More than a year in this pandemic, one of the skills I enhanced is staying productive at work in a home set-up. I had a work from home experience way back in 2012 but I was still pregnant at that time, so it was a little bit easier. Now, I have a son who’s 8 years old, some business on the side, and a full-time job. After months of working online in 2012, I still went back to a regular employment so this pandemic had me really adjusting again.
Challenges of Working at Home
What I really find challenging in this kind of set-up is the numerous roles to fulfill in a day. I realized that back when there was still face-to-face classes and work, I had specific time blocks in a day so it was easy to fulfill duties. In example, I have an 8-hour work shift so I was focused on just that for those hours. When I finish off work, I get to spend the time with my son and do household chores. It was that simple. But since I worked at home, everything felt urgent. Work seems to be urgent, my son’s schools was urgent, preparing food was urgent, just about everything seems to take all of my time. It was really one of the things I had to manage since I also had work to finish, son to take care of, business to mind, and self to take care of. It was so easy to slack off, and procrastinate on work tasks, right? So, I’ll share with you some things I did to make sure to be productive while doing household chores, child-rearing, and business.
Staying on track with work at home
- Keep a hard and soft copy of your calendar. I was used to daily planners and calendar pre-pandemic, but since everything went online I learned to sync my schedule with my online calendar. It was easier to schedule my activities with my officemates because I can see their schedules even without talking to them. But since I am used to writing my schedule, I still have a calendar in my desk so I can remember everything and be reminded in an instant without the need to open my laptop.
- Keep your work table neat and purposeful. A need to mark a space for a specific purpose is a must in working from home. I realized I cannot work well if my space is not meant for being productive. So, I had to rearrange my workspace and make sure that what I put on it will spark me to get work done. I made sure that after work, I declutter my space and just leave work-related stuff on it. This makes me focused when I wake up in the morning and see my desk. So, if you see my desk, you’d find only purposeful and intentional things on it, like my colored pens, calendar, notepad, phone stand, and some makeups for easy access for meetings.
- Tell your family about work time blocks. I have my own moments of focus, and so it is important that I do not get distracted during those moments. But sometimes I experience my son asking me random questions or asking where his stuff is on those moments so I lose it. Literally and figuratively speaking. I sometimes get mad at him because I lose the concentration I need and it really is challenging to get back at it, right?
- Have an Inspiration board. What got me really into being productive and on track is the wallpaper I created using Canva’s desktop wallpaper designs. I used to have just photo reminders on my wall but I did not include my goals in it. Upon seeing the desktop wallpapers I created one and included my goals in one section of my wallpaper. Since then everytime I open my laptop I am reminded of why I am doing what I am doing. I am inspired by my dreams and it makes me want to be more productive and use my time wisely.
- Listen to your hype music. I have discovered that music wakes me up and makes me energized. Every time I listen to music before starting work, it kind of hypes me, and keeps my blood pumping. I also love to listen to music that are with motivational words, and music from artists I like as it makes me want to move and finish my work.
- Give yourself the time to rest. I respect my office hours but so do my “me-time” and family time. I make sure to put in the work in the hours I am required to and finish all tasks on time. This is so I can have the proper time for myself, my hobbies, my family, and my business. I make sure I do what I need to do at work so I don’t feel guilty about binging on Netflix or playing with my son because I know I delivered at work.
Working at home requires discipline and time management skills. These skills may be too basic but it is tested in a different environment such as a work-from-home set-up. Being a person who is not used to working remotely, I believe it has taught me how to regulate myself and diligently work on tasks given to me. This might be new experience but I learned a lot about myself and working independently.
How about you, any other tips for me too? Share them on the comment section below. 😊