As we all learn to navigate this new reality that is COVID-19, working from home has become the new norm. For those of us who are lucky enough and have the ability to WFH, it can be tricky staying focused and on track. Bed and Netflix are oh so tempting after all! Especially during a pandemic when everything is so uncertain!
The team at Legendary Social Media works remotely every Friday, so we’re pretty familiar with this WFH thing. Here’s our list of tips and helpful tools you could use to keep your workflow efficient and productive.
Create a designated workspace within your home
Make sure it’s clean and organized. Keeping this space tidy will help keep your mind refreshed and productive.
Tidy up at the end of the day. Add a quick 10-minute tidy session to the end of your workday. This will help you be set up to hit the ground running tomorrow morning.
Do not work from bed! We know it’s tempting, but you’ll eventually just be horizontal and snoozing with a laptop balanced on your chest. We know… from experience!
Set up time management tools
Most importantly, establish a work schedule. In order to stay on track with work, you need to budget your time accordingly. It helps to keep a structured work schedule and routine, work 8-4 or 9-5 for example.
Start your day with a reason to get dressed. We suggest working out in the morning – that way you have to shower and get dressed before you start your workday. Obviously, during COVID-19, we’re not suggesting you go to the gym – but perhaps a jog in your neighbourhood or even a brisk walk around the block would do the trick.
Set yourself a timer! Set it for 60 minutes and commit to not moving away from your work for that allotted time. Then take a short 10-minute break, make a drink or go for a walk, then set another timer for 60 minutes!
Keep yourself accountable for time management. A great tool for this is Harvest. This software is a paid service, but will allow for the incredible insight into how long tasks are actually taking you and your team members! It’s also a great tool for billing potential clients and invoice estimates.
Eliminate distractions. Use apps like SelfControl or Focus. With this software, you can literally restrict yourself from distracting websites for a block of time.
Create a list of tasks to get done by the end of the day/week. You can use tools like Trello or Asana. These nifty programs allow you to prioritize work and assign tasks to each team member. Checking off your to-do list has never felt so good!
Make it easy to communicate with your team
Stay in touch with your team members! Slack is an instant messaging app, and a great alternative to emailing! It’s less formal, quick and very collaborative in its functionality.
Sign up for video conferencing apps. For video conference calls, Hangouts Meet and Zoom are some great options whilst working remotely.
Commit to communicating, even when you’re self-isolating. Human connection is important for our mental health, so checking in with other team members once a day could help prevent feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness. Your COVID-19 experience doesn’t need to be a lonely one.
Automate your work to reduce stress and pressure
Wherever possible, add automation into your workflow! A very simple suggestion is adding Grammarly plugin to your Google Chrome, this will detect any errors in your writing and will save you from making spelling mistakes in your communications.
Need a simple tool for resizing files for your laptop? If you’re working within the creative industry, and have a number of high-resolution images that need to be resized, try JPEG mini! This software allows you to reduce file sizes whilst preserving the image quality. Ideal for uploading to websites and you can do it in large batches!
Find the right tools for your unique work. Depending on the field of work you’re in, there are going to be many, many different applications available to you. Explore your options and create better WFH habits so you can effectively get work done but also have time for yourself once you’re off the clock.