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How to be as productive at home as you are in the office

Covid-19 – in more ways than one – has altered the current systems we have in place. Many companies across the world are adopting a more relaxed approach to working from home, with Twitter telling staff that they can work from home “forever” if they wish as the company looks towards the future after the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the best intentions of many, productivity can dip when working at home no matter how hard we try. In this article, we will be looking at some of the methods that you can use to avoid this dip, with some already being adopted by our Cartwrighters.

Avoid social media

Apps on your phone can be of great benefit to anyone who is aiming to be more productive. The use of social media is one of the biggest hindrances of a productive day at work, with social media using notifications to ensnare you back into using their platforms. To beat this, many apps out there promise to lock you out of your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Forest is a popular productivity app that helps people beat their phone addiction and manage their time in an interesting and positive way. Users can earn credits by refraining from using their mobile phones and using these credits to plant real trees around the world. This can help people to focus on what’s more important in their everyday lives, while supporting green initiatives.

While Forest is the most popular app in our office, there are plenty of applications out there that offer similar services, so it’s worth doing your research.

Can we pretend?

Many people find adopting the same morning routines as they would when going into the office can trick their minds into a more productive mindset. This could be as simple as getting dressed in smart casual attire for the day – no matter how comfy those PJ bottoms are, they (probably) shouldn’t be worn at 3:00 PM that often.

Another idea from our office is the ‘pretend commute’. This entails waking up and adopting a normal morning routine, followed by a short walk around your local area. As frustrating as the daily commute can be for some, it does give valuable time to psych yourself up or decompress from the workday. Without it, some people are struggling to turn off from work and needlessly and unhealthily continuing their workday. By adopting a short walk before and after your workday, you may find yourself feeling refreshed and having clearer and more productive thoughts during your working hours.

Productivity exercises

To increase your general productivity, you could adopt these simple yet effective exercises.

Clean up the physical and digital clutter – Take 10-15 minutes to clear up your desk/table, but also your digital space. Cleaning up has been proven to increase productivity because you’re spending less time looking for lost and scattered items, both in real life and those internet tabs that build up over the course of the day.
Meditations/Naps – Taking time to remove yourself from the noise is invaluable. Obviously don’t miss an important meeting to nap, but incorporating short naps into your workday can be a beneficial thing to do for productivity – the same goes for meditation.
Another technique is The Pomodoro Technique which is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. This system has been said to increase productivity and is utilised by many of us in our own office.

Productivity and prioritisation

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy level of productivity is prioritisation. This can be as simple as organising your deadlines into an order of importance. But the most crucial thing is to prioritise your mental health and be open about when you can feel yourself beginning to burn out. Explain what’s happening to the people around you and ask what can be done to alleviate the burden. Very often this can lead to a healthier, more productive day, regardless of whether you’re at home or in the office.

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