How do we improve our lockdown productivity? This is a question we’ve all been asking ourselves for almost a year. And so it continues in 2021. Many of us will continue to be based at home, with yet more people joining the remote working revolution.
At the time of writing, the Prime Minister had just announced a third, full lockdown, as part of England and the wider UK’s efforts to manage the impact and prevent the spread of Covid-19. With the lockdown now in force nationwide, it’s time to jump back into our remote working routines…however, if you’re struggling to get into the swing of things, or you’re now juggling more responsibilities personally and professionally, check out our top tips for maximising lockdown productivity below.
Separate your space
Try to create an area of workspace which is entirely separate from your personal space. We understand that this isn’t always practically achievable but one of the most difficult things to protect when you’re working from home is the boundary between your work life and your private life. In many homes, workspace and personal space cross over, which can cause your brain to remain in ‘work mode’ long after 5.00 pm. If you have a spare room which you can convert into your home office, you’re already at an advantage because it guarantees that all work activity is confined to the appropriate area.
Give yourself a break & avoid overworking
It’s all too easy to become entirely consumed by your work when you’re stuck at home. Schedule breaks for every hour or two to stand up, stretch, refill your tea or coffee – and get some fresh air! In order to stay productive, you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking regular breaks away from your desk, table, or whatever surface you’re working at, just as you would at the office. Try heading out for a brisk walk on your lunch break to clear your head and get some vitamin D; if you’ve got a pet, this is the perfect chance to take them on a walk after they’ve spent all morning waiting for you to finish another Zoom meeting.
There are an insane number of tools which exist simply for improving communication. Most of these tools are free or will be included within your GSuite or Microsoft 365 account. Use chat or group chat apps like WhatsApp and Slack for quick exchanges of information. Create lists of what you need to do and assign tasks to others. You can do this the old fashioned way with pen and paper and there are apps available to suit everyone’s working styles. Our favourite of the lists app is todoist but there are also more comprehensive project management apps and tools like Asana.
Be aware of your mental health
The world around us is a really tough place to be at the moment and everyone is trying to cope in their own ways. So don’t be afraid if you feel like you are struggling, you’re not alone. Just remember to keep on top of your workload to avoid the anxiety of feeling like you’re falling behind. If you do feel like it’s all too much, talk to your colleagues, your boss and / or your team.
As someone who has worked remotely since founding The Digital Studios, James has experience in what works and what doesn’t when you aren’t office-based. We really hope that these tips can help you to establish realistic and healthy expectations of what you can achieve and enable you to start 2021 on the right foot.