Even though the United States has been in quarantine mode for almost two months doesn’t mean that we’ve mastered the art of working remotely.
“These days, our brains need to find their own lockdown mode to focus,” said 19 IDEAS PR & Communications Director Jon Tashjian. “The key is being honest with ourselves by leaning into change with a willingness to tinker.”
While change can be hard for some to accept, it’s also an opportunity for greatness.
“There’s a degree of acceptance that comes with it. Interruptions will happen. Breaking news comes more frequently. If we try to keep our old routines in this new game, we set ourselves up for disappointment,” said Tashjian. “We have to adapt. Working from home doesn’t mean you need to reinvent what works for you. Fine-tune it to meet your new environment.”
Here are some simple techniques for helping promote focus while working remotely:
Designate An Office Space
Many people have home offices, but with multiple family members working from home, many have had to find new spots within their living quarters to accommodate work.
While many people find comfort nestled in a comfy couch in their family room, it may not be the best working environment. Combining work in a space you utilize to unwind may cause distraction.
Embrace Early Mornings…
Since we don’t have the pressure of getting out the door in time to beat traffic it can be hard to be motivated to get up early. It’s important to realize that this is a time where so much can be accomplished before the day even starts.
“As a parent of two young children, it’s a reality that, when they’re up, you’re on the clock,” said Tashjian. “Getting up early gives me time that I can truly own and devote to brain food — exercise, music, reading, or catching up on work. It’s huge.”
…Or Stay Up Late
On the flip side, not everyone is a morning person. There have been studies indicating that creativity can peak into the late hours. It’s another opportunity to get things done while the occupants of the house sleep.
Create A Routine
Humans are creatures of habit. Figure out what schedule works best for you and your employer. Treat your day as you would if you were heading into the office.
Set your alarm, exercise, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, and take care of household responsibilities. Then start working.
It’s important to take a scheduled lunch and regular breaks while you work at home to do a quick rest and reset. It can be very easy to lose track of time while you’re home. You may end up skipping lunch or working well beyond your normal workday. It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you have a routine developed.
Change Your Scenery
If you find yourself in a productivity slump, pick yourself up and move to another location in your home. If the weather is nice, take a laptop outside to enjoy the beautiful day.
Take a quick break for a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes fresh air is the perfect medicine to refresh the mind.
Set Small, But Mighty Goals
Having goals is the perfect metric to measure our productivity. Working from home can give us a false sense of confidence. It can allow us to think we can do way more than our day allows.
“I learned early in my career that setting too many daily goals isn’t sustainable. This is amplified today,” said Tashjian. “If I can set small but mighty daily work priorities, each day feels more accomplished. This approach also helps to accommodate unexpected interruptions which — don’t kid yourself — will happen!”
Evolving Into Remote Work
As a society, we’ve all settled into a new normal together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Quarantine has been an exercise in convergence. Our personal and professional worlds are blended more now than ever before. But with the right mindset, this challenge can lead to new opportunities to improve our productivity — well beyond all of this. That’s its own motivation,” said Tashjian.
Special thank you to PR & Communications Director Jon Tashjian of 19 IDEAS for his contributions to this article.
The story was originally published on Medium.com.
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