By Osarennoma Ogbeide
Working remotely or schooling virtually has become the new normal as the dynamics of the world has brought new changes to our tables. Being present physically definitely has its benefits over working virtually, however there are two sides of a coin. Some are more productive in the office space or school environment because it also gives a mental awareness of what needs to be done. On the other hand, some might prefer working from home because of the comfort it grants them. They are able to multitask and don’t necessarily have to adhere fully to all the protocols required for physical work.
Whichever side you sit on, I have seen that recently more people are required to perform virtually and because it’s a new territory, even for me, there are some tips that would come in handy as we adjust to this seemingly new normal.
Create a to-do list: this is very important in order to maintain a good plan. It seems pretty simple but I believe the real task here is adhering to your list without losing track of time. 24 hours in a day is surely not enough to do all we need to, if there were more hours; it still won’t be enough for people too! The only way to make it work is by creating a to-do list, outlining all that needs to be done daily, including a time frame to each task to help keep track of time. At the end of the day, reflect on all tasks done, do some self-appraisal and see how left over tasks can be completed without procrastinating any.
Communicate your schedule to your family and those around you: imagine you’re deep into work and your mother is beckoning on you to wash the dishes, which certainly isn’t palatable. It is important to inform your family of your work or school schedules. Once they know the time frame of your work time. I’m sure they’ll be kind enough to respect that and enable you have a smooth work day.
Set a specific work space: you can’t be in a virtual meeting and your sibling is playing music from loud speakers right next to you, certainly not! Beyond communicating your schedule to your family, it is also pivotal to set out your work space, so you don’t have people trooping in and out or causing unnecessary distractions. Pick a work space. Is the dining table comfortable for you? Can you turn your room to your work space? Or you’d prefer the study? Whichever way, make the space comfortable enough for the work you need to do and ward off distractions. This also helps your mind get into work mode.
Take breaks: working from home can get you carried away, forgetting the work hours and sometimes you forget to take breaks. Work entails utilizing brain energy and it is tasking. No matter how much work you have to do, remember to take a breather. Stand up, walk around a couple of times, drink some water, eat or take a snack, just do something that’s unrelated to work to give your brain some rest time to repolarize for what’s left to do.
Celebrate your wins: it will take some time to adjust to attending lectures virtually, presenting reports online or completing all your tasks for the day. Give yourself time to get used to the new system and learn what works for you. In the meantime, celebrate your little wins. You were able to achieve 50% of your tasks for the day? That’s a good start. You finally closed a deal after such a long drag? Give yourself a tap on the back. You understood and completed your take home assignment without any hitches? That’s something to celebrate. No matter how little, there’s always something to celebrate and it gives you an edge to know how to improve on tasks. Apart from that, it’s a good way to reward yourself for all the hard work.
Physical or virtual we can still be productive, you just have to know the right ways to go about it, be determined and watch yourself become an expert at it!