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The Importance of Creating and Sticking to Routines
Many of us are spending a lot more time at home. Including the workday. As we navigate this new way of working it is important to learn how to remain on track. But remaining on track can be difficult as we work from our kitchen tables without the built-in discipline of the office.
The expectations remain the same, but the environment is not. That isn’t always an easy transition. The key to finding success while working from home is creating a structure to help you combat even the most difficult challenges you may face while working remotely. By creating systems and routines for how to structure your time, you can create a similar structure that comes naturally when working in the office.
Schedule Your Day
It is important to have set working hours. If your employer has not given you a time frame for when you should be working create one. Knowing that you will be working 9-to-5 helps get you in the mindset that that time is for work.
Once you know when you are supposed to be working it is important to stay on schedule. To do this plan out what you are going to do over the course of the day and when. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize Google or Outlook calendar. Through these applications, you can create events and plan reminders that tell when you should be doing what. Plus, if you are in a meeting or have an important phone call both apps can let other people know that you’re busy.
Limit Social Media Use
Social media was designed to make it easy for you to quickly open the apps and browse content for hours. However, this convenience can make it even harder for you to focus on work.
To combat the urge to scroll on social media try logging out of all your accounts. By doing this you eliminate that convenience of simply being able to open the app and begin browsing. If that doesn’t work, consider installing an app or browser extension that blocks you entirely from social media and other distracting websites or apps during working times.
Remember to Take Breaks
While it is important to not get distracted it is also important to still take breaks. When taking these breaks, it is important to step away from your work entirely and leave the space you are working in if possible. By doing this and giving your brain a five-minute break when you do go back to your work your productivity and motivation will be improved.
Know When You Are the Most Productive
Throughout the day your motivation is going to ebb and flow but it is important to know when these ebbs and flows take place so you can plan around them. Use the times when you are going to be less motivated to do your simpler tasks like responding to emails. Save the times when you know you’re going to be the most productive for harder or more complex tasks.
Find What Works Best for You
Without the proper checks and balances in place, you can often find yourself losing motivation and unable to stay on track. That is why it is important to find a process that works best for your individual needs and preferences.
COVID-19 continues to present new challenges every day and it is now our job to find ways to work with and around these challenges. While some days may be more difficult than others it is important to remember that we will get through this. We will heal and we will do it, together.