Do household chores constantly cross your working day at home? Are you too busy with things that have nothing to do with your work? Some valuable tips on time management to help you increase your productivity at home.
In the battle against the fourth wave, we are once again doomed to work largely from home. Although we are no longer greenhorns, we still have to watch out for the pitfalls. Below are the six tips for time management while working from home.
Put on your shoes
The clothes you wear affect your cognitive performance. Researchers Adam and Galinsky speak of ‘enclothed cognition’. In other words, you will be less sharp in your slippers and comfortable jogging than in your normal work clothes. So put on shoes when you work at home. Everyone knows the reverse phenomenon. After a working day, it’s great to take off those shoes and say to yourself: ‘I’m home’.
Keep your work at your workplace
If you work at the kitchen table and your laptop stays there at night, you keep working. The day never ends, and you go over your limits. Therefore, avoid visual stimuli that constantly remind you of your work. Ideally, you set up a separate room to work. If you can’t, definitely don’t sit in a place where you eat or relax. You will then, as it were, ‘contaminate’ that place with work stress. At least take another seat.
Pause between online meetings
Many people suffer from the so-called ‘Zoom-fatigue’ after all those months of working from home. There are a number of reasons for this, but an important finding is that we schedule too many consecutive meetings. Without any pause, we roll from one online meeting to the next. That exhausts you greatly. So make sure you have at least a 10-minute buffer between your meetings. Some companies have already made this an internal policy. An hour-long meeting actually only lasts 50 minutes there.
Take a household break
Taking a break is important! Listen to your body, move for a while, and go outside… just do something other than sit in front of the screen. For example, replace the coffee break with colleagues with a household task. That will also help you not to do those small household tasks all the time in between but to handle them as a full-fledged break activity. Run a wash, sweep the sidewalk, do a small wash or cut the veggies for dinner…
A reward brings dopamine into your brain, and that gives you the energy to keep going. That doesn’t always have to be a cup of coffee or a sweet treat. Equally good is it a short walk or a crossword puzzle. You can also give yourself a physical pat on the back or put your fist in the air to say: ‘I did that beautifully!’ It replaces a compliment from your colleague or your manager.
Mark the start and end of your working day
When your working time starts or ends, do something physical to indicate that. Rituals are very important here: walk around the block, go for a short bike ride. Our commute time has disappeared, and guess what? We miss that one. That’s why Microsoft created the ‘virtual commute’, a mix of all kinds of little things: making a to-do list for tomorrow, going over what you did today, some breathing exercises… In short, a ‘cool-down’ or a ‘start -up’ moment that you can take when you are otherwise in traffic.