The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means more people than ever are working from home. Luckily, access to laptops, remote working apps and fast Internet connections afford people an ‘in the office’ experience.
However, working from home isn’t always easy, especially if you’re not used to it. The abundance of potential distractions means you have to be focussed, otherwise your productivity levels will go out the window.
But when done right, working from home has been shown to actually increase productivity. Indeed, one of the most obvious benefits is the lack of a commute, meaning you can use the additional time to get other things done.
To help you get the very most out of your time when working from home, our Marketing Director, Alex Hughes, has compiled this list of top tips to help you be the most productive version of yourself – a concept that he has built a whole brand around.
But before we look at the tips, let’s quickly touch on why being productive is such an important subject. Well, it is your outputs as a professional who is able to work from home that will drive the results in your life. Simply put, higher output equals greater opportunities to build a life that brings more fulfilment, control of your time and progression in your career.
1. Have a purpose
First and foremost, you will automatically be more productive when you have a definitive purpose or goal that you are working towards. This could be something as simple as completing a list of tasks you’ve created, or more materialistic such as having your sights set on a new gadget or perhaps a holiday (once the COVID-19 outbreak is over).
The bottom line is by knowing what is important to you and your priorities in life, understanding your why and vision will become your compass, guiding you in nearly every decision you make.
2. Prioritise your tasks
Now the Pareto principle states that roughly 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. If this is the case, then the best place to start is by prioritising everything you need to do.
Begin by brain dumping all the tasks you need to complete onto a piece of paper or in to a task management application. Be thorough to ensure you don’t miss any and include even the smallest jobs.
Now, prioritise said tasks based on their urgency and importance as follows:
- Urgent & important (do them right away)
- Important, not urgent (set a time in the near future to do them, so they don’t become urgent)
- Urgent, not important (review and consider delegating)
- Not important, not urgent (do you even need to do them?)
epending on your profession, you may not be completely in control of what you do and when you do it, however, combining all the tasks you have to do personally and professionally on a regular basis will allow you to prioritise effectively, ensuring your outputs across life and work are consistently high.
3. Ensure your environment is conducive to being productive
So now you’ve figured out what’s important, what’s urgent and prioritised accordingly, it’s time to set up your working environment to help you be more productive.
Numerous studies have revealed the impact that physical environment can have on productivity, with a number of factors frequently highlighted:
- Lighting – Insufficient light can lead to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue. Wherever possible, allow as much natural light into your home working environment.
- Air quality – Poor ventilation can increase humidity levels and once they reach 50%+ it’s likely you’ll feel drowsy and sluggish. High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) also hamper our productivity, impairing our cognitive performance and decision making abilities.
- Temperature – Depending on the time of year, you’re either going to be too hot or too cold. Scientists say 21 degrees celsius is the ideal temperature to promote productivity. That’s why insulation and heating systems play such an important role.
- Noise – Whether it’s your neighbours’ loud music, kids running around and/or the sound of a TV/radio in the background, noise is distracting. Don’t just put up with it, eliminate it. Failure to do so will lead to less focus and, in turn, lower productivity.
Another environmental factor that needs considering is your physical desk setup. A comfortable, suitable chair and correct height office desk are a must, as is enough room to perform your duties. Maximise the potential of your work space and you will see a huge increase in productivity.
4. Don’t forget to exercise
If you are like some of our clients, then you may have a Snugg that can be used for multiple purposes, including exercise, yoga and other physical activities.
We are constantly told about the benefits of regular exercise for our health and wellbeing, both of which can help improve our productivity. That’s because exercise increases your energy levels, helps combat stress, battles fatigue and improves your general well-being. When you feel happier and energised, you’re more efficient and effective every task you put your mind to.
5. Get enough good quality sleep
Getting enough good quality sleep is the final piece of the productivity puzzle. If you are well rested you will have more energy, more focus and your outputs will increase dramatically.
Now NHS guidelines say we need to get 8 hours of good quality sleep each night. While some people can get by on less, this is the minimum amount needed simply to function correctly each day. Just several sleepless nights can lead to you experiencing fatigue, short temper and a lack of focus.
Simple things like getting the temperature right in your bedroom, blocking out as much light as possible and having a comfy bed/pillows will help encourage better sleep. Moreover, try to follow the ‘no blue light before bed’ rule, so that means no gadgets or TV at least 2 hours before you want to go to sleep. You will naturally sleep better as a result.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, please consider sharing it with your friends, family and colleagues who may want to benefit from a productivity boost. We’ll be back with another post soon, in the meantime, get some Snugg’spiration on how some of our clients are designing their Snuggs around achieving a better work/life balance as they transition to working from home at the moment.