It’s challenging to be restricted to the same four walls, day in, day out, with only a walk or a trip to the supermarket being the highlight of the week.
We have distinguished what it is that helps to keep us motivated and stimulated throughout the day, and we’ve found that these simple tips and tricks have a positive impact on our productivity in the (home) office.
Be consistent with your routine
First and foremost, sticking to a daily/weekly routine is absolutely essential to make the most out of your time in lockdown. Planning ahead of time helps to frame out your week so you’re able to prepare for what’s to come, with nothing taking you by surprise. This also allows you to plan your out-of-work activities around your upcoming workload.
Making sure you’re waking up with a sufficient amount of time before work begins and making sure you have a clean, clear space in which to work are also very important first steps to creating a productive home workspace.
Set yourself a challenge
There have been numerous challenges circulating social media throughout lockdown to cure people’s boredom. Whether that’s jumping on the latest TikTok trend (let’s not lie, we all attempted the infamous iced coffee), or trying the latest 30-day challenge recommended by your favourite fitness influencer.
Although these challenges take up only a small portion of our day, the act of trying something new and gaining a sense of accomplishment naturally makes you want to do it more. It feeds the overall need to feel a sense of achievement over and over, which we then try to parallel in other aspects of our lives, e.g. work.
Include regular exercise in your list
On a similar wavelength to the point above, exercising regularly is one of the key influences to improving your day-to-day productivity. Working out and general exercise helps to keep those all-important endorphins circulating in our body, making us feel more energised and positive for the day ahead.
Apps such as the BBC’s Couch to 5k have been created for the sole purpose of motivating those who may not be so keen on exercising. Apps like these give you a routine to follow and a structure to your exercise, which in itself is incredibly helpful when included in your weekly plan. Additionally, it is very important to release your built-up energy through methods of exercise to make sure you aren’t offloading everything onto your work plate. Regular exercise has been found to increase levels of self-esteem and confidence in general life, which are great traits to have when entering your working environment.
Release unwanted stress
It’s okay to admit that your workload can be stressful at times. It’s how we manage the stress that’s important. Rather than letting it get the better of you, it’s important to take a step away and discharge this energy elsewhere (even if it’s just for five minutes).
Apps such as Calm and Headspace are perfect for reminding you to take regular breaks and release the built-up tension that you may have. Times are uncertain, and we are out of our normal routine and have been forced to create a new working environment that’s unfamiliar. Practising mindfulness, meditation and other methods of stress control can impact work productivity considerably as it prevents the stress from getting the better of you. It enables you to separate yourself from the stress by simply releasing it elsewhere and converting it to positive energy.
Learn to switch off
Lastly and arguably the most important is knowing when to switch off. It’s difficult—when the sofa is only a few steps away—not to continue on past your working hours. However, ensuring you have a day-to-day wind-down process to round up the day’s work is important, and it prevents you from pushing yourself too hard and burning out.
Choosing one of the above steps, or simply going for an after work stroll, is the perfect way to break up the cycle of work and ease yourself into your evening. On a normal day, our commute would be our natural switch-off process, so whilst we are at home we need to find alternative ways to do this. As much as it is important to reflect on your day, switching off enables you to draw the line under your working day and do something for yourself.
As we have been forced to integrate our work and home environments, we must make sure we are taking the extra steps to look after ourselves and keep motivation levels high. What works for one, may not work for another, so it’s important to find what it is that keeps you going and focus your energy on that. Keep going—we’re nearly there!