Millions of workers have started to experience remote work for the first time in their lives. There are strategies you can adopt to stay on task when away from the office and co-workers. Remote work does take some adjustment. Here are some habits and strategies drawn from experience.
1. Work Regular Hours
Try to start your day at a set time, whether it’s 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. Get into work mode during working hours and set aside time to finish laundry, prepare dinner, relax etc. It can also help to change out of pajamas and get ready for the day as you normally would heading into work. This starts your morning off with intention.
2. Make Plans and Lists
Working from home involves some self-motivation and quite a bit of discipline. It can help to create a plan for each day of the week and what you would like to accomplish. Taking a few minutes each Sunday to put together a quick plan can help set intention for the week ahead. Accomplishing a task and crossing off a list item will give you the motivation to keep going and finish your tasks.
3. Skip or Delegate the Chores
It’s easy to throw in a load of laundry, but don’t try to vacuum or multitask with housework too much. Your work and home lives can get hopelessly tangled, so try to keep them separate and stay on task. With the kids out of school, it is time for them to step up and help around the house while you work. Creating a clear chore chart can help this dreaded process.
4. Work Hard and Then Turn it Off
Once you finish your tasks for the day during your set work time, don't forget that it is important to unplug and spend time with your family. Letting your work consume you all morning and all night will become exhausting. Be sure to create a "clock out" time and keep yourself accountable for staying clear of extra work.
5. Dealing with Kids
Not just working from home but also having children home from school is challenging. Still, the usual advice probably holds. When you’re with your kids, be with them, playing or coloring or sharing other activities. When you’re working, ask your kids to be patient. Many people will be easing household rules regarding screen time.
If you hope to be productive, don’t let them bug you every five minutes. How successful you’ll be will vary, depending on their age. But if you normally work in an office, you already have strategies for dealing with pesky people who try to interrupt you.