No thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have been working from home (WFH) since last year. With many companies switching to a remote or hybrid setup, there is the greater chance that WFH will be a permanent work situation for you.
Problem is you haven’t fully adjusted to a WFH status. You may even be feeling the symptoms of burnout.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 WFH hacks. Maybe if you had known these hacks earlier, your life would’ve been a lot easier. Well, it’s not too late to incorporate these hacks into your WFH life.
1) Tap into your ultradian rhythm
There are times during your day when you feel the most energized and productive. This 90-minute period is known as your ultradian cycle. It is during this period when you can get into the flow state with ease, thus allowing you to have better concentration and improved productivity.
If you haven’t taken closer note of your energies during your work day, now is the time to do so. You may observe that you are more energized in the early morning or after lunch. Some do their best work in the evenings or even during the graveyard shift.
Once you have determined when your ultradian cycle is, allot challenging and creative work during this period.
2) Keep your work time
Has your boss been texting or messaging you during your off-hours? Well, it’s time to put your foot down. You should have set hours for work, even if you are WFH. Companies will have you sign a Work From Home policy or Flexible Work Agreement form. Make sure that you read this policy completely, in particular the section on working hours. If you are not in agreement with the company’s working times, tell your boss. It is important that you do not accept work during your off-hours, which will surely intrude into your personal time.
3) Use a calendar or planner to plan your day
Put all daily activities, including personal ones, in your calendar. You don’t have to list nine-to-five as your work time. Remember that WFH gives you the opportunity to have a flexible schedule.
Whatever your schedule is, put break times in between including an hour-long “lunch” break and 20-30-minute coffee breaks.
One way by which you can take short breaks is by doing the Pomodoro technique. Using a clock or timer, focus solely on work for 20 to 30 minutes and then take a 5-to-10-minute break before resuming work again.
4) Improve your focus
There are a lot of distractions at home in the form of family members and pets. Aside from using the Pomodoro technique to help improve your focus and boost concentration, you should work at minimizing distractions.
For one, tell your family members not to distract you during your work hours. Divide the household chores among you. You may consider doing all your chores before you start working.
5) Let technology support you
Do you often find yourself stopping at work and then going off to surf your favorite websites and social media? Download website blocking software so that you can block distracting websites, like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, for the number of hours that you need to concentrate on work.
You may find yourself with a major dilemma when your computer or Internet connection conks out when you are finishing a deadline. Have backups for technology. In cases of Internet outages, you can opt to use a dongle. You can also have a backup computer. If your company has given you access to their online cloud storage, use it to store your important work documents.
You should also not forget to install communication apps so that you can keep in touch with bosses and co-workers. Depending upon your company’s preferences, you can download Zoom and Skype for virtual conferences and Slack for emails and chats.
6) Green up your workspace
Nothing can be more relaxing to the eye than a healthy color of green. Household plants provide extra oxygen and get rid of environmental pollutants.
Add plants to your work area to improve productivity and relax you as well. You can also place a small flowering plant or cactus on your desk.
7) Listen (or not) to music
Some people say they concentrate better if they listen to music. Others find it distracting.
Whether you like to listen to music or not, peace and quiet is still best when doing challenging or creative work in order to maintain your focus and boost your productivity, so that you get your work done.
8) Allot time for the things you enjoy
Your day does not have to revolve around work. Add the things you love in your calendar, an option which is feasible with WFH because of its flexibility.
Many start their day with a morning routine, consisting of exercise, meditation, and a healthy breakfast. During breaks, you can catch up with your fave show on Netflix or play a video game.
After your work hours are done, you can cook for your family as well as prepare dishes and snacks for working the following day. You can also indulge in your fave hobbies like reading a book, doing an arts and crafts project, etc.
9) Get up from your chair and move
Go out of the house, even if you just walk to the front door and breathe the fresh air. If you have enough time, take a short walk. You can bring your family pet for a little play time. Not only will these simple activities give you the opportunity to relax and recharge, it also helps in minimizing back pain and other assorted aches resulting from sitting in a chair for long periods of time.
10) Get out of your house
You don’t need to stay cooped up inside your house when WFH. Incorporate errands in your day. Schedule meet-ups with friends or colleagues from work
You can also choose to do your work outside the house, such as in a park or library for a change in environment.
Follow these simple but effective hacks to make WFH a happier, healthier, and more productive experience for you.