Companies not just here in the Philippines but all around the world have implemented mandatory work from home amid the COVID-19 crisis to limit the movement of people hence controlling the spread of virus.
Ever since the news about the virus blew up some time in December last 2019, months passed by and it then spread around the world affecting a lot of lives. All of this happened in the blink of an eye. No one was prepared. The government, the hospitals, the businesses and the citizens- we are all left horrified wishing and praying these were all just a nightmare.
While we are praying for the safety of each one of us, the safety of all our frontliners, for the scientists to discover the cure the soonest and for the virus to stop spreading, as cliche as it may sound, “life still goes on”.
Consider yourself blessed if the company where you are working did not freeze the operation and continue with the work from home scheme. If you’re still coping up with this kind of setup and looking for some tips for productivity, keep on reading as I share mine.
Before I proceed, I’m Jack, a Digital Marketing Specialist from i4 Asia and we’re lucky that amid this crisis, we are working from home and our clients did not leave us hanging (thank you clients!). And like you, I’m also kinda struggling with this kind of setup at first since I was never prepared. But here are six basic things that I’ve learned to practice after a few weeks of doing so.
1. Get ready for the day as if you’re going to the office. Get up to your alarm. You can snooze it upto 5 times because why not? But of course, it depends on how early you’ve set your alarm. I usually set mine 2 hours before my working hours. And when you have finally earned that enough strength to get up, do it and then prepare your breakfast. May it be rice partnered with your favorite easy-to-fry food or it could be a sandwich with your classic-ally-in-times-of-hunger instant noodles, the most important thing is you have your coffee! Ever heard of that DIY Dalgona Coffee? You can make yourself one, too! Or if you prefer chocolate drink or tea, it’s your call! 🙂 You could watch TV, read the newspaper or check social media while eating your breakfast to stay updated with everything that’s happening around. After all these, take a shower and wear the comfiest and casual wear you have so you’ll feel relaxed while working.
2. Start working on your dedicated workspace. Working from home may sound cool not until you get distracted with the smallest possible things you didn’t know could interrupt you from doing your tasks. That small dirt you’ve seen across your table while working may be one so I suggest, you also dedicate a few minutes to clean your workspace before you start working. If your room is not designed for this kind of setup because you didn’t see it coming (like I do) and you don’t have a comfy chair to sit on while working and tired of being tired quickly, you could use your sofa pillow to lessen your back pain. It’s way better if you set it up near a window as natural light can improve your mood and focus but if there’s no available space near you window, just make sure that you have a good source of light. Keep only the important items near your space to avoid distractions. Even your cat could be a distraction because one minute, you’re working, the other minutes, you’ll suddenly find yourself playing with them and away from your laptop so you might want to close your door to stay focused. (Occasional pet visits are good though!)
3. Make a to-do list to manage your tasks. If you’re tired of just listing your tasks on a notebook because it might eventually go missing and you wouldn’t be able to go back if you wanted to remember when you did a specific task, there are a lot of helpful tools on the internet like Google Calendar or monday.com where you can manage and monitor the status of your tasks while your managers or your teammates could also view it.
4. Take approved breaks. Refuel with a nutritious meal for your lunch so you’ll have strength for another few hours of work. It is also important to do stretching to help ease some muscle pain, eye strain and stress. You could also play with your pets during break to lessen your stress.
5. Play background music while working. You could play your favorite playlist to jazz yourself up while working. But if you’re the type of person who gets easily distracted with familiar songs because you tend to sing to it (like me!), you could play instrumental music or songs that you haven’t heard before so you could focus on your task.
6. Take good care of yourself. I’m including this on the list but note that this should be practiced always. Do not disregard your physical and mental health. Stay connected with your family and friends. Not everyone has the ability of turning this crisis into a good one so it’s normal to feel anxious at times but what we could do right now is to stay physically and mentally healthy. Stay at home if you don’t have important things to do outside. Pray for everyone especially for our frontliners! Lastly, if we have the capability to help, help other people who are currently struggling with their daily lives.
Hope this will help you one way or another! If you have more tips in mind, feel free to share yours.