The idea of working from home is very appealing. Imagine not having to deal with the inconveniences of the commute – the traffic, looking for a parking space, errant drivers, just to name a few.
You get to manage your work schedule and streamline your expenses. All of that plus the opportunity to become financially independent.
The transition from a 9-to-5 office environment to a work from home lifestyle is not as easy as you might think.
There are days that you wake up to an empty home and the silence can be deafening. Not having co-workers around or experiencing the hustle and bustle of a busy office will take some time to adjust.
Then, there are the unforeseen events that can disrupt the natural flow of work and life such as the coronavirus pandemic.
10 Ways To Stay Productive And Remain Positive While Working From Home
Although the coronavirus or Covid-19 had been under the microscope of many leading scientists around the world, the outbreak happened faster than expected and spread far and wide.
It seemed that overnight, our lives were turned upside down. Across the world, people had to practice social distancing and were mandated by their respective governments to self-quarantine.
Even if you were working from home at the time the quarantine took effect, you, like many around the world, must have been thinking, “life will never be the same again.”
In addition to the usual challenges of managing projects while working at home and dealing with disruptors such as technical latency issues, now with the virus, we had something new – something we’ve never dealt with – to worry about.
Work and life may never be the same again but that doesn’t mean you should allow the situation to affect your productivity and positivity.
It’s a global pandemic – yes – but not the end of the world!
Here are 10 ways you can stay productive and remain positive while working from home.
1. Remain Optimistic, Search for Opportunities
If you own a business that was affected by the lockdown, use the month-long quarantine period to search for opportunities. Perhaps the quarantine is a sign for you to adapt to an Internet-based business model.
Think about it. The businesses that continued to operate during the lockdown were the ones with an online presence.
These businesses either had a telecommuting program in place or set up a global remote team composed of virtual assistants and freelancers.
Despite the situation, remain optimistic. Visionaries are those who find opportunities during times of chaos.
2. Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem
Did you experience a power outage while in the middle of an important Skype call with a client?
Send an email to the client from your smartphone. Explain what just happened and inform him that you will be heading out to the nearest Internet shop to continue the Skype call.
The client may get back to you and suggest that the call be rescheduled tomorrow. At any rate, the client will appreciate your immediate attention to the problem.
When we’re in a difficult situation, we tend to spend more time focusing on the problem instead of finding solutions. Problems trigger powerful emotions such as despair, frustration, and anger, all of which drain us of much-needed energy.
That’s why the more you dwell on problems the worse they become because you are feeding them with your energy.
To get out of a difficult situation, focus your energies toward finding solutions. The more time you spend formulating, testing, and evaluating courses of action, the sooner you can find resolution and move on to more productive endeavors.
3. Practice Effective Time Management
It’s easy to lose track of time when working from home. There are so many distractions – the couch, TV, social media, the kitchen, and your pet. Put them all aside by creating – and committing – to a work schedule.
Effective time management starts the night before. Summarize your tasks and arrange them according to the degree of importance. Pick out no more than 3 key tasks and prioritize them for the following day.
Dedicate 90 minutes of 100%, full and undivided attention to each task. Once the time period has been completed, take a 20-30 minute break to recharge.
Managing your hours in a day will help you become productive. And when you’re able to accomplish many tasks, you develop a positive attitude.
4. Create a Productive and Positive Workspace
Your workplace does not have to be your “Happy Place” but it should be conducive to productivity and encourage a positive attitude.
Here are 6 tips to help you create a productive and positive workplace:
- Keep your workplace clean and organized.
- Buy a comfortable chair.
- Use a spacious table.
- Play soothing music.
- Post positive and inspiring messages in select areas.
- Make sure you have a nice view of the outdoors.
Lastly, dress for work! Nothing too formal – a neat dress shirt and slacks will be fine. Wearing office clothes will put you in the right mood and frame of mind for work.
5. Stay in Touch with Your Value Chain
Are you working with a remote team? Stay in touch with them from time to time. Don’t just talk about work. Find out how things are going at home and with the family.
Touch base with your clients. How are they coping with the quarantine? Is everyone in their household in good health?
The success of a home-based business isn’t just measured by dollars and cents. For the greater part, success is measured by the number of long-term relationships you were able to build.
It’s great having a reputation for being productive and a consistent provider of high-quality products and services. But being remembered as someone who constantly exuded a positive attitude will help you maintain clients for the rest of your career.
6. Exercise Regularly
Exercise releases mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins that make you feel good. That’s why exercise is popularly recommended by doctors to people who are suffering from depression.
Regular exercise strengthens your body and its immune system. It keeps your energy levels up and gives you the confidence to overcome difficult situations.
It will be great to work out in a gym but you can get good exercise at home:
- Do bodyweight exercises such as pushups, squats, and sit-ups.
- If you have stairs, walk up and down the steps for 10 minutes.
- Take a 10-minute walk outside your house.
- Lay down a mat and do Yoga or Pilates.
You can set up a small home gym with a jump rope, resistance bands, a yoga mat, a few dumbbells, and a stability ball.
You don’t have to train like “The Rock” to get fit – just keep moving!
7. Eat Healthy and Well
Eating pizza “with the works” might make you feel good but as soon as the food settles, you’ll regret having that extra slice.
Starchy carbohydrates will get your blood sugar levels hitting highs and lows throughout the day that will make you feel sluggish. As your body struggles to digest all that fat from the cheese and processed meat, you’ll feel tired.
Instead of choosing processed food, opt for natural sources of macronutrients such as fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat. They have fewer calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and easier to digest.
You will have fewer mood swings and more energy throughout the day. Likewise, eating vitamin-rich foods will help strengthen your immune system.
8. Get Enough Sleep
If you’ve been exercising regularly and following a healthy diet, the third component of a fit lifestyle is to get enough sleep – at least seven hours every night.
Recall the last time you got poor quality sleep.
- How did you perform at work?
- Were you sluggish?
- Were you able to focus on your tasks?
- How many tasks were you able to finish?
The health benefits of a good night’s sleep have been well studied and documented. Getting less than the recommended hours of sleep will affect all aspects of your health – physical, mental, and emotional.
Here are a few tips on how to get good quality sleep every night:
- Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime
- Shut off all computer devices including your smartphone two hours before bedtime
- Don’t work on tasks one hour before bedtime
- Don’t go to bed with a full stomach
As much as possible, avoid taking sleeping pills and other types of sleep medication. Try meditation or going through deep breathing exercises.
9. Avoid Contact with Toxic People
Toxic people will complain about anything and everything. They bring negative energy wherever they go. Being around toxic people will stress you out and drain you of positive energy.
Can you encounter toxic people while working from home? Yes! Unfortunately, they’re everywhere. No one’s perfect; some of your family members may have acquired the toxic gene.
Another place where toxic people thrive is social media. How many of your “friends” on Facebook rant on a daily – or hourly – basis?
To stay productive and positive, avoid contact with toxic people. Follow our earlier advice – practice effective time management. Let’s add a corollary to that one – keep your office locked during work hours.
Limit your time on social media. These networks can be a great source of information but they can be powerful productivity and positivity disruptors as well.
10. Look for Inspiration
Sometimes a moment of inspiration can give you a better jolt than a double espresso.
There will be days when you feel that you’re not up to the task. Distractions may have gotten the best of you or perhaps all the white noise has drowned out the remaining voice of reason.
When you start questioning the purpose – the “why” of working from home – look for a source of inspiration that can get you back on the straight and narrow.
You can find inspiration anywhere – a book, a song, a phrase, the great outdoors or from your family. Use that inspiration to reconnect with your purpose and serve as a reminder of what makes you get up every morning to seize the day.
The coronavirus added another layer in our quest to achieve work and life balance.
- “Are quarantines and lockdowns the ‘new normal’?”
- “How will this affect my family and work and for how long?”
- “Can we ever go back to normal – the ‘old normal’?”
Such negative thoughts become the white noise that keep us awake at night and affect our performance at work. Many go through periods of mental stress and emotional distress.
Collectively, these are conditions that cultivate an environment of negativity, pessimism, and unproductivity.
You don’t want that.
Your family doesn’t want that.
Your customers and clients don’t want that.
You should only focus on the things you can manage – work, family, and your health. You remain accountable to them and thus, should find ways to stay productive at work and remain positive for your family and yourself.
Do you have any tips to share about staying productive and positive that were not covered by this article? Please share them in our comments section.
And if you need assistance in getting your online business off and running, give us a call or drop us an email. We offer web design and digital marketing services that will help grow your business.