It seems like we are back to a total lockdown all over again! What that means for most of us, is going back to working from home almost indefinitely. Working from home doesn’t seem to end and it looks like it is here to stay, whether we like it or not. For some, if not most of us, it is going to be even more challenging to stay, what more be more productive while working from the literal comfort of our homes. Here are a few ways we can enhance work-from-home productivity.
As much as we would like to do everything at once, we really cannot. To echo the findings of a neuroscientist, Earl K. Miller, “multitasking is not humanly possible”. What we call “juggling many things at once” is simply switching back and forth between tasks giving us the illusion of productivity but in reality, is making us perform our tasks ineffectively. There’s only so many thoughts our minds can handle at one given moment of time. So, instead of attempting multiple tasks at once, set aside time to focus on each task at a time and perform those tasks well. This will help get things done faster and with better quality.
Take short breaks between tasks
Although it is important to complete your tasks for the day or week as much as possible, it is also important that you sustain your energy to be able to do so. Take a short break after each task so that you don’t end up mentally drained or bored. Ideally, a good five minutes after each task should suffice for a break. While on these short breaks, get up from your chair and do things that restore your energy. Stretch your legs, walk around, take a look out the balcony window, take a breath of fresh air, get a drink or snack, meditate, or even just watch a short video on your phone. These breaks should give you enough incentive and energy to keep going until you’re done with your work day.
Pre-empt the next set of tasks
What happens when you’re done with your tasks for the day with time to spare? Get prepping for your next set of tasks, of course! If you have enough time to spare during the day, you can do some things to preempt the next set of tasks before the deadline when those tasks need to be done. For example, getting a plan laid out and a first draft of the project ready in advance prior to the due date. So when the time comes for those tasks to be done, half of the work or so has already been completed, making it easier for its full completion. This in turn increases your sense of productivity which further motivates you in the long run.
Indeed, working remotely from home has become a new normal and is probably here to stay. For now, let us make the most of this opportunity to be the best we can (and better!) for our jobs wherever we are. Stay home, stay healthy, and stay safe.