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Although two COVID-19 vaccines were recently approved in the United States, American workers aren’t quite going to be rushing back into offices any time soon. Since the plan for the public to get the vaccine will proceed gradually at best, many people will likely continue working from home, as has become standard during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depending on your work habits, you might take this news with either frustration or a sigh of relief. That’s because, for certain people – even some who appreciate the convenience of not commuting – working from home makes it easier to become unorganized or unproductive. However, with these four organization and productivity tips, efficiently working from home should be a breeze.
1. Manage your time
If you work from home, it’s important to properly manage your time so you can get your work done. Although working from home means you saved time commuting to work, this saved time can easily become time wasted with another activity if you are not focused.
If you are struggling with time management, you can become more productive by creating a daily schedule and putting it in writing, whether digitally, on some paper, or via a calendar visible near your home office space. Your schedule can be a detailed to-do list that’s broken down into categories based on importance or a daily set of tasks that are part of a long-term project. After your morning routine, check your schedule and stick to it to maximize your productivity.
2. Hide distractions
Even after creating your to-do list, you might get distracted if you don’t set some ground rules. If you live with family members, roommates, or a partner, it can be helpful to gently set boundaries during your work schedule to avoid the distractions of being around loved ones.
Setting breaks in your schedule can also prevent you from getting distracted while you work. This might initially seem contradictory, but if you give yourself a couple of breaks to walk away from your computer screen and phone, you might return more energized and productive. If you work eight hours, it’s best to take the standard 30-minute or one-hour break. During your break, you can chat with someone you live with or do another relaxing activity.
3. Invest in organizers
If you want to be as productive as possible, a clean and neat office space can make a huge difference. Being organized can save you time because, since you’ll save time searching for things that you might need, you can more easily focus and more quickly complete work while working in a clutter-free environment.
Investing in a good desk organizer can help you stay organized and find things easily. You can place a desk riser or file sorter on your desk to store any papers you might need, and you can store your phone and writing utensils in a pencil holder. According to one organizing expert, anything on your desk that isn’t necessary for daily work use should be stored out of sight in a drawer.
4. Designate work and non-work spaces
To make sure you stay productive and focused while you’re working, it can be helpful to create a physical boundary around your designated office space. Your office space can be in a corner of a room, or it can be an entirely separate room with a lockable door. To more strongly associate your office space with work, use your designated office space only when you need to work. In doing so, you can stick to your regular schedule and work only during your work hours.
How do you stay organized and productive while working from home? Share your thoughts in the comments!