With millions of people ordered to stay indoors to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, many people are finding themselves with a lot of free time. For those who work from home, staying productive in the best of times is not an easy fit let alone during a global crisis like the current situation. So much has changed around the world and there’s a lot of uncertainty about where we will be in the next six months, one year, or five years. Most companies are facing real challenges and most of them have already shut down. Those that are still running have shifted to doing business remotely. This means a new way of communicating and working. So, how can you maximize your time during the coronavirus crisis while maintaining good health?
Set Daily Targets
As an employee working remotely, you need to have daily targets and set clear guidelines to help you stay focused. Tasks have to be completed on time, and you can select the hours when you're productive the most. Several studies have revealed that those who work in the morning are more productive and successful than those who work later in the day. Plan to wake up early and complete all your tasks – then you can have the rest of the day to work on other things like house chores or have family time.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Social Media
Researchers have found that a huge percentage of people are consuming lots of content unconsciously. Whether it's spending the better part of the day on social media or watching the news, it's taking a toll on some people. Right now, negative news is hitting us from left, right, and center with new cases and deaths being registered every day. Considering that news travels fast these days, you can be overwhelmed with all the negativity flying around. To avoid this, minimize how much time you spend online and choose to watch the news only a few times a day, say in the morning and evening. Instead, opt to participate in other uplifting activities that will bring a positive vibe.
Whatever You Do, Do It Comfortably
If you were used to a suit and tie five days a week, it's time to get comfy with sweatpants, t-shirts, baseball cap or anything that makes you comfortable. Does your work involve chatting on the phone most of the hours? Go hands-free. It's easier and less tiring than holding your phone to your ear for a long period. Plus, it makes it easier to multitask. Similarly, find a room with good lighting and use a comfortable chair and desk. You’ll be more productive if you create a comfortable working environment at home.
Procrastinating Might Actually Be Good
This might sound counterintuitive, but studies show that procrastination can make you more productive at work. But how? Well, sometimes while working on a project, your mind might be blank or foggy not knowing where to start. But, when you put off working on a project for a while, you're likely to come back reinvigorated. The concept was practiced in ancient Egypt and viewed as a way of helping people get back to work with great ideas when they were ready. So long as you accomplish your daily target, procrastinating shouldn't be a negative thing, but rather a “pause” that allows you to come up with new ideas.
Be Neat or Messy, Whatever Suits You
It depends on what works best for you. Some people don’t mind a messy table or working environment while others perform best when their desks are neat. Whichever style suits you best, make the most of it. Contrary to popular belief, being messy doesn’t necessarily affect productivity. What’s more, not everyone can organize a workplace, and rather than waste time cleaning up their desks, they should focus on the projects at hand.
Most people feel like they need to do a lot in a short time. But, this might be counterproductive since you may not perform optimally. Try to focus on one task and do it to the best of your ability. It's easier to accomplish tasks faster if you work on one thing rather than brush on several tasks and leave them pending.
Plan Your Day
How you start your day determines what you’ll achieve. If you plan your day early, you'll find that you can do more and still manage time for yourself. Experts advise us to work with a plan. Failing to plan the few hours you have in a day will leave you feeling like you wasted precious time. Rather than sink deep in those feelings, why don’t you take a pen and paper or your phone and decide how you want to spend the day? At the end of it all, you'll feel more positive for having achieved everything or most of the things that you intended.
Admittedly, this is the most difficult time for everyone in the entire world. No one is exempt from this virus and the economy is hitting rock bottom and social distancing is the new normal. Despite everything, we are encouraged to stay positive, help others, protect ourselves and stay productive while doing that.
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