COVID-19 has reshaped the entire way we now work. The office cubicle, coffee time with colleague and team meetings on round tables have become the things of past. Most organizations have already taken 'work-from-home' measures and established 'work-from-home' as their response to social distancing.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of distraction when working from home and some days those distractions test us and hamper the entire work flow. With a clear plan and dedication, you can stay away from those distractions and enjoy productive work when you're working from home.
Stick to your regular schedule:
We often are tempted to sleep in or do some household work before starting the work day. That can end up being harder for you to approach your work with the right attitude. So start your work in the same way or with the same mindset that you would if you were going into the office. Keeping a familiar schedule or routine always helps you focus more on your work and maintain the right work-life balance.
Enable Do Not Disturb Mode:
If you live with a family or a roommate, you need to set aside time when you will be able to concentrate on your work without being disturbed. Let your roommate and family member know when you want to remain 'in do not disturb mode' and when you are available for them. This way you will be able to set a disciplinary boundary for yourself.
You can use a visual aid, especially for your children. You can use a red and green sign. Red for "Do Not Disturb" and green for when you are 'Available'.
Put Yourself in Work Attire:
You don’t need to wear fancy jeans or formal dress. But, you do need to change your pajamas. Get dressed in something that you feel comfortable but not what you would wear when you want to hit the bed. You can wear a comfortable t-shirt and track-pant as an alternative to a formal dress code.
This may seem as small thing but it can bring you out of your comfortable zone and put you in work mode
If you still find yourself distracted, you should then put yourself in your normal work clothes. It gives your mind a signal that it’s time to get to work.
By the way if you want to wear your pajamas all day, do it on a holiday, I find it is a great break from the norm.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time:
Don’t let your meal time be your distraction. It takes time to figure out what you want to eat and then it takes time to prepare the meal. If you prepare everything ahead of time, including your snacks, you will definitely not lose anytime or get distracted from the work. Make your snacks in advance so that you can grab them and continue on with your work or use the time to complete priority chores, take a walk-break, or a needed break.
Turn-off Your Phone Notification:
Enabling silence mode is not enough as you still can see the notifications pop ups in your phone. Disable social media notification and anything that is not related to your work or assignment. This will help you avoid the temptation of picking up your phone. If you don’t require your phone for your work purpose, you can keep it in silent mode.
While your at it, turn off notifications for your e-mails. The message here is to answer your phone and emails at scheduled times rather than responding immediately.
Thank you for reading,
P.S. To understand some of the causes and cures of stress when working from home you may want to consider this resource.