4 MIN READ6 ways to spend your time productively when working from home

Countries from all around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Malaysia is one of the countries being hit the hardest. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently implemented a nationwide movement control order from 18th March until 31st March 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many employers are requiring their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus. Working from home can be a lonely experience and could take some time to get used to. If you’re working from home for the first time or are struggling to be as productive as you like, here are some tips you can follow when working from home.

1. Create a dedicated office space

Find a separate room or a specific area in your home whereby you will be able to work in private regularly. A quiet place away from distractions around the house will prevent your mind from wandering too much and also will increase your focus and overall productivity.

If there isn’t a spare room in your home, you could instead dedicate a desk and a comfortable chair in an area with minimum traffic flow. By establishing a committed workspace, you wouldn’t be consistently reminded of the chores or unfinished personal business that you need to attend to and be focusing on the task at hand.

2. Set up a personalised home office

Working from home comes with its perks such as being able to set up your personalised workspace the way you always wanted. Create your sanctuary by adding elements that will promote a creative and inspiring ambience.

If there are any disturbances like a noisy dog or loud noises coming from your neighbour’s house, now might be the best time to invest in noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds. Moreover, you should also invest in a good computer and a comfortable chair to help you concentrate and be as productive as possible.

3. Set boundaries

Working from home might sound like a great idea, being able to work peacefully from the comforts of your residence however distractions can come in the form of roommates, siblings or parents. Ensure that you have communicated your expectations to your loved ones when it comes to your work area.

Setting boundaries around your workspace will guarantee that you would not be disturbed unless there is a case of an emergency. Inform the people in your life that during at-home work hours you’re unavailable and cannot be interrupted. Because ultimately, when intrusions happened, it will cause you to procrastinate or missed out on a deadline.

4. Develop a To-Do list

Having a to-do list will help your workflow when working from home. Set priorities on important or urgent tasks then work your way towards the simpler tasks towards the end of the day. Without your colleagues or manager reminding you to complete a task by a certain time, it will be very likely that you could overlook what needs to be done.

Thus, a list will help you to stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Besides that, it also aids in visualizing your progress so that you won’t miss out on any crucial tasks.

5. Schedule clear breaks

Working tirelessly throughout the day can be very strenuous to your physical and mental health. Although your to-do list may seem like it’s never-ending with multiple tasks, deadlines and scheduled conference calls, you should periodically take breaks in between your working day.

Set up a routine for when you’re working from home. Set a regular time for breakfast, lunch and short breaks so you will have an opportunity to recharge your batteries. Use your breaks to get away from your working area, talk to your family or go to other parts of your house to relax and unwind.

6. Choose a finish time and stick to it

You might be thinking that working at home gives you the freedom to pick your working hours and establish a better work-life balance. But do not be mistaken, working odd hours and getting caught up in your tasks might be detrimental to you in the long run.

It is important to know when the working day is over; this will help to take the stress and strain out of thinking of work around the clock. Knowing the time to call it quits on a day’s work will leave you feeling refreshed and motivated to start work for the next day.

Now that you have a flexible working option, you can start by doing the things that you’ve always put off on like reading that new novel, watching that podcast everyone is talking about or find a way to enhance your career.

Click here to read a related article in Chinese. 

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