5 Tips to Stay Productive while Working from Home

In the past year, many of us have stayed at home more often than any other period of our lives. This year, 2021, the covid-19 pandemic still has no plans to let up. In fact, many countries continue to face new waves of the pandemic, including Singapore, which has retracted the opening of its borders in May 2021  after a new wave of the mutated virus began to spread in the community.

As we head back to working from home again, many are feeling the pandemic fatigue all over again. Pandemic fatigue describes a mental state where a prolonged, heightened state of fear and caution leads to a form of burnout. Although it is not classified as a mental disorder, the effects of pandemic fatigue are nevertheless real and have an impact on those experiencing it.

Signs include reduced socialising with others; feeling restless, sad, helpless, unmotivated and frustrated; being irritable and sensitive; and having low mood and energy, and insomnia.

This not only affects how we feel emotionally, but also affects how we work and live our daily lives. 

Here are a few tips to help you to stay positive and productive during your work from home. 

1. Make a Plan

Create a to-do list of all the tasks you would like to complete every day. It does not have to be work tasks, it can include tasks such as household chores and even grocery shopping.

Listing all your tasks into a list will help you to set goals for the day, giving you an additional push and motivation to complete your work effectively. 

Prioritize the important tasks and work your way through your list daily.

Having a set plan helps you to feel like you have a purpose and will help to keep you focused and task-oriented.

2. Set a Timer

If your to-do list is still not enough to keep you motivated throughout the day, you can try to set a timer to schedule all your tasks. For example, you can set 25 minute intervals of focused work, followed by breaks, before continuing with another 25 minutes of focused work. 

Being able to focus on the important tasks at hand will help you to get through your day faster and with more efficiency and keep your mind away from the negative feelings of pandemic fatigue.

3. Find a recreational activity 

In order to improve your mental wellbeing during work from home, try to schedule some recreational activities that you can engage in at home. 

For example, try practicing yoga or do a workout everyday. If strenuous exercise is not possible, try meditating and keeping mindful of your breathing to help you to relax.

Exercising helps your body to produce  endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid – all the brain chemicals that are associated with the feeling of happiness.

4. Connect with your colleagues, friends and family members

Chat with your colleagues about your work schedule and make sure to keep in contact with your friends or family members. If you do not live with them, you can connect with everyone remotely or virtually via zoom, facetime or even whatsapp calls.

Socializing, even remotely, can help to boost your mood and give you the much needed interaction to lighten your day during work from home.

5. Consider using a Coworking space

Add some balance to your work week by signing up for a flexible workspace service. With coworking spaces, you will be allowed to work in the spaces among other individuals.

These flexible workspaces can help you to feel connected and can even be an opportunity for you to be around others.

If you are still allowed to head out, you can consider signing up for a coworking space and visit once or twice a week to work from the space. The change in environment will also help you to lift your mood. 

Just ensure that, if you are using a coworking space, that you stay safe and keep in line with guidelines while visiting.