By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life
Many of us have been forced to work at home during these uncertain times. Here is a list of helpful tips and tricks to keep you focused and productive, even during a worldwide pandemic.
As an entrepreneur working from home, chances are you had a good routine in place to complete your day-to-day tasks for work. You learned to manage your time, effectively meet your deadlines, and function well in your home office. After the world was sent home to self-isolate in the wake of COVID-19, though, your once-quiet office might now be filled with children home from school, your spouse home from work, and a ton of noise and distractions.
How are you supposed to still manage a business with so much going on around you — let alone take on the added work of learning about and applying for the economic aid your business might need? Luckily, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips and tricks to keep you focused and productive, even during a worldwide pandemic.
Remove the Clutter
You probably had a designated workspace carved out already before the global pandemic. Now that your spouse and children are home, though, it can feel like the world is slowly closing in around you. To limit distractions, it can help to clear out the clutter — sometimes even with a big purge.
Dumpster rental rates are affordable, and renting one can help you make an effective start toward doing a complete overhaul of your home. Since donations are less of an option than usual, anything you find that’s unused, broken, or unwanted can hit the trash, leaving you a clean and distraction-free area around your house.
Get The Right Hardware
If you worked from a home office with the right computer equipment, you already had a pretty good setup going. But now, with more people and distractions in your home, you may need to adjust that arrangement. For example, if you worked in the dining room previously, consider moving to a space with a closed door. (Even a spacious closet can provide a haven, in a pinch.)
If a true home office arrangement isn’t available, consider trying a set of headphones to block out noise and distractions. If you do have an established desk space, adding a double monitor can help you spread out, and a high-quality desk chair can allow you to comfortably sit and work for long stretches.
Manage Your Software
A global pandemic is not the time to realize you don’t have updated, functioning software on your computer. But if that’s what happened, you may need to manage your software (with or without spending extra money for newer versions) before you can proceed with the business at hand. You may simply have to spend a day or so updating your software to the latest versions to ensure that it runs smoothly. It’s a pain, but a necessary one; eliminating software delays throughout the day can make you more effective at your job and allow you to get more accomplished.
Stay in Contact with Clients
It can be lonely working and living in self-isolation. Social interaction has been drastically reduced, public events are altogether canceled, and nearly every business out there faces an uncertain future. So it’s especially important to make sure your clients know you’re still thinking about them — and keep them thinking about you. Consider sending them a gift with your company’s logo, such as a tote bag or a pop socket for their phone. That way, anytime they pull out their phone, they may think of you and your company.
Create a Check-In Schedule
With everyone working from home now, it’s more important than ever to create a clear check-in schedule with your employees and colleagues. Set up designated times throughout the day to check in with employees and partners via email, webchat, or face-to-face video conference. Not only is this a great way to remain connected with your team, but it also can help you gauge your team’s productiveness and well-being throughout the home isolation period.
Manage Your Mental Health
Just as it’s important to schedule times to touch base with your employees, it’s equally important to set up times for you to keep in touch with your own mental health — and that means checking out from your workspace. Hours can start to stretch together, making for an incredibly long day, enough of which can combine to destroy your productivity. It is important to remember to get up from the computer and take a break. Grab a quick bite to eat, stretch, drink a glass of water, or simply move to a different space in the house.
Also, knowing when to unplug at the end of the day helps allow your brain and body to reset before “work o’clock” tomorrow. Simply getting a change of scenery and routine can help you recharge and get ready to tackle the next day. This can be as simple as a quick session of stretching, a romp in the yard with the kids, or a drive around the block barefoot with the windows down. (Yes, driving barefoot is actually legal in all 50 states!) Whatever it is, find a way to truly disconnect from work and reconnect to yourself and your home life.
The global pandemic is throwing everyone a curveball, even people who were already accustomed to working from home. New distractions and emotional burdens can make it difficult to complete even simple, daily tasks. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to stay focused and motivated with some of the above tips and tricks. Having the right hardware and software setup for your office, maintaining contact with your team, and knowing when to call it a day — all these elements can help you stay focused.
Remember: We’re all in this together. For those of us who are lucky enough to have work, let’s all stay focused and try to do our jobs, so the world can be as normal as possible when we emerge together on the other side of quarantine.