I, like most readers of this newsletter, have been working from home for the greater part of the past year. In doing so, I have evolved in the way I communicate, view work, and maintain relationships from a professional capacity. While experimenting with what works best for me, I have come to find satisfaction and joy in this pocket of my life. Here are some techniques that have helped with my productivity while working from home over the past few months:
Dedicating a specific space/time for work
Throughout this era, I have realized that it has been less about working from home and more so a reality of living with work. As such, it has been essential for me to separate home-life and work-life as best as I can. I do so by:
Dedicating a space specifically for work. Doing so has allowed me to mentally get into a workspace and have allowed me to build a routine around what a workday looks like (making morning coffee, changing into work clothes, opening my curtains to signal that I am available); and,
Blocking off time so that I can separate work from personal items. By not bringing work (by way of a laptop or cell-phone) with me when I make lunch, step outside to run an errand, or do a household chore, I find myself more relaxed and present.
Setting and communicating my schedule
When I punctuate my day with breaks, it has been important for me to communicate this by updating my work calendar and notifying relevant team members. By informing them, it lends to holding myself accountable for sticking to my set schedule so that work does not consume my day.
Silencing my phone
Companies are investing more than ever in tools to help stay connected. Desktop applications and their features have noticeably improved over the course of this year. As a result, it is unnecessary to have work notifications on a cellular device. In my experience, hearing a notification from my phone followed by a desktop alert a few seconds later creates unnecessary anxiety and distraction from the task at hand.
Prioritizing good posture
While working from bed or the couch may seem like a comfortable alternative to a desk, I have noticed that it decreases my energy and stamina. Aside from the balance one gets from sitting or standing upright, having good posture helps with blood and oxygen flow, which has been vital in ensuring that my energy stays consistent throughout the day.
Budgeting some time to step outside (ideally with some activity that requires movement)
o My apartment in New York City is nowhere near the same size as the office, and as a result, I am moving far less than I typically would. Even commuting, which had previously felt perfunctory over time, has now energized and mentally set my mind up for the workday. Ensuring that I allocate time to get fresh air and go for a walk, bike ride, or run around the neighborhood in the afternoon has given me that boost to think clearly towards the end of the workday.
Though I look forward to an office return, with cases rising across the country and in NYC, this is looking to be further away from the foreseeable future. As such, it is timelier than ever that we take a moment to pause, reflect, and start thinking about how we can continue to create happiness and value despite an uncertain course.
While these methods have been key for me and my productivity, I am curious to hear what has worked for you. If you have any tips that can be shared with our community, feel free to drop us a line to talk about your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are in this together – continue to stay safe and have a great holiday season.