The dreaded ‘P’ word. You’ve heard it at least 10 million times since March 2020, but the truth is, it’s really important. Now that we’ve moved to more remote work and schools are now in our homes, we need to be vigilant about our productivity.
Because our homes are often our safe havens, and places we tend to exclusively associate with relaxing, having a remote workspace is more important than you realize.
Come on. Do it for the paycheck.
Get a desk setup
You don’t want to hear it, I know. BUT, you need a desk.
I’m not just saying that either, you really do. Productivity aside, working from your bed is uncomfortable! I’ve tried it. It’s horrible. It’s bad for posture, it’s bad for concentration, it’s bad for ‘feng shui’, it’s bad for everything. Even without considering your work output, working from your bed isn’t a good idea.
Now that you agree that you need a desk, grab the first one that you see in your house. It could be your dining table, a space at the kitchen island, your coffee table, it could even be a sheet of unfinished ply that’s resting on some blocks.
It doesn’t need to be expensive, or new, or even fancy. It just needs to be effective. Your life doesn’t have to look like Pinterest for you to be productive.
Keep only the things you need at your remote work desk
This sounds obvious, but it’s important to keep only the things you need for work in your workspace. This is how you’ll become and remain productive.
Your gaming setup doesn’t belong in your workspace. Your PS5 won’t help you to be productive.
If you’re committed, or even remotely interested in improving your productivity, keep things like your phone, games, those steamy romance novels, and even mirrors away from your desk. These things, because they aren’t directly related to your work, can easily become distractions.
Instead, populate your desk with pens and pencils, a notepad, water – always stay hydrated, lip balm – staying moisturized is a must, and even sweets or snacks to keep you fueled up and alert.
Use productivity tools
You can utilize applications like Forest, which is available in the PlayStore, AppStore, and as a Chrome Extension.
The way it works is by planting a small tree while you are working on your projects. It has options for a stopwatch that will count your time while you work until you’re through, or a timer you can set for the duration of your work period.
If you try to use your device while the app is running, it’ll block you from going into other apps. If you want to stop the timer, you’ll have to kill the tree! And because I know you’re not a monster that kills trees, you’ll get your work done!
As a Chrome extension, you can program its work mode so that it only allows a group of websites that you manually add, or so that it allows all websites except those that distract you.
You can finally stop yourself from watching YouTube all day, or that thing that starts with the drums *ehem*.
Get light into your remote work area
I don’t mean electricity here. I mean sunlight.
If at all possible, try to position your setup in an area that sunlight can get to. This doesn’t mean putting your desk in the sun and burning up for 8 hours, but it does mean setting up near a window that can let light in.
Seeing the sunlight reminds your brain that it’s daytime, and it makes it easier to concentrate on work!
Get a comfortable chair
Posture affects your productivity more than you think. If you’re sitting correctly, and your back and neck are supported well, it will be easier for you to work. This is because your body is in correct alignment, and optimized for performance.
If your desk is higher than your chair and your wrists are under pressure while you’re typing, you’ll put yourself at risk for wrist strain. If your back isn’t supported properly, then you know what that means. Pain! And who wants to work while they’re uncomfortable and in pain?
You can use whatever chair you have available, since ergonomic chairs can be expensive, and top brands run close to JMD $49,000. Just be sure to pad your home chairs with cushions and make them as comfortable as possible.
Tidy your remote work setup daily
If you’re like the millions of people who find cleaning exhausting and stressful, then tidying up at the end of your workday may just increase your productivity.
Replacing pens into their holders, straightening the tablecloth or placemats, or just brushing the crumbs away from your snack can help you to be more productive in the long term.
When we take care of our spaces, we trick our brains into caring about them. This in turn makes us care about the work we do there.
For example, if you treat your car well and keep its interior clean, then when others come in, they will notice its pristine condition, and do the same. If they come in and there are food wrappers all over, they will be more comfortable leaving their wrappers on the ground too.
Don’t be the person that disrespects their own space. They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. Well, it’s next to productivity too.