Tips to Stay Productive While Working at Home
During uncertain times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has brought life around the world at a standstill. For those who are able to practice social distancing for work, this means working full-time from home, possibly for the first time ever. But this doesn’t mean you have to stop being a powerhouse at your job. Here are some tips to make working from home easier:
- Design a schedule
It’s easy to hit that snooze button and put off work until midday, but structuring your day as if you were going to the office will help you stay on track. On the flip side, it prevents you from working longer hours and gives you a distinguishable work and personal life. Plan out your lunch or any short breaks too. Having a break to look forward to or a rewards system could limit scrolling through social media or any kinds of distractions while you’re on the job. By having an agenda, you can check off more tasks on your to-do list, making you feel more accomplished and on top of your work.
- Find a nook & make it your workspace
Although it’s tempting to work in the comfort of your own bed, having a dedicated home office can help you mentally shift into work mode. If you don’t already have a desk, this could include places like the dining or kitchen table, a specific corner or even a makeshift table. Lay out the basics with office supplies and a chair comfortable enough to be in all day. Try to pick places that you don’t usually relax in and spots that are quiet. If you live in a crowded household, use noise-cancelling headphones or background music to help you focus.
- Dress for success
Staying in pajamas sounds like the comfiest plan but it can hinder you from being productive. The simple trick of changing out of pajamas can help keep a sense of routine and it will prepare you for the workday. If you usually wear makeup to work, keep doing so. Even though you may not be physically walking into your office, it can help you feel confident and bring normalcy in a time of unknown.
- Stay in touch digitally
Working from home and being in self-quarantine can get lonely, but you can still check up on your coworkers and stay up to date with your boss by making use of platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or Slack. You also want to be aware of the expectations and how new or existing assignments will be handled. The conversation doesn’t have to just revolve around work. If you usually spend your lunch break with a coworker, continue using that time to catch up. Staying connected as a community beyond the job itself can make moments like these feel less isolated.
- Use your commute time as new free time
The time you spent going to and from work was probably taken for granted for, and you’re probably glad you don’t have to honk at someone cutting you off on the highway or a delayed train. But the time you spent commuting actually helped you mentally transition from work into relaxation. When you’re done with the day, make sure to close off your work tabs so it’s a signal for yourself that you have left “the office.” Then, use your new free time by investing into any hobbies, working out, reading the book you never got to finish, or taking a walk around your neighborhood. It can help you decompress and be ready for the next day ahead.
- Green Tip: Minimize unnecessary electricity to help you and the environment
Even though you’re home now more than ever, there are still ways you can go green and reduce your electricity usage. Make sure to unplug any unused electronics, including chargers that aren’t plugged into any device. These “vampire” electronics eat up at your energy when you keep it plugged in. In the United States, the usage from idle electronics actually equals up to the annual output of 12 power plants! To avoid this, use a power strip to make it easier to switch on and off multiple devices. Turn off any unnecessary lights and take advantage of natural lighting by working near a window. When you’re done with the day, be sure to turn off your computer monitor instead of just leaving it on the screensaver.
As you work from home full-time, you shouldn’t have to be stressed about your energy provider on top of it all. City Power and Gas is here for you, even in the most challenging of times. We hope to provide you with green energy at affordable prices so you can stay home, stay digitally connected and stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.