Many of us have been thrust into a new way of working, forced to swap the office for the kitchen table. And whilst plenty embraced this newfound freedom, the reality is that it takes a very disciplined person to be as productive in this new space as they would have been with the threat of the boss looking over their shoulder.
There are just too many distractions. The coffee break turns into a quick TV break and then into a couple of episodes of a boxed set. The 5 minutes in the fresh air turns into a long walk in the park. But it isn’t hard to get into a routine, you just have to have will power. Set yourself work hours with defined breaks. Set out the day’s goals and stick to them. Be your own boss and be tough on yourself. But not too tough, you also need to reward yourself for sticking to the plan. It’s all about balance.
Rewards come in many forms but the best are those which open new doorways. It is hard to surprise yourself with a gift but try anyway. Challenge your own limits, buy a kayak and hit the water, take up running, buy yourself the that you can afford and head out into the wilds for a bit of target practice. The art is to do something the total opposite of your home-working routine. If it involves fresh air, a new skill and some exercise, then all the better.
And productivity isn’t just about how much effort you put in, it is about having the right tools for the job. If you are expected to work from home on a laptop on the kitchen table then make sure that you have something which is up to the job. An underpowered lap-top and a spotty wi-fi connection aren’t going to bring the best out of you when you spend your time yelling at “that stupid machine!” Make sure that you are set up with the and any other equipment you need. And remember this is work, so get the boss to cover the costs.
And every now and then, after a long day before the keyboard, treat yourself with some comfort food as you curl up on the sofa to (legitimately) watch TV. Obviously don’t become reliant on the convenience of the many food delivery services that are vying for your dollar, but an indulgent reward every now and then is the perfect motivation for hitting your goals. And as this is a time of change and exploration, why not try something different from that usual pepperoni pizza that you always order. Try a different flavor like this Chicken Fajita from Speedo Pizza. Try sushi or West Indian food, order a Lebanese platter or even a . The world is a big place and if you can’t visit it at the moment you can at least sample its culinary delights.
There are many benefits to be had when working from home and I’m sure many businesses will be adopting a lot of what they have learned from this period of upheaval into future business models. And for you, the lone soldier plugging away in the corner of the spare bedroom, it is also a time of great opportunity. You just have to set a few ground rules first.