Due to the unfortunate situation with COVID-19, lots of jobs have turned remote, while that is a great thing for some, others are struggling to maintain productivity and focus.
I've been working from home for around 2 years now, full time, 8 hours, in an enterprise company as a software engineer, here are some of the tips I think can prove quite useful if utilized correctly.
1. Create a strict schedule
Consistency is one of the fastest ways to build discipline, and great discipline results in focus and productivity. So, how do we build consistency when no one is forcing us to? Create strict schedules.
The hardest part of this task, at least for me, is the sleep cycle consistency, so that is what I would focus on the most. If you can make yourself go to sleep at a consistent time, and wake up early to get the morning boost - you're back on the horse!
Other things to watch out for regarding scheduling, is anything which can break your focus in those 8 working hours, which brings us to lunch and rest times. Having rest (and lunch of course) is extremely important, which goes without saying - what is more important in a WFH environment is keeping it consistent, so it does not surprise you and breaks your focus.
2. Do not rely on your willpower
While I have no doubt that some of you have great willpower and self-control to not watch Netflix, surf social media, or play video games, it is much easier to not use your willpower at all. What exactly do I mean by that?
Imagine your willpower as a muscle. You can use it for plenty of things, but eventually - it gets tired. A more concrete example would be working for 8 hours with your phone on the table, while you have the willpower not to surf social media, once you finish working, instead of working out, you will find it irresistible to watch Netflix or any quick gratification service. How do we prevent that?
Instead of resisting, completely remove it as an option.
- Turn off your phone (or put it in airplane mode)
- Use applications to block websites & addicting apps
- Lock your joystick in a time-locked box
While this might sound trivial, if you 100% block access to something, you are no longer using your precious willpower to resist it, thus resulting in further productivity in the day.
One of the best (and free) apps for restricting access to addicting applications and websites I know are:
- ColdTurkey (Windows & Mac)
- SelfControl (Mac only)
Keep in mind, you cannot fool these apps easily, when they restrict, they restrict for good.
3. Dress as you would for work
While I am in no way a psychologist, I can 100% tell you that this works for me. If I feel like I am dressed to work, I will work. It is that simple.
Work from home offers you many privileges, such as working in your pajamas, watching Netflix whenever you wish to do so, playing games, but sometimes it is good to avoid some of them in order to increase your productivity & focus.
Top comments (2)
The "dress as you would for work" thing is real, always works for me. Also, having meals at the time you usually would at the office (no snacks in between 😉) might help.
And if you're otherwise using a work PC but now forced to use your own, create a new user account exclusively for work. This way you can log off when the working hours are over.
I've found your tips really useful. Thanks for sharing.