04 Dec 2020 17:53 IST

Staying motivated while working from home

Compartmentalising our work and non-work lives and maintaining boundaries can help avoid a WFH burnout

The pandemic has brought on a lot of changes. The way professionals work has transformed. While some feel elated to work from the comfort of one’s own home, others feel lethargic. Not working in a traditional office space means more distractions or an ambience that decreases your efficiency. Not to forget patchy Wi-Fi, power outages, and lapse in communication.

Let us lay out some simple, doable tips that you can practise to improve productivity:

Setting a practical schedule

A realistic schedule allows you to enjoy your work. Reducing the pressure and not setting overly ambitious goals keeps you motivated. Keep a small to-do list for the day and update the the list continuously. This brings a sense of accomplishment, and keeps the fire burning. Remember that procrastination will only work for so long and might put you in an even more stressful situation down the road.

Dress up for the job

For many, waking up and showering is rejuvenating. Dressing up makes you feel confident and improves self-esteem. Staying in cosy pyjamas can keep you groggy or sleepy for a longer duration of time. So, when working from home, getting dressed helps you keep the momentum going.

Arrange a separate workspace

Depending on where you live, you can create your workspace. This could be a separate room, a desk or a corner in the house. Having your computer/laptop with a clock can set you in the mood to work. Keeping some motivational quotes, a healthy snack, newspapers or journals can help you feel productive. You can add some aesthetics to your desk by having a small succulent.

Set boundaries

While it is okay to attend emergencies, request your family or room-mates to cooperate with you and not create distractions. A quiet, distraction-free environment is of key importance to increase productivity. If you find that your boundaries are not working, explain clearly that working from home does not mean you are available to attend to them constantly.

Having strict work hours

Following disciplined work hours not only ensures you are meeting deadlines, but also allows you some time to relax. An eight-hour schedule also gives time for you to take breaks. Spend your break away from your desk or screens. Eat your meals around your family or by yourself. If you’re done early, do some sudoku, read a journal, but try to avoid the internet which can lure you into extending your breaks.

Eating healthy food

Snacking often or consuming unhealthy food can cause mood swings. Instead, eating healthy can charge up your brain and help you focus. The brain uses 20 per cent of our calorie needs. If you live alone, prepare your food early and store them, so that you can whip a whole meal up in no time. This also helps you to relax during breaks and not be worrying about meals.

Get some sun

Practise some form of exercising in the morning. It is okay to do it post-work, in the evening, as well. Doing some low-intensity workouts like walking in the park, or practising yoga in your terrace eases your mind and keeps you calm. If you want to jazz things up a bit, listen to music. There are several playlists available online to boost productivity.

Now that you have some of these tips, try to make it a habit. The pandemic has been tough on all of us, but we need to make the most of the resources we have and push ourselves to our maximum potential. Creating our own incentives helps us to continuously progress.