The COVID-19 pandemic has confined us to our homes for quite some time now, and it’s normal to start feeling a bit fatigued. Going out to dinner, hanging out at friends’ houses, and going to the gym are all memories we remember fondly and hope to experience again soon.
This fatigue can have a direct effect on our productivity. Working from home can make things feel even more monotonous than normal during a long workday, as we rarely get the change of scenery that comes with going into the office.
If you feel like your productivity at home has been consistently dwindling — you’re not alone! It is entirely common to feel unproductive in our professional and personal lives once in a while or when we start to burn out. The good news? There are a ton of ways to fix it!
Practicing some healthy habits to stay on top of things won’t take much work at all. In fact, if you follow some of these simple tips and tricks, you might find yourself getting a little boost of motivation to get ahead on things sooner than you think!
Why is Productivity Important?
Work is a big part of the day, and it’s a societal norm that everyone needs to do at some point or another. But work can be a major stressor, especially when increased workloads or responsibilities cause excess strain on mental wellbeing.
Productivity is important because it ensures that responsibilities are being completed efficiently and healthily. When you can stay on top of your work throughout the day, it means that you won’t have to think about your projects and responsibilities once your shift ends. This can give you more time and head space for relaxing activities that make the most out of your free time.
What Causes Productivity To Decline?
In the workplace, there are a number of reasons why you may be feeling more unproductive than normal. A lack of training is a big contributor, because if you’re inadequately prepared to complete a certain task, it will naturally become more difficult to conduct it.
On top of that, inconsistent communication between managers and employees, ineffective organization structure, and workplace stress may all play factors in a decreased level of productivity.
But with so many of us working from home, a new factor has emerged: distractions. In an office setting, it can be difficult to focus on stimuli besides work because the location is designed for that specific purpose. However, our homes were never meant to double as our office space.
Kids, pets, roommates, and unsuitable work environments are just a few different examples of external factors that can hamper our productivity. Not to mention, never having the option to change scenery by going into the workplace can make the job feel a bit more stale than normal.
With this said, remember that all of this is out of your control! These are all natural byproducts that come from working from home. And not to mention, it’s nice being able to attend meetings from our bedroom with our pets curled up next to us.
How To Be Productive From Home
If you’re feeling out of sorts from the stressors of being home, there are some ways you can try to keep yourself pumping throughout the workday.
When working from home, our occupational lives and personal lives have become meshed with one another. This can make it tough to understand where work starts and free time begins. To combat this, it’s important to establish boundaries.
One way to do this is by giving yourself specific work hours to follow everyday. For example, if you decide to work 9-5, make sure you start and stop at exactly that same time everyday. This will let you know that an end to your workday is coming, which will let you focus on the tasks at hand.
Also, establish breaks for yourself throughout the day. Burnout is entirely real, and if you’re too focused on getting assignments done, your fatigue might actually cause you to perform poorly. Allow yourself to take breaks whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. When you come back to work, the chances are high that you’ll be ready to tackle your responsibilities.
Especially if you have children in the home, it’s important to establish physical boundaries as well. Designate a room to be your office space, if possible, and tell your children that you are not to be bothered at specific times of the day. This will give you necessary privacy to focus on your job while simultaneously teaching your children to be respectful of personal space.
Feeling tired is one of the most detrimental forces to productivity. Make sure you are getting a good night’s rest every night so that you wake up feeling refreshed. Consider unwinding at night by putting away your phone 30 minutes before bed, or practicing meditation before you go to sleep.
Caffeine is also a great way to stay energized from morning till dawn. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee actually have a ton of benefits related to safely keeping you awake throughout the day. Drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee can help boost alertness and increase focus.
With that said, you shouldn’t drink caffeine too late in the day, as it can disrupt your sleep cycle and cause you to feel tired in the morning. If you’re looking for a boost of energy that won’t interfere with a good night’s rest, consider trying CBD oil.
Regular usage of CBD can support cognition, helping to increase your focus. It also provides holistic balance physically and mentally, which can give you a more peaceful headspace to de-stress during a particularly inundating workday.
Set Goals and Stick With Them
Throughout the day, pay attention to when you are most productive. Do you tend to do better work in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Depending on which time of day works best for you, block that time off for work.
To-do lists are fantastic tools to implement for at-home productivity. Writing out everything you need to get done in a day is a great way to visualize the workload that you’re up against. Plus, crossing things off and physically seeing your workload be accomplished can be very satisfying, giving you incentive to keep pushing.
Customize Your Environment
One of the benefits of working from home is that you can have more freedom in being able to cater your environment to your liking. Instrumental music can help increase productivity and keep your mind sharp.
Just be sure that the music doesn’t distract you from work. Music with lyrics can be a particular diversion, just because the lyrics might cause you to lose focus on the task at hand by disrupting your train of thought. But if you find that catchy tunes work for you, then by all means blast the radio!
You can also make your home workspace its own oasis with your favorite decor. This is a luxury that is unavailable in most office settings. Pick decor that will make you feel comfortable and put you in a good mood so that you don’t dread having to do your work every morning.
Candles and essential oils are fantastic for productivity, as their aromas have shown to sharpen focus and increase workflow. You can even put a few drops of mint CBD oil into a diffuser for a truly calming experience before bedtime. Oil diffusers and other scented items are easy ways to enhance your ability to get the job done.
Keep An Eye On Your Mental Health
We are all living through a very strange time in history, and feelings of sadness, stress, and loneliness are entirely normal. With that in mind, be sure to set aside time to continue socializing with friends and loved ones.
Humans are social creatures, so without that necessary interaction, our mental wellbeing can become disoriented. This spells bad news for productivity during the day, because it can cause use to lose focus and feel moody.
One of the great things about working in an office is being able to socialize with coworkers, but you don’t have to lose that just because you’re working from home! Zoom, Skype, and Facetime are blessings of the technological era, allowing us to foster relationships even from afar.
Staying productive at home can be hard, but not impossible. By establishing strict boundaries, setting personal goals, staying energized, and focusing on mental wellbeing, you’ll be ahead of schedule in no time.
Having the ability to customize our home workspace and work at our own pace is a great benefit of working from the house, and looking on the bright side is imperative for keeping positive. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up continuing to work from home even after your office opens back up!
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