness and make sure that whenever you want to take a break, you go to your chill zone.
Doing this will also be useful if you are living with other people. Let them know that when you are at your work area, you should not be interrupted or distracted (Disclaimer:This does not apply to African parents)
At the moment, I am working from the dining table and anywhere else is a chill spot .
- The Pomodoro technique
This is one of my favorite techniques for productivity.
The original format of this technique is as follows :
- Decide on a task
- Work nonstop for 25 mins
- Take a 5 minute break(That is one pomodoro)
- Repeat for a total of 4 pomodoros
- Take a longer break (15-30mins)
I’ve been using this technique for almost two years now. I’ve used it for cleaning, studying, editing videos and even washing dishes. It can work for any task !
I adjust the length of the pomodoro based on the task . My sweet spot for lengthier tasks is 45 minutes of work with a 15 min break.
The key to using it successfully is to give your undivided attention to that one task during the pomodoro. This may require you to wear headphones, avoid other people or leave your phone in a different room. 25 uninterrupted minutes are worth more than 2 hours filled with distractions. One study showed that it takes 23 minutes to regain concentration after an interruption. Interrupted work also results in more stress and higher frustration.
25 uninterrupted minutes are worth more than 2 hours filled with distractions.Sharon Malonza
I like using the Focus To-Do app on my phone because it doubles as a to-do list app and a pomodoro timer. When working from the desktop, TomatoTimer is my website of choice.
- Take active breaks
This is a great follow up to the pomodoro technique. Regular breaks are essential for good work output.
Consider taking a quick walk (even if it is to the kitchen or just up and down the stairs), do some light stretching or listen to some music and dance during your breaks . These activities will give you a mental break from your tasks which will rejuvenate you for your next work cycle. They are also less likely to eat into your productive time than sedentary breaks would.
- Try out productive procrastination
What does this look like ? It is essentially replacing your core / target task with another less urgent and low input task .
For example,instead of working on that assignment or proposal:
- Practice another language on Duolingo
- Watch that useful tutorial you’ve been meaning to get to
- Work on your scales on the keyboard
- Organize your physical or digital space
Productive procrastination is my way of ‘saving the day’. It is never too late to get at least ONE thing done before the day ends. Set that Pomodoro timer and do 15 minutes of whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. You may find yourself accomplishing way more than you thought you could.
Those are a few of the things that are working for me at the moment. I could always use some more tips from you guys. What helps you to get work done? Leave a comment down below.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
I pray that you and your loved ones are well during Ms.Rona’s reign. Remember to stay safe and informed.
Always remember that your hair is your crown and your body is a temple; embrace it, love it and take care of it.
God bless you all.