A large portion of American workers are now facing a similar situation: how can I adapt to my new remote working environment?
Working from home can have many positives – including increased productivity and overall happiness – while also bringing a new set of daily challenges.
Remote work is going to test your ability to adapt. If you’re conscientious about how you approach your everyday routines, you can pass this test and walk out of this time period with an improved ability to drive productivity and manage your day efficiently.
Keep a consistent morning routine
A sense of normalcy is essential. Eat a healthy breakfast, get dressed as usual and go through your typical morning rituals so they don't drag into the rest of your day.
Your standard work from home routine will have a bit of a hole – your former commute. Repurpose this time to take a brief walk outside (followed by a thorough hand wash), a 20-minute yoga video, or read a book or articles about your industry to inspire you for your day.
Write a detailed to-do list for each day
Anyone with young kids, pets or a full household knows one universal truth: you will inevitably experience interruptions. To combat these, start each day by writing down tasks to-do and commit to completing them. So when your cat won’t let you write another word until you pet him, or your toddler starts screaming for a snack, your to-do list will get you right back on track.
Communicate with coworkers during breaks
At the office or work-from-home, you need breaks throughout the day. Optimize that time by de-stressing with your colleagues, just like you would in-person. Setup a virtual happy hour, share memes through instant messages or make time to just chat on the phone for 10 minutes. This helps keep morale high and resets your energy to power through that to-do list.
Manage your calendar for breaks and working hours
It’s easy to become distracted and lose discipline when you’re potentially working less than 20 feet away from where you binge your favorite TV shows. Focus on improving your time management skills by scheduling breaks and adhering to a calendar to set boundaries. You might even come out of your remote-working-phase with a better ability to set your day up for happiness, productivity and success.
Look to structured techniques if you need to
The Pomodoro method
This popular time management technique encourages you to work smarter, not harder, by planning breaks and focusing your time for maximum efficiency. The idea is to work in 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks, leading in sequence to a larger break.
The “Get Things Done” Method
GTD encourages you to break your larger goals into smaller actions, increasing your visibility into how much time the tasks on your to-do-list actually take to complete.