Working from home seems like a dream come true for some of us, but it can be difficult to concentrate on work when “home-life” is going on around you. The new work environment can distract from productivity and derail tasks that need to be accomplished during business hours.
Every one of us working from home is striving to be essential to our business. As a travel consultant, when I’m not helping clients re-schedule travel plans, I’m strengthening my skills. I am learning about how the travel industry will be changing in the coming months to continue being an expert for our travelers. But staying focused isn’t always an easy task when working from home! Here are some helpful ideas to help you focus and be productive while working from home:
Dedicate A Workspace
Find an area in your home that allows you to work with minimal distractions. The best option is a space that you do not have to set up and tear down daily. It helps keep you organized and being able to physically leave a dedicated work space at 5pm helps you mentally “check out” when the work day is done.
It’s easy to be distracted online when you don’t have a manager checking in – especially when you’re leveraging social media to strengthen your business and client communications. Limit your time online to those sites that are used for business during business hours.
Make a daily log of tasks you are working on and where you have left at the end of each day. This will help keep you on track and productive, as well as ensure that you have a journal of your progress.
If you have technical issues while you are working from home, it is essential that you have a way of contacting your company’s IT department and/or internet provide. Make sure you have their contact information available in addition to your team/managers for time sensitive projects.
Keep a Routine
Try to retain as much normalcy to your schedule as possible. You’re skipping the commute, which saves time. But still take a shower, dress in work attire, eat breakfast, and start your day with your typical morning routine to help keep you on track. This includes keeping a scheduled lunch break!
Even though you are home, you’re still entitled to lunch breaks and 15-minute refreshers! Set a timer on your phone and clear your mind for a while by reading a book, exercise by doing stretches, work on a word puzzle, or snuggle up with a pet to avoid burnout.
Speaking of breaks, you need to keep moving too! Take a lap around the house, go up and down the stairs a few times, a stroll around the block, have a solo dance party, or exercise with some hand weights (or laundry detergent bottles – whatever) to keep the blood pumping!
Optimize Down Time
If the effects of COVID-19 are causing an inconsistent workload, create a list of tasks to work on during slow days – the ones that always get pushed to the back of our minds when priority projects take over. Now is a great time to revisit them and any supporting training!
For most of us, this is a temporary situation and we will all be back to our normal crazy schedules before we know it. Take advantage of this time working from home by becoming more disciplined and productive. Your company will appreciate your work ethic!
Written by Susan Underwood
Susan is a Corporate Group Travel Consultant at UTD with 25 years of travel experience. She is the mother of three children ages 25, 19, and 16, as well as a new grandma to her 8 month old grandson! She loves to travel herself which helps her perfect her clients' experiences.