Lately when you wake up in the morning, does your ideal to-do list consist of a movie marathon, cuddling up under the covers with a hot drink, and having your favorite comfort foods delivered right to the door? While that list may be truly wonderful if the calendar reads Saturday or Sunday, it’s less than ideal if you’re right in the middle of a busy work week and need to up that work from home productivity.
We get it — we’re now on year two of work from home (hell? heaven? purgatory? maybe all of the above, depending on the day?) and it’s tough to get motivated. Like, really tough. For us WFH warriors, our offices now contain a TV fully stocked with Netflix, Showtime, HBO, and myriad other distractions, a kitchen packed with our favorite foods, and a bedroom that always seems to be beckoning us in for a quick nap. Plus, during the winter months, the sun starts setting around 4pm, so it’s easy to feel like it’s time to “call it a day” at, oh, 2:30.
But despite all this, there are ways to ramp up productivity as winter wanes and spring slowly comes into view. Here’s a few of our favorites to get you back on track.
It’s Time To Take Stock of Your Work From Home Productivity
Springtime is a great moment to take stock of where we are in the year. Are the challenges we were facing last year resolved, or on their way to being resolved? Are there new areas of improvement that we can now identify for 2021? It’s easy to succumb to negative self-talk by focusing only on those things that may have us “stuck.” Instead of falling into the habit of nursing those negative thoughts, start thinking of the areas in need of improvement in a way that will create excitement about the future, and about the possibilities that await if the necessary effort is expended.
Also, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate everything you achieved and conquered in the last few months. Taking stock of our successes is a confidence booster and will help inspire us to work even harder in the days to come.
Make A Change
Change may be daunting, but it’s also nearly always a good thing. How can you change up your day to ensure that you’re knocking out your most unpleasant tasks first, or tackling your most time-consuming projects when you have two or three uninterrupted hours to spare? Sometimes all we need is a basic restructure of daily operations.
You may have heard before that success in business “belongs to the brave.” It requires a certain amount of bravery to rethink your current strategies and approach to work to up that work from home productivity. If you need to ask your boss for an adjustment to your working hours, or to the type of projects you’re juggling, there’s no time like the present
Take A Day Off When Needed
At the beginning of the pandemic, those of us who were new to working from home might have felt like every day was just a bit easier without a commute, or a little like “taking a half-day” since we were still able to keep appointments with the cable guy, throw some food into the InstaPot for dinner, or put on a load of laundry between conference calls. That train of thought led many of us to thinking “I don’t really need to take a day off.” And with vacations a no-go worldwide, why bother taking days if we don’t need them?
Instead of considering time away from work as the enemy, accept the importance of physical and mental rest when looking to increase your output. Because when you improve your mental health and general happiness, you’ll amp up your productivity, too, without even trying.
More Self-Care (Spa Days Are Great, But We’re Talking Basics)
And by basics we mean: eating right, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. These things are crucial to keep that work from home productivity where it needs to be. Sounds easy enough, right? So, why do so many of us fail at it?
A study published by a prominent nutrition journal in 2011 found that even maintaining mild levels of hydration can significantly improve mood, concentration, and energy levels. And concentration and energy – not to mention mood! – are some of the most important building blocks of productivity.
When it comes to diet, filling your body with good-quality foods that are wholesome and rich in nutrients will get your intellectual and creative juices flowing. And with sleep, well, sleep is to productivity what regular maintenance is to a car. So, stop scrolling Instagram and really (really) turn out the lights, as early as you’re able.
READ MORE: How To Nail A Zoom Job Interview
Work On Future Plans
Drawing up your plans for the future — even if they’re really lofty goals that you know will take years to accomplish — is just as important as drawing up your budget. Setting out your goals and working out how you’ll reach them can be a huge motivator to getting shiz done.
And if you’re good to go on your goals, amazing. But what about others in your life? Being a mentor can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially during times like these when we may be feeling starved for “normal” human interaction. A little bit of mentoring can totally up your work from home productivity. See if you can help a friend, colleague, or loved one get clarity around their future plans. Whether it’s helping your child compile their resume, encouraging a friend to learn a new skill, or helping your sister decide what she wants to pursue in grad school, everyone feels better when they have clear goals they’re striving toward.
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