With people across the world following advice to practice social distancing and to work from home where possible, many of us are currently in the process of switching up our daily routines. This can feel like an unsettling task, especially during such uncertain times. However, there are lots of things you can do with your new workspaces to make them not only a productive place to be, but somewhere you can feel calm, focused and positive.
With the first day of spring now officially upon us, this is usually a time where we break out of our winter shells. The start of this new season brings with it our motivation to spring clean our desks and freshen up our homes as we welcome in the much-missed sunshine.
So, whether you’ve already started working from home, or are currently preparing to do so, this is the perfect chance to spring clean your workspace and set yourself up to continue with your working routine as seamlessly as possible.
Before setting up camp on the sofa, take time to assess where in your home you are going to work most efficiently. For most of us, finding a space which is quiet, with limited distractions, is what keeps us feeling most productive. Is there a spare room you can use to separate your work and leisure time? If you live alone, or in a smaller flat, try and find a decent table that’s large enough for you to comfortably carry out your work. It may sound obvious at first, but simple things like ensuring your screens are at a comfortable height and that you have enough support from your chair will make all the difference to your comfort levels – and ultimately, your health and productivity.
Once you’ve established your new deskspace, take the time to arrange your new space to help you stay motivated in the long run. We all know the saying ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ – decluttering your workspace and keeping this as clear as possible will help you keep your mind clear and free to focus.
Ensuring your mental well-being is being looked after is vital when working from home and social distancing yourself from others. Instill a sense of calm around your workspace by surrounding yourself with items to help put your mind at ease. Perhaps lighting a candle or keeping a mug of tea close by can help you feel comfortable at your new work station and keep you from feeling distracted from wandering around the house. Even positioning your new desk close to a window can help ensure you can soak up the natural spring sunshine, and let in a wave of fresh air to keep you alert, happy and focused.
Chaotic workspaces distract from our ability to focus, process information and work efficiently on our tasks. So, try adding some fresh plants to your desk. A study by NASA found that plants quite literally clean the air around you as they remove indoor toxins from the air. Small adjustments to your workspace such as this will do wonders for your motivation and sense of well-being.
The first few days of working from home can feel invigorating, as the change in scenery from your usual office can bring with it a fresh sense of motivation. However, as the days dwindle on, it can soon feel like you’re stuck in a rut, especially for those that are new to remote working and are not used to being separated from their colleagues.
Setting yourself a routine that you can stick to will help you to stay focused throughout the day. Set your alarm for the same time each morning to help your body clock maintain its normal waking pattern, and be sure to also give yourself plenty of breaks. In our normal working days, it’s common for us to stop for a chat with a colleague or step away from our desks for a walk to the kitchen. These breaks are vital for helping us to recharge and can be easy to ignore when working alone. So, if you’re popping to the kitchen to make a coffee at home, take this time to decompress before getting stuck back into your next task.
It can be easy to feel isolated when working from home, but with the added requirement of social distancing upon us, the sense of loneliness can feel particularly overwhelming for some.
While you may be checking up on your friends and family, don’t forget to reach out to your colleagues who are experiencing the same change in routine. Keeping in touch with your team is vital for ensuring clear communication is maintained long distance. With task management tools such as Ayoa, you can use instant messaging and task comments to communicate with your teammates on the progress of your work. With tasks and comments together in one place, Ayoa helps make remote communication focused and easy-to-navigate – saving you time switching between apps and scrolling through dense group chats for work-related updates. For example, you could set up a group chat just for your department to stay connected and to chat, and then use task comments to discuss task-specific actions that are easy to find and won’t get lost in conversation.
Distractions are inevitable, whether you’re in the office or at home. The key to mastering these is understanding what your main distractions are, and how you can minimize these in order to keep you focused throughout the day.
Make a note of the things that you find are breaking your focus and remove them from your immediate working area. For example, this could be the distraction of the TV from your living room, or others pottering around the house. If you find the constant pinging of emails or instant messages distracting, try setting your out of office for an hour to let people know not to disturb you while you work on a particular task. Another great factor to consider are the things that actually help to boost your productivity. Some music in the background, for example, can help many people focus, as opposed to working in complete silence. Research has shown that certain types of music actually help to improve your focus and productivity while working or studying.
Organizing your tasks effectively also plays a key part in helping you to shut out any niggling distractions. Task Boards in Ayoa allow you to break up your tasks via the projects you’re working on. It’s essentially like having a digital to-do list, except instead of one never-ending list, you can filter your tasks into relevant areas. You can then use the My Planner feature to arrange your own personal priorities across your entire to-do list, ensuring you stay on track.
Staying indoors all day can very quickly lower your energy levels, making you feel lethargic and in low spirits. Where possible, factor time into your routine to step outside for some fresh air. The spring weather brings with it the welcome addition of extra sunshine amongst our usual rain showers, but also lighter evenings. Make the most of this change in seasons to step outside and boost your energy. This will help you to come back to your tasks feeling refreshed and motivated to jump straight back in.
Finally, once your working hours are done for the day, take this time to go for a walk to switch off. When our home environments become our workspaces, stepping away from here to go for a walk or a jog will help to clear your mind, keep you active and ensure your mind is well-rested for another productive working day.
Found yourself working from home and looking for the right tool to help you make a seamless transition from the office? Ayoa’s task management and team collaboration tool is here to help you manage your tasks, keep on top of deadlines and stay connected with your colleagues – wherever you are in the world. Discover how Ayoa can help you work from home and sign up for FREE today to get started.
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