How to be as productive when working from home as possible: top 5 tips

Olena RasenkoLife
Working from home often leads to burnout and reduced productivity

Remote work has become commonplace due to the spread of the coronavirus, but many of those who have switched to this form of employment have complained of burnout and overwork. These problems can be avoided by following a simple technique.

As Eric Reis, a high-performance leadership consultant, told Lifehack, working from home is difficult. It's filled with endless messages, emails, calls, super-tasks, supervision from management, and constant distractions from business to home routine.

The expert noted that remote work often leads to burnout, fatigue, and loss of motivation over time. At the same time, he emphasized that for many companies, this type of work is a way out of a difficult financial situation, and therefore it is necessary to understand how to make such employment less stressful.

Speaking about numbers, he noted that companies that are able to allow their employees to work remotely, according to various estimates, will receive annual savings of $11,000 for each part-time employee.

"So, how do we set our employees up for success by working from home? In particular, what are the driving forces and factors that determine the productivity of executives and employees when working remotely? These answers lie in the brain, creating daily habits for success that focus on maximizing leadership communication, employee productivity, engagement, and sustained cognitive processing," Reis said.

Sleep to succeed

"Sleep is a superpower that we all have by nature. However, according to today's HR reports, up to a third of the population consistently have trouble getting the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. Yes, sleep is essential for brain and body repair, but it is also vital for consolidating memories and higher-level cognitive processing," the expert said.

You need to sleep at least 7 hours a day

To normalize sleep, Reis recommended going to bed and waking up at the same time. He also advised not to give up an afternoon nap if you have time for it.

"An afternoon nap can also be a great way to give your brain and body a short period of rest, as long as it lasts less than 20 minutes. A longer rest can lead to waking up feeling weak, tired, and fatigued," he emphasized and reiterated that a person's productivity depends on the quality of sleep.

Exercises to develop physical and mental endurance

According to Reis, exercise is one of the most powerful engines of our brain and nervous system.

"Physical activity is the fundamental basis for the proper development of the brain and higher-level cognitive processing systems," Reis said.

He also recommended choosing aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, and walking. According to the expert, this physical activity can reduce anxiety and depression by increasing the activity of the frontal lobe of the brain, which is associated with positive self-esteem, personality, and cognitive processes.

The body needs physical activity

"Movement is also an important factor in increasing our ability to learn new tasks and focus as it affects the production of a certain protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is responsible for optimizing neuroplasticity, learning, and memory," he explained.

Use food to fuel your body and brain

"Food is the key to health. It provides the raw materials that help us maintain our brains and bodies, which are constantly undergoing modernization due to the stress we experience throughout our lives," Reis said.

The expert said that the choice of food can significantly affect our well-being because food not only nourishes our body but also the bacteria that live inside our body. The latter, in turn, play an important role in regulating the main inflammatory processes in the immune system in general.

"Food should no longer be chosen only for its taste and texture. It plays a key role in overall health and well-being, with the ability to boost energy levels throughout the day," Reis wrote.

Food should be energizing

Use time management techniques

"We set timers and alarms for cooking, waking up, and exercising, but we rarely set a timer for work. Using a timer to prioritize work has been in the working world for years. The same technique, Pomodoro, named after developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo, was invented in the 1990s to maximize productivity by using time-ordered periods of focused work," Reis said.

He emphasized that this approach to work can be very productive, especially for those who work from home and have to be distracted by household chores. In this case, time for work and household chores will be separated.

Make your own schedule for success

"Planning is a way to make sure things get done. There are many benefits to working from home that you can't find in the office, but it's easy to see that this added flexibility means your day is less structured. Organizing a schedule for when and how you want to work can be one of the most important factors in increasing your productivity throughout the day. If you don't do this, you may find yourself working all day without rest or time for yourself," the expert explained.

He emphasized that scheduling is an important component of maximizing productivity as it allows remote workers to follow a certain structure.

"Setting up a schedule is important not only for work but also for a fulfilling personal life," Reis added.

The expert warned that one should not expect instant results from making adjustments to one's home schedule. He noted that developing new skills can take time. However, he also said that the more closely these recommendations are followed, the sooner work from home will stop bringing fatigue and will open up a lot of its advantages over office work.

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