A huge number of us are now experiencing working from home for the first time, and not everyone is finding it a piece of cake. Even for remote working seasoned pros like us at The Scarpetta Group, it’s tough at times, especially in the current climate of uncertainty.
Of course, when it comes to team efficiency and productivity, nothing beats having a fully integrated, customizable CRM – find out more – but as individuals working alone, how do we ensure we’re getting the best from ourselves?
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite productivity hacks for those of you finding it easier said than done to self-motivate or if you’re simply feeling the sting of isolation.
1. Define your working hours
Work/life balance is an important one, especially during times of upheaval and unrest. We need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves physically and mentally, and that’s where defining your working day comes in.
It’s so easy to always be ‘on’ and in work mode when you’re working from home. This creates an illusion of having more time to complete tasks and encourages procrastination, all the while eating into our free time meaning we’re likely to feel more stressed.
Our equipment is accessible all of the time and the commute from the kitchen to the home office space isn’t exactly an arduous one.
If you work ‘9 to 5’ usually and now you’re struggling with being ‘on’ 24/7, we recommend having a ritual which signifies the start and finish of your working day. This could be something as simple as taking a shower. When you shower in the morning, you’re getting ready for work, and when you shower in the late afternoon, that signifies the end of your working day. It may sound silly, but these signifiers can really help us identify when to be ‘on’ and when we’re able to ‘switch off’ which is hugely important for our wellbeing and productivity.
2. Work in short, focused bursts and be firm with your schedule
Whether you decide to divide your time into 25 minute chunks or 90 minute power bursts, working in short bursts has been proven to help maintain focus and productivity. After each burst, give yourself a 3 to 5 minute break, stand up, walk around, go outside, just be sure to leave your desk. You’ll feel much more energized and motivated, which only serves to aid productivity.
It’s also really easy to go down a rabbit hole or off on tangents if you don’t have a schedule. Having a ‘to do’ list is all very well, but a schedule allows you to remain zoned in on the task in hand, knowing that you have an allocated timeframe in which to do it. Be warned though, others may not give your schedule the respect it deserves so make sure you remain firm with those around you and don’t allow yourself to be dragged off elsewhere meaning you’ll have to find time later for the incomplete task.
3. Spend time with pets
If you live with a furry friend or 2, make sure you spend some quality time with them throughout the day. Spending time with pets has been linked to lowering blood pressure and a reduction in stress, meaning we feel happier and therefore will be more efficient and productive when it comes to work.
Whether you’re feeling isolated or not, socialize virtually. Even for introverts, spending 10 minutes a day just catching up with a friend or sharing a rant with a colleague can improve your levels of positivity and confidence, and when you’re feeling positive, you’re more likely to feel motivated. And we all know what motivation leads to…
Communication with your team is also hugely valuable. It keeps you all on the same page and maintains the team spirit as well as improving team-wide and individual productivity.
5. Utilize online tools and systems
There are loads of online tools and systems to help us manage our time and become more productive. In fact we’ve written about this before.
It’s worth taking the time to learn what each tool can do for you and how it can help improve efficiency. Having a centralized application accessible to all team members is the best way to manage projects, maintain communication, schedule tasks, and monitor progress.
Bonus Tip – Enjoy your time off
This one doesn’t really need explaining. It’s quite obvious that it’s important for all of us to have a life outside of work, one where we relax or pursue our hobbies, eat, drink and be merry. When working from home it’s particularly important to acknowledge the difference between work time and ‘free’ time and make the most of it while you do. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do that, because this happiness should then transcend into your working day.
Read more advice about working from home and how our business software package can help
Jarvis CRM is built on the FileMaker® Platform, by Claris®. Find out more.
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