August 21, 2020
Does working remotely seem like the ideal situation for a day filled with productivity? When your kitchen is close by, your bathroom is available anytime you need it, and your favorite blankets are at arm’s length, it’s as if every problem that stems from an office domain would be easy to eradicate. But with infinite access to the internet and a looming pandemic, completing work-related tasks are much harder to accomplish than usual.
Frustration sets in as you pace the floors of your apartment, wondering why the simplest of responsibilities have become so burdensome? Though you’re stationed in your comfortable home, this space introduces new complications. An unlimited connection to media sources can be initially troublesome, but avoiding incessant distractions is a skill anyone can develop. Luckily, there are many tricks you can utilize to quell your active mind while stuck inside your cozy abode. Here are some tips that will ensure you can work more effectively from your couch, your bed, or your home office.
Apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have become some of the most imperative resources for reliable news. While we all want to stay updated with the latest COVID information, viewing a Twitter thread about random celebrity beef can usurp a large amount of time designated for productivity. Finding a way to limit app use can help you focus more intentionally and keep your work time unbreached by constant app checking.
If you have an iPhone, you can open settings, find the “screen time” menu, and implement a few options to assist these necessary limitations. You can use the “downtime” function to restrict all application usage for periods of time during the day, or the “app limits” setting to lock applications specifically for your desired time increments. Though most of these limitations are reversible, putting in extra blockades to delay wandering from app to app during your concentration-time will be irrefutably impactful.
If you’ve got a Google Phone or an Android, you’ll have to venture out and download an application to do your time management assistance. Popular apps like Digital Wellbeing have become instrumental to prudent organizations with multiple, beneficial features. With an easy tap, “focus mode” allows you to pause your most bothersome apps and eliminate access. You might have the willpower to stop playing a game or reading an article when it becomes too preoccupying, but downloading an application to set those barriers for you can make the possibility of working effectively way more plausible.
Sometimes it’s not the tangible items in our living spaces that present the largest obstacles, but often it’s our lovely roommates who unknowingly enable our procrastination tendencies. We see them lounging on the couch, watching our favorite tv shows, or preparing something delicious in the kitchen that makes us lose focus and yearn to join them. With your cohabitors likely spending longer periods at home alongside you, you’re all the more susceptible to frivolous, distracting conversations. Though we “feel happier when interacting with others,” socializing can wait when there’s work that needs to be finished.
It might be difficult to have honest, meaningful conversations with the people you live with during these unprecedented times, but engaging with them about the things you need could drastically change your focus and determination. If you work better in the mornings, relate to your household that you need to remain focused during that period. With your community informed, you will have an easier job keeping your word and completing your goals. The people that you live with might even join in holding you accountable, making sure you finish your assignments whenever you’re obviously slacking off.
Being transparent about your concentration needs can feel selfish or unnecessary, but keeping everyone informed is the simplest way to ensure your distractions are kept at a minimum.
Having treats at the ready when you’ve completed an assignment could be the key to your untapped effectiveness. In such emotional and tumultuous times, we need all the strength we can muster to tackle our everyday tasks and stay productive.
I’m a big candy fan, so stocking up on a variety of sweets has been a significant benefit to hours of unbroken concentration. Having a treat after you reach a certain word count or finalize the edits on a presentation might be the only thing pushing you to the finish line in these troublesome times. Even needing something that’s not food-oriented like stretching, watching YouTube videos, or meditating can effectively break up the repetitious workday and disperse the accumulation of stress as well.
Summer is here, and Chicago looks more beautiful than ever. It’s what Chicagoans look forward to every year after the brutal winters, but can we enjoy the weather safely when we need a break from work?
Rewarding yourself with a calming bike ride or a walk through the neighborhood is a helpful detour from a day’s worth of tasks. Isolated activities while following CDC protocol (wearing masks, staying six feet apart, etc.) are more than doable, and especially crucial, after hours of looking at the computer screen. If your main destresser is team sports, avoiding “sporting equipment and activities that involve lots of people touching one object” is probably important if that’s the reward you’re considering. Fortunately, there are many more solitary activities like jogging and meditating that are perfectly safe to enjoy.
Don’t feel guilty about itching to get outside if it helps you tackle traditionally easy assignments. This is a stressful time for all of us, so there’s nothing wrong with taking breaks or indulging in the warm sunlight.
Everyone has different ideas when it comes to fighting their way out of procrastination, but hopefully, this list has compiled a few tricks you might not have implemented yet. With or without a pandemic, working remote can be efficient with the right combination of tactics, and maybe the occasional piece of candy to reward your hard labor.