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Productivity While Working at Home

By Portage County Business Council

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what is happening. That’s where your power is.”

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball in our society. Besides the devastating effects on health, people are experiencing a ripple effect from this health virus. Flights are being cancelled, businesses are closing, and buying toilet paper at your local grocery store is now a fond, but distant, memory.

Government officials, healthcare organizations, and local representatives are suggesting that “Social Distancing” will reduce the number of people impacted by COVID-19. Does anybody else hear this and immediately think, “Uhh now what?”. Many organizations are offering remote work for employees – hello working at home in your pj’s, goodbye makeup.

With so many people isolating themselves in their homes trying to balance work, classes, kids, whatever it may be, it can be difficult to stay on task and be productive! Below are some tips to help you stay proactive about COVID-19 and your situation, while kicking butt and taking names!

Create a Morning Routine
I know, I know… remote work means not having to look presentable by 7:30am every day, however; sleeping in until noon and reheating last night’s pizza for breakfast isn’t going to put you in a productive mood for the rest of the day. Make the most out of your time by creating a morning routine similar to this:

  • Set an alarm – a routine will help your body wake up in the morning.
  • Take a shower – less stench AND you’ll feel more awake.
  • Change your clothes – even if you don’t shower, it’ll give you the “office mindset”.
  • Eat breakfast – after all, it is the most important meal of the day.
  • Make coffee – coffee makes everything better.

Set Up Your Workspace

  • Find a table, desk, countertop, etc. to setup your workspace. I don’t know about you, but as much as I would love to be productive while lying in bed, that won’t ever happen. Find somewhere where you can sprawl out your work, jot down notes, and not have your kid spill their juice all over your paperwork. Somewhere close to an outlet is best if your working on a laptop!
  • Find a playlist or station with your favorite tunes. Music improves mental performance. Whether you want to listen to calming instrumental pieces or Carrie Underwood slashing tires, as long as you are getting stuff done, you do you!
  • Set goals for the day. Simply making a list of the things you want to accomplish will help you structure your day AND will feel good when you can cross it off after you finish it!

Take Care of Your Body
This is a big one, y’ all. While we may joke about the toilet paper shortage and are disgusted that our Spring Break trips are now cancelled, this virus is happening all around us and is a threat to the health and safety to us, and to those we love. We need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of everything else on our plates. So many things are changing in our near future, which creates an unknown for everyone. Here are some mental and physical health tips to make it through this period of unknown.

  • DRINK WATER – for goodness sakes, if you do nothing else, drink your water. It is recommended that you drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Now, if you are like me you’re thinking, “yeah, no thanks… I’ll stick with my iced coffee”. While you’re still drinking fluids, coffee (or soda, or juice) don’t have the health benefits that water does.
    • Water gives you increased energy – similar to putting gas in your car.
    • Water will make you fuller, meaning less snacking throughout the day.
      * Side note: I have found that putting fruit in my water makes drinking a ton of it more bearable!
  • Tackle one thing at a time. Ever heard the saying, “Success is built sequentially”?  If you try to tackle all of the things, all at once, you will have a mental breakdown. Look at your list of goals for the day. Find the small tasks and complete those first. Then, start working on the bigger tasks. You can’t solve all of the world’s problems in one day. Take it easy on yourself.
  • Keep a schedule. Schedules and structure are essential for a day in the office or class, right? So, keep a similar schedule for yourself at home. Organize your work, create a schedule for yourself, and take breaks! Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to make a meal, go for a short walk around the block, or quick unplug session. It’s easy to feel like you have to work non-stop when you’re sitting at home, but breaks are important for your mental and physical health.

This all comes down to being proactive. Sitting at home, moping about all of the work you have to get done or grumbling because you can’t go out on the town with your friends, aren’t contributing to your personal success. Focus on the good, focus on yourself; the rest will fall into place!

submitted by Arianna, Portage County Business Council Intern