It’s no secret that since 2020 the working environment has changed massively, the increase of remote working has definitely been one of those changes. Overall employers have found that working from home doesn’t impact negatively on the efficiency of their workers, but we at Funky Pigeon know it can be hard to stay motivated whilst in your home space.
So, we’ve collected a few tips and tricks to help you to concentrate and stay productive for those times you aren’t in the workplace. These simple ideas will still be relevant if your boss calls you back into the office full-time!
Find Out the Priorities & Make a To-Do List
Easier said than done right? Especially when everything feels like a priority! What we’ve found helps is to consider which items are time-sensitive. Think about a task in your working week that can be delayed a little and focus on the things that can be achieved throughout the day. If you aren’t sure or need some guidance on this, ask your manager or supervisor – it never hurts to be sure.
Once your priorities are clear, write them down! It’s amazing how many little things we can forget on a daily basis and making a note or plan, for your working day can better make sure nothing is overlooked. Even if the point is as simple as writing a follow-up email – make a note. Additionally, crossing off tasks on a to-do list helps to keep up a sense of accomplishment throughout the week.
Set Realistic Deadlines
Following along from the prioritising theme: keep deadlines. Now, not everyone enjoys or even thrives under the pressure of deadlines, but it can assist you to keep your work on track and prevent procrastination from sneaking up. If you have a task that you keep skipping over or avoiding as it’s not a priority, or time-sensitive – set yourself a deadline.
It’s natural to avoid bigger tasks in favour of ticking off your to-do list, but setting those goals and tackling those tasks can make your week feel way more productive. If it’s a loose ‘by the end of next week’ target, you’ll find it keeps the job fresh in your mind. Ideal for those busy working periods. However, it works best if you make sure your goals and deadlines are REALISTIC. It can be really demotivating when you aim to achieve something and then struggle to get it finished. A way to keep motivated is to make sure that your long-term and short-term working goals are sensible and won’t cause you to become worried or stressed.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
Everyone can be a little guilty of neglecting their working environment, especially when life gets super busy. They do say that a tidy space is a tidy mind so, why not make sure your desk or table is clear of crumbs and other distractions? Even if you take a couple of minutes a day to straighten out your working area – we find it’s surprising how much it can reset your focus for the day.
Further to keeping your workspace clean, it can be beneficial to have a place to work where you can differentiate between working hours and leisure time. If you’re able, we recommend having a room you can shut the door on after you’ve clocked out. Working from home has blurred the lines between the work and home life balance so keeping your workspace neat and separate certainly maintains that balance.
Be Aware of Procrastination
Procrastination means that you’re avoiding or delaying starting something you know you should actually be doing, and it comes in many forms! A little procrastination here or there is natural and is part of our human nature. That being said, we recommend being aware of when and how you procrastinate to help get you back on track when it comes to crunch time. For example, avoiding a harder task in favour of smaller, easier ones is a way to procrastinate and so is checking your phone or making a cup of tea. The trick is to be aware when you are doing these things so you can take back control of your day. Plus, delaying the inevitable will only make the taste more difficult when you come to do it.
Have The Correct Kit
Members of the Funky Pigeon team found that their productivity increased once they had the same set-up at home as they did in the office. If you’re used to having two screens, a keyboard, mouse, and a stand for your tech – it goes without saying that having the same arrangement is crucial to maintaining that office feel. Don’t be afraid to mention to your boss or the individual in charge of IT that to work at your best you need to be fully equipped. Being comfortable and prepared to work is one less thing to think about and allows you to get going without any hiccups.
Look After Yourself
Get Some Fresh Air or Take a Break
This is something that is preached often and for good reason… we all need a rest sometimes and that means time away from your computer during working hours. Even if it’s as basic as turning off your screen and reading for a bit, take time to unplug and have a little me time. If the weather is nice (or at least dry), go for a walk or get some fresh air. A change of scenery is a great way to retune your mindset. We find that errors are much easier to spot with some fresh post-lunchtime eyes!
Listen To Music
Although music can be distracting for some but for others, it can help stimulate focus at work! If you’re stressed why not play some jazz or classic tunes to help mellow you during working hours? For those able to be productive whilst listening to their favourite songs, it can definitely be a mood booster which in turn can help keep us motivated.
Learn The Power of The Word ‘No’
It is one hundred percent OK for you to simply say NO during working hours and it is never a reflection of you working abilities. If your plate is already too full it can be hugely empowering to say, ‘I’m sorry but I don’t think I have the time for this task’ and that’s a reasonable reply. In an ideal world, we would be able to do everything and get ahead of the game, but life can get in the way! If you’re feeling like you are unable to say no, think about why that might be and try to speak to a colleague who can help support you.
Start Your Day Right & Eat Breakfast
Start as you mean to go on! Wake up and be productive and hopefully (fingers crossed), the rest of your day will follow that pattern. So be sure to make your bed, drink a cup of tea or coffee, and prep yourself for a delicious breakfast. Whether it’s a sweet porridge or some savoury eggs, make a brekkie that will keep you fueled for lunch to help give you the best start to your work shift. Besides, who’s going to be at their best when their stomach is grumbling?
Hopefully, these tips and ideas will help you to maintain your productivity whilst working from home or even in the office once you’ve had the go-ahead. The key tips to take away from this in order to be more productive and motivated whilst working are: get organised, think practically and look after yourself – the motivation should follow!