Staying Productive Whilst Working at Home

Incessant zoom calls, a lack of interaction and low motivation are all elements that we have become accustomed to and they have certainly been taxing. Nevertheless, planning an adequate routine can refine our experience of working from home and help us to enhance our work.

Planning the day is imperative in creating a productive and stress-free schedule for the days that all seem to blend into one. Splitting up the day and balancing time induces a more profitable, yet enjoyable day. Incorporating exercise into your routine is crucial for a healthy body and a healthy mind. Everyone is at home more so we may be eating and sitting more. This could very easily lead to weight gain or the formation of unhealthy habits. Walking, running, following an exercise class on YouTube or using home exercise equipment are all brilliant exercises when there is no access to a gym or leisure centre. Going for long walks is a perfect way to unearth the local area and become acquainted with new people! Integrating exercise and work is beneficial for your well-being and for productivity at work.

The places that we work can influence our productivity too. I believe that separating your workspace and your relaxation place can really reflect on our motivation and the resulting work. Working at a desk or a table that is separate to your bedroom will make it less tempting to neglect our work. We also should ensure that this area remains clean and organised so that our focus can remain on the work only. If you struggle to keep your workspace or your house tidy, adding housework to your routine would be beneficial.

Steps for planning:

1) Begin by writing down what needs to be done, such as your work for the day or university/school work. These must be prioritised and will occupy the main portion of the day; they can be used to plan everything else around.

2) Note down breaks, start and finish times.

3) Write down a list of things you would like to get done during the day like housework or reading for university.

4) Write down activities that you would like to do, like watching a TV show.

5) Time dedicated to eating and exercising needs to be incorporated.

Once you have written down all these events, organise them in a way that suits you! Remember a workday should not solely be dedicated to work.

If your workday is flexible, it would be beneficial to complete most of the workload during your most productive hours, these usually span over the mid-late morning and the early evening. This is the period in which you create your best quality work. This way, you can wake up and have a nutritious and energy-filled breakfast, be creative and productive and have a relaxing evening.

The days can become mundane when everyday appears identical to the latter, so our routine must encompass some novel activities. In the first lockdown, many people sought new hobbies. Despite where the world is currently, there is no reason why this can’t happen again whilst working around other commitments. Doing an online Zumba class, gardening or learning a skill are great ways to stay occupied and add something new to your routine. You will be more optimistic towards working from home as there are other things to anticipate.

Remaining busy is the key to having exciting days and staying distracted from the world around us, but it is equally essential to incorporate ample breaks into our routine. Sometimes, doing nothing is equally as important. Dedicating time to just de-stress and unwind allow us to return to our work in a better and more motivated headspace. We all know how it feels to work tirelessly and end up feeling utterly exhausted. However, when this happens, our quality of work diminishes significantly from what it would be when we are motivated and energised. Keep busy but remember to take advantage of periodic pauses.

Contribution by Tara Reynolds, undergraduate student at the University of Liverpool.

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