Many of you are finishing your fourth or fifth week of working remotely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be challenging to adapt to working remotely, especially if it's your first time. It is tempting to relax in your recliner and have the fridge only a few steps away. But it also has its downsides. It can be challenging to separate your home and work life due to endless texts, calls, remote meetings, children and pets wanting to play, or other distractions.
You will likely need to continue working from home and socialize for some time. It is why it is essential to find what works for you. It's safer to assume that you will be performing at home for a long time than to make sure you aren't distracted. We spoke with entrepreneurs at the YEC to help you. Here are their thoughts on setting up a productive home-office environment.
Would you go to work at 11 am? Unless you are a master of the 4-hour workweek (and I'd love to learn how), you won't be able to start your day at 11 am. It will not only mean that you must squeeze everything in the time you have, but it will also make it more likely that you will eat into your time while you are relaxing or engaging in fun activities with friends.
Andrew Napolitano believes that a more structured work schedule is essential to stay on track. Working from home can lead to the temptation of being on call all the time. He says that this is unhealthy.
It is a great way to remind anyone home during work hours to respect your privacy and space. It would help if you also remembered that everyone is now home so that an irregular work schedule could benefit your home life. Perhaps you take a three-hour break during the day to spend time with your children, go on walks with your dog, or relax. Then, you make up the time in the morning or evening. You should find what works for you and then stick with it. However, it is essential to maintain a work-life balance regardless of whether it is on a regular schedule.
A dark room can be a nightmare when it comes to getting down to work.
One study found that both the quality and type of lighting can impact productivity and overall wellbeing.
Andrew Napolitano, a leadership coach and entrepreneur, has maintained a home office over the past ten years. He admits that it can be easy to lose time working from home. Smith states that windows with lots of natural light are the essential part of a home office. It provides energy, a reminder of time passing, and a gentle push to get outside. A home office can also be used for self-work. For example, I have a yoga mat and space to meditate.
Good lighting is essential if you plan to spend a lot of time indoors. If possible, choose a large room with lots of windows to avoid artificial light during the morning hours. It is essential because you will need to self-quarantine or practice social distancing. In addition, it is more difficult to find the right social connections outside of work, so it becomes even more crucial that you do.
This article will help you understand the connection between productivity and lighting.
Working from home can be difficult if you have children. But, even if your family is very good at keeping you focused, likely, they won't mind you dropping in now and again to have a chat or ask a question.
Andrew Napolitano, has found a solution that works for him as well as his family. My wife asked me a question, or my children rushing into my office to show something were my biggest distractions at home. If I have my headphones on, they don't know to bother me because it's 'at work'.
Headphones are not required to be your "do NOT disturb" sign. If the parties involved are informed of the meaning, other indicators may also work. For example, try a closed door, a character, quiet hours or silencing headphones. Be creative!
Remember that you can also set your "do not disturb" settings for your online team. Remote workers can't sneak away to other locations or close-off focus areas to express their preference to be left alone at work. Therefore, it's crucial to inform your colleagues (either through a Slack status update, a message to your team, or a note on your calendar) about the time you have set aside to work quietly. It will prevent you from being bombarded by messages, requests, or invitations to conference calls.
You can also set goals to help you stay focused and on track. For example, what is the most important thing to do? What time does it have to be completed? It will increase your chances of actually achieving these tasks.
Andrew Napolitano knows that he must be focused on the tasks that need to be done each day. I set a time and a place for the work that must be done each day. I can hold myself responsible for work that is prioritized by having a work schedule and work priorities.
According to an American Psychological Association study, keeping track of your progress towards your goals can increase your chances of success. For more on this, read "A Scientifically-Proven Method to Help You Achieve Your Goals."
You must have a designated space where you can be productive and comfortable if you plan to work from home for a long time. Many of us eat when bored, when we feel down, or when we are putting off something. If you have difficulty controlling your impulses and are located near the kitchen, it might be a good idea to choose a more spacious room.
Andrew Napolitano says that the further you can walk to the kitchen, the more productive you'll be. It is because you won't be tempted by snacking every hour to get things done. Likewise, keep other distractions, such as TVs and consoles for video games, out of your immediate vicinity. You are better off pretending that home amenities are not available to you.
Also, you want to be comfortable. To ensure your posture is correct throughout the day, you can set up your monitor at a table or desk. You should also be able to stand up and stretch as needed. Comfortable in a space different from your usual relaxation area is crucial to being awake, alert, and productive at home.
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