With many people now working from home, it’s in the hands of the employee to ensure they have a suitable working environment, not the employer. In fact, having a productive and organised workspace is even more crucial than ever before, as people need to ensure they’re able to work as normally as possible under such unusual circumstances.
Continue reading for 7 top tips for being organised and productive when working from home – provided by an award-winning London-based IT support provider.
- Declutter your workspace
Studies have shown a link between cluttered environments and an increase in stress. In which case, the phrase “tidy desk, tidy mind” really does ring true.
A cluttered working environment can have many negative effects on the productivity of our days. Including:
- Causing distractions that stop us from completing tasks
- Preventing us from relaxing at the end of the day
- Sending signals to our brains that work is never finished
- Making us feel guilty and embarrassed
- Inhibiting creativity, brainstorming and problem-solving
- Increasing stress levels
- Making it more difficult to find things we need to complete tasks
As such, you should always aim to keep your workspace tidy and decluttered. If you’re not good at tidying as you go, you can make a mental note to check that your workspace is neat and tidy every Sunday evening, ready for the week ahead.
- Write realistic to-do lists
A to-do list is the best way to keep on top of all the work you need to complete. You can make daily, monthly or even quarterly to-do lists – whatever works best for you. We would advise always make a daily to-do list, either at the start of the day or the evening before. The key thing about daily to-do lists is ensuring that they’re realistic. If you set yourself too much to do in one day, you’ll finish the day feeling deflated and unsatisfied because you’re unable to complete the tasks at hand. Instead, your daily goals need to be achievable. For example, if you’re working on a big project, don’t task yourself with completing the entire project in one day. Instead, break the project down into smaller, manageable tasks that will help achieve the overall goal. If your to-do lists are achievable, you’ll feel motivated throughout the day to complete each task, and finish the day feeling accomplished and satisfied.
- Create a positive workspace
Your working environment should be as decluttered as possible. But there are also other ways to ensure that the space is positive, light and airy, thus encouraging productivity.
Here are some ways you can create a positive working environment:
- Sit near a window for natural light
- Open windows and doors to encourage air flow
- Buy a desk lamp if you’re in a dim room
- Invest in some indoor plants (studies suggest they boost mood and productivity)
- Stay on top of your inbox
There’s nothing more daunting than having 100s of unread emails in your inbox, which is why you should aim to stay on top of your inbox at every opportunity. Here’s some ways you can keep your emails organised and stress-free:
- Delete all unhelpful spam emails
- Unsubscribe from unhelpful spam emails
- Create folders in your inbox for different people and purposes – then create rules for incoming emails to be sorted into these inboxes accordingly
- If you manage more than one inbox, make sure to check your emails in all inboxes at least once a day so things don’t get overlooked
- Pin important emails that you may need at a later date
- If you need to be reminded of something, mark the email as unread so that they notification will prompt you not to forget
- Use technology that encourages productivity
Using the right platforms for work will enable you to be more organised and productive throughout the day. For example, Microsoft Teams is an excellent collaboration and productivity platform that allows colleagues to connect with each other via video, audio and chat functions. You can also collaborate on documents via the cloud, meaning employees can continue to work effectively from home. Additionally, Microsoft are increasingly introducing new features that are scientifically backed and designed to improve remote working capabilities.
- Take breaks
Nobody can be productive 100% of the time. But, don’t get stuck in a rut of trying and failing to get stuff done. If you complete an important task on your to do list, reward yourself with a cup of tea in the garden or make the most out of working from home by putting on a load of washing. Either way, ensure that your day is broken up so that you can power through tasks effectively and don’t end up feeling deflated.
- Prioritise your tasks
When working through your to-do list, make sure to prioritise your most important tasks to ensure that they’re completed in a timely manner. Similarly, if there’s a task you’ve been putting off for ages, stick it at the top of your to-do list and make sure you complete it first thing in the morning. Often the tasks we put off the most actually only take half an hour or so, so getting them out of the way is usually easier than we think. If these less desirable tasks are completed first thing, they won’t ‘hang over your head’ all day, helping you to feel relieved.