How to cultivate a productive mindset whilst working from home.
2020's festive milestones are feeling a little different for everyone this year. Today in the UK we will remember the 5th November not for the usual Bonfire night gatherings but as the date that signaled the return to national restrictions and the second lockdown in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many, this is the extension of a long period of disruption to business and work routines whilst for others it is the return to working from home. Trying to navigate the challenges of working from or running a business from home and staying connected with clients, colleagues, and reaching business goals has not been easy.
So how can we turn these challenges into opportunities and cultivate a productive ethos not only for ourselves but those around us?
As a remote business consultancy SavvyDesk is well-versed at work from home strategy practiced by our virtual team and in-turn at helping small businesses remain focused, positive, and above all productive when adapting to do the same. There are a number of proactive steps we can all take that will help keep us organized, stay well, and ensure we make the best use of our time when working from home.
Ensure you have a good work environment
Not everyone has access to a swanky home office but where possible find a quiet space free from distractions where you can set-up and have the privacy you will need to work, make calls and concentrate. You might not be the only member of the household who is working from home so set boundaries and try to plan shared domestic responsibilities and stick to arranged timelines. Try to create a routine and office like approach to your working day.
A good routine will make us more efficient, reduce our need to plan, help us prioritize, and is good for our mental wellbeing.
Prioritize time management
Usually, our morning commute kick starts our daily routine, and as we are generally creatures of habit the rest of our day takes the form of other rituals. From when and where we grab coffee or pick-up lunch to when we exercise and sleep. When we work from home we gain the commute time back but it is easy to fall into bad habits, procrastinate or get distracted and lose momentum. Work patterns might vary if you are scheduling calls with colleagues in different time zones but if you can try to maintain set work hours based on when you are most productive. Time management is often difficult but planning the basic structure of your day will pay dividends and help you make the most of your time. Most importantly know when to stop because it is vital to have a balance between your working day and your downtime.
Stay optimistic and positive
This has probably been incredibly difficult of late and we can't ignore the impact the recent disruptions have had on all of us. If you are now having to work from home either as a business owner or employee stay positive and keep going! Adapting to face new challenges, and focusing on short-term goals are small things you can do that will enable you to think more clearly, plan ahead, and remain on top of things. Start by prioritizing tasks making a to-do list, know when to delegate, and get organized.
Make time to exercise, eat well, and know when to take a break
During the first lockdown during the spring/summer, it was easier to schedule time in our daily routines for exercise with warmer, longer days. The next few weeks might be a challenge as the days are shorter and cooler. However, there are many home workouts, apps, and ways we can fit in exercise when working from home. It doesn't have to be complicated but the benefits of a brisk walk or run are huge and if this year has taught us nothing else it is the importance of our health and wellbeing. It is easy to sit in front of our computers and let the day evaporate, but taking a screen break, stretching, or getting some fresh air or a healthy bite helps us regroup and gives us renewed energy promoting better concentration.
Turn a challenge into an opportunity
We all can learn a lot from the hospitality industry who have faced some of the toughest challenges during the global pandemic. In the last national lockdown, we saw local restaurants or coffee shops find new ways to meet their customer needs. Whether starting home delivery services or selling essential items in short supply to help our vulnerable communities many small business owners had to adapt to survive. They looked to find ways to solve their customer's problems. Changing course isn't easy but being responsive and having an adaptable mindset can turn a challenge into an opportunity in the toughest of times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about the way we all live our lives from global mobility, education, and the world of work. We are all facing new realities and have been forced to deal with uncertainty. Staying connected to your teams and customers, embracing new technologies have enabled us to adapt, create efficiencies, foster innovation, and solve problems. Being resilient and adapting to new ways of working will cultivate a productive mindset and turn challenges into new opportunities. The sense of achievement for doing so will be incredibly rewarding and most importantly keep you focused on moving forward.