MARCH 27, 2020

Let me work it


Working from home? Here are some tips and tricks to stay productive while on lockdown.

We’re two weeks into quarantine, and while our future remains uncertain, the world doesn’t really stop spinning. Most of us are working from home for the time being, and for people who aren’t used to this setup, it’s easy to feel as if nothing can really be done. Trust me, we’ve all been there. As a freelancer myself, I’ve come to learn a bunch of ways to maximize my productivity while staying at home. All it takes is a dash of discipline and structure to your day, and you’re all set.

Here are some tips to help you ace working from home:

Create a morning routine

Create a morning routine that draws the line between working and resting — as if you’re actually preparing to go to work.

Before even opening your phone to check on some work emails, get out of bed, drink your coffee, and give yourself some time to ease into the headspace for working.

Quarantine baths are a must. Image from the movie Easy A

Pro tip: dress up as if you’re going out. Staying in your pajamas all day may sound like A+ comfort, but being in work clothes will make you more centered and focused on your work day.

Map out a schedule for the day

List down the things that you have to accomplish for the day, and if you’re into more specific schedules, allot a specific time for you to do those tasks.

The goal is to not overwhelm or underwhelm yourself with your pending work, and having a tangible reminder of your must-dos will let you gauge how much time and effort you’ll be exerting for the day.

We’re all about productive quarantine life. Image from the movie Pretty in Pink

Productivity apps are a great tool to do this (I recommend the TickTick App!), but bullet journals and planners can also do the job.

Establish a dedicated workspace

When you’re working from home, the temptation to stay in bed all day is very real. But staying on top of your game means having a sense of structure, and having a dedicated workspace gives you just that. Make a nook for yourself, and use it only for working.

Make working from home laze-proof. Image from the movie The Devil Wears Prada

Make sure that distractions are not in your line of sight, clear out any messes (both virtual and physical), and focus on your tasks at hand. If you really really need to check your phone, make sure that you don’t get sucked into scrolling through social media for hours on end.

Take a productive break

A lot of times, we think of taking a break from work as watching a Youtube video or getting lost within Instagram. But because working from home means working on your laptop for hours and hours, staying on the internet doesn’t really feel as much of a break as it is.

Productivity breaks mean doing some tasks that don’t require as much thinking as your work, like washing the dishes, folding the laundry, or maybe even doing 50 or so squats.

Surely, dancing counts as a home exercise. Image from the movie Risky Business

It’s a great way to clear your head from all things work, and by the time you return to your workspace, you’ll find yourself more energized and ready to work again.

Reward yourself

Nothing beats the feeling of seeing the clock strike 5 on a workday — and while you don’t actually have to look forward to going home anymore, the end of the day should still feel rewarding.

Schedule a video call with your loved ones, or log in to Netflix and watch that K-drama that you’ve been binge-watching. Even in the middle of the day, when you’ve finally finished that work task that you thought would never end, treat yourself to something fun.

Having something to look forward to will motivate you, and will actually make you finish your tasks faster.