When the pandemic first hit our doors, we were excited about the possibility of having to work from our homes. No long commutes, no noisy workers, and the best of all - having to work in our pajamas. But as days passed, we started seeing our productivity falling while we were sitting with our laptops but watching the TV or dealing with neighbors that thought working from home means not working. As a creative person, be it a designer or a developer, you need to find that productivity anyhow. So, here are five WFH tips that will get you back your productivity high and help you enjoy all the remote work benefits without having to feel guilty about it.
1. Set up a no-distraction workplace
Just because you got rid of the hustle and bustle in your office doesn’t mean you are going to be devoid of distractions at home. A survey by Statista claims that 53.7% of respondents said that smartphones were the biggest distractors while working remotely. Other leading distractions included gaming, binge-watching, kids, news, pets, online shopping, and partners. So, how do you deal with these?
First, just observe your day. What are the distractions that are popping up? Is it someone in your family coming in to gossip or the TV that is lying in front of you? Once you determine your distractors, set up a no-distraction workplace. For example, being in a room where there is no TV, or keeping your mobile in the other room, or telling your family not to disturb you during your work hours. Fixing a workplace also makes sure that when you come around to being there, you enter into your work mode.
2. Fix your working hours
An initial concern while remote work was being adopted by so many companies around the world was - Will employees work the same from their homes? The situation slowly turned around to about 53.1% of people finding it difficult to separate work and nonwork life. While you are at home, the boundaries between work and personal life alter. You start putting in more hours at work and you may even bring your latest designing project to the dinner table.
To avoid this, fix your working hours. Communicate the same to your team and to your family. Track your working hours to make sure you're not overworking. Avoid replying to emails and scheduling meetings during your non-work hours. This makes sure you get enough time to unplug from work and spend time with your loved ones or do the things you love outside of work.
3. Always have a slot for “deep work”
Deep work is the ability to focus on a particular task that is usually cognitively demanding, without getting distracted. This could include the new website design you are working on or the presentation you have to deliver over the weekend. Deep work also helps you produce better results in less time. If you are someone who is an early riser, you can schedule this slot in the early morning hours so that you don’t face any external distractions. Alternatively, if you are a night owl, schedule this slot when your energy is high and distractions are at a low.
Scheduling your “deep work” slot will help you work on your focus levels and at the same time, get you to work on the important things.
4. Follow a morning and evening routine
For most of us, working at home turns out to be all “work, work, work, and go to sleep”. Soon, you start getting frustrated and feeling unproductive. One way to make sure you follow a healthy and energetic life is to adopt a morning and evening routine. By inculcating exercise, meditation, and relaxation into this routine, you can keep your mind calm and stay stress-free. Here’s one simple example routine for you to try out:
Morning routine: Wake up one hour prior to when you start your work, freshen up, have a healthy drink/smoothie, lay a mat on your floor and stretch your body, meditate for 5 minutes.
Evening routine: After work, organize your work desk, shut down your computer, wash your face, walk away from your desk, and meditate for 5 minutes.
5. Try virtual co-working
If you miss your co-workers a little too much and want a little resemblance of your office, you can try out virtual co-working. How to do this? Pick your working buddies. Schedule a Zoom meeting for an hour or two. Discuss what you’d be doing for the next couple of hours and when you’d be taking breaks. Start working on your individual tasks after that. You can even choose to relax in the assigned breaks by having someone lead a stretch session and everyone else following those instructions.
If you’re working remotely as a designer, these tips can work great for you. But when you’re stuck at your home without your team and client nearby, you have to rely a lot on emails and calls for your design feedback.
And guess what? This often results in confusions, misunderstandings, and errors. To help you launch your designs faster and get approvals from clients quickly, try out Ruttl today: www.ruttl.com