Believe it or not, most human beings love and excel being in a structured environment. While some of us might be used to a less structured/no structure work ethic, most of us are used to a structured one. With specific timings to check-in, have tea or lunch and finish our work in offices, people get used to a routine. This time division is what makes us disciplined and focused.
At times like Covid-19, while nations have imposed lockdowns for a long period, our structured life has begun to collapse. Most of us are confused about how to be productive during this time. While some of us have the liberty to choose not to be productive, there are many others who have to be somewhat productive because work has now transformed into 'work from home'.
Working from home is certainly is not everyone's cup of tea. However humans are also known to be very adaptive, this situation can also be taken care of. Lack of structure brings along procrastination, demotivation, confusion and other stuff depending on the person. Not to forget, these usually result in non-completion of work or create overburden before a deadline which in turn might make you feel incompetent and lose your confidence.
The major task here is to create a structure all by you. This is not as complicated as it might sound. One can begin with small steps and guidelines which will help them create an environment where you can be more productive.
Below are some tricks on how to create a work structure at your home. These will not only benefit temporary WFH people, but also the ones who normally work from their home space and are looking for more structure to increase productivity.
1) Planning is the key
In situations like Covid-19 where you are uncertain about everything, you can start by planning just for the day. The best bet would be the clichéd 'To-do' list. If possible create one the night before. This enables you to determine the time you need to wake up and so on. Do not forget to include food breaks and other miscellaneous breaks in your routine. If you are someone living with your family, you also have to keep in mind their routine so that you can follow your routine without disruptions. For example, dependent members like kids or grandparents might need your attention. Keep some time off to attend to them.
2) Food drama
We all love food and most of us even like cooking but when you have a busy schedule, it can get difficult. You can plan designated hours to cook in your routine throughout the day. One good tip would be to plan ahead and cook a batch on weekends or once every 2-3 days. You don't have to cook the same food for these days but rather make a base ingredient which would aid in cooking different dishes. For example, you can knead the dough for Indian bread and store it in your refrigerator. You could boil chicken and use shredded chicken in healthy recipes. You can also make lentils for two days instead of one. These certainly help in saving time.
Yes, this actually helps. Just a basic setup including a table and chair makes one more focused to work. Your bed is probably the worst space to work because you might end up lying down or even sleeping. If you do not have a proper table-chair setup at the moment, use a bed table or use your dining table and chair. You can also create a space in a corner of your room with other furniture. This will also enable you to feel disciplined whenever you go to that space.
4) Social Media time control
As the heading suggests, in today's digital world it is indeed essential to keep a check on our screen time, especially for social media. I am sure there have been plenty of times where you procrastinated something you needed to complete and instead were scrolling through Instagram endlessly. This habit might take a while to develop but you can start by allotting only a specific time for social media. If you are someone who has a fair amount of self-control, try not to scroll social media the moment you get up - it certainly makes you delay your day. Also, something you see there might trigger you and affect how your day goes. If you are someone who lacks self-control, definitely try deleting social media apps at least for a while. It helps you realise how productive your day can be without them.
5) Self-care everyone!
Allot some time in your daily routine for your self-care. It doesn't have to be specific things like skin/hair care (although you can definitely indulge in those). Take some time off to do things which make you feel alive. Read a book, paint something, watch a movie, exercise or playing with your pet. If you are living with your family, you should talk to them about giving you space for your self-care. Be selfish about it. Self-care is more important than you think.
Sharing some WFH superheroes from our #PeriwinkleFam:
1) Anupriya Sinha from Delhi prefers to break the monotony by working in her terrace space. Fresh air and peace - a delightful combination.
2) Anannya Boruah, a professor from Guwahati prefers to look presentable for her online lectures. Dressing up is definitely self-empowering and motivates us to work.
3) Sonal Chawla from Faridabad is always up for challenges. She completed her headstand challenge for her colleagues. Such activities surely make WFH exciting.
4) Shrabani Bordoloi from Guwahati believes in being disciplined to complete her work in time. Sometimes dressing up and creating an office-like space helps in being more focused.
These are just some basic tips for more productivity in unstructured workspaces/situations. Please feel free to share your own tricks and tips so that we all can benefit one way or the other.