by Jaia Corral
Working or studying from home can be really challenging if you’re not used to it. It takes a lot of self-discipline and willpower to not just end up lying in bed ‘til noon or even the opposite, working non-stop.
So here are some quick tips to get you working productively!
#1 DON’T WORK ON YOUR BED
THIS IS NUMBER ONE FOR A GOOD REASON. NEVER. EVER. WORK ON YOUR BED. As much as possible, have a dedicated space for working/studying. Whether it’s a study table, the living room, or kitchen, JUST DON’T EVER WORK ON YOUR BED.
Your brain is hardwired to think that bed = sleeping time. If you make it your workspace, you’ll end up either lazing around or not getting to have a good night’s sleep on your bed ever again. (trust me, I ended up being an insomniac back in college, going thru every day with less than an hour’s sleep because I kept studying on my bed.)
If you really have no choice but work on your bed, try changing the set-up of the pillows or the blanket colors just to trick your brain to believe it’s a different place.
#2 Set an alarm and a strict schedule
Yeah sure you don’t have to wake up as early since you don’t have to commute to work/school, but please wake up at least 2 hours before your assigned call time. Give your brain time to fully wake up and get ready. Office hours start at 9AM? Set an alarm for 7AM and do something (that’s not work or school related) that would definitely wake you up.
#3 Shower and eat breakfast
Waking up two hours before your designated call time will help you ease into the day. Try not rushing to work immediately. Exercise, take a shower, eat breakfast, set your mind and body in a good mood for a busy day!
Schedule your lunch breaks and breaktimes and TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. Avoid working during those designated hours and give your brain a break so when you go back to work (MAKE SURE YOU DO.), you’re refreshed and ready for another round.
Take your end hours seriously as well. If you’re done THEN YOU’RE DONE, otherwise you’ll end up pulling an all-nighter which will have you tired and woozy the next day. Remember: REST IS ALSO PRODUCTIVE.
#5 Sticky-notes or to-do lists
Set-up your own KanBan board. Whether it’s a digital sticky-note or a physical one, list down everything you need to do for the day or for the week. Create three categories: Backlog, In Progress, Done.
This will help you keep track of where you are in your work and will also help you budget your time. Prioritize what needs to be done today, what can be done tomorrow, and if you’re done early, what else can you finish for the day.
#6 Pomodoro Technique
Based on my experience, along with a few friends’ experiences as well, this technique works. To keep you productive, the Pomodoro technique requires you to set doing your work within 25-30 minutes intervals with 3-5 minute breaks in-between.
Having your brain work non-stop drains your energy. Take the short breaks to refresh it once in a while so you could be more productive in a longer duration, just like running a marathon! Plus, setting a time limit to your work will really help you work on it faster and avoid dilly-dallying.
Make sure to strictly follow the time limit of your break. We can’t avoid being sucked in the internet blackhole, but if you do end up in it, keep it within 3-5 minutes. Setting an alarm helps.
#7 Over-communicate and use emojis
Make sure to be very detailed in sending messages to your co-workers (and if they’re sending a detailed message, make sure to read it carefully as well). If you don’t understand it well or if you think there’s a missing detail, ASK. JUST ASK AND CLARIFY.
Online messaging makes room for monotonous statements that can lead to misunderstanding, make sure to use emojis (but not too much), and avoid sending an all-caps message unless you’re emphasizing something. Set a tone to your messages!
#8 Have a glass or a tumbler of water nearby
Take sips of water every now and then to keep yourself hydrated. (plus stand-up time when you go and refill your cup!)
Be productive but don’t forget to take care of yourself!