It's pretty crazy how this whole pandemic thing has changed our lives. Everyone is currently struggling to survive, stay sane and stay organized. Usually, the mornings had us hitting the alarm clock, rushing into the shower and struggling to get dressed. Sometimes, even forgetting breakfast all in a bid to catch the bus, bike, Keke or maybe the leggedisbenz😂😂 that will bring us to work or school whichever might be your case.
However, all of that has transformed and now everyone is talking about "working from home". Which at first sounds like your every daydream till you start and it's just NOT working out. You can't seem to get it right. You spend the whole day trying to get one tiny thing done. Let's not even talk about the epileptic power supply or even mention how terrible the network is. You're frustrated, distracted, You're running late on deadlines and deep down you know you're just not organized and maybe you're even starting to think this work from home thing isn't even your cup of coffee. You are beginning to get scared about losing your job because that your co-worker that you used to outshine in the office, seems to be the one performing and looking good to the boss right now.
Or maybe you're that student that carried alllll your textbooks, handouts and materials in one ghana-must-go that you swore you would finish before you resume but it's just not working out and it's been about 5 months now and you've barely covered a course outline and you're on the verge of giving up.
Don't give up just yet. I'm about to tell you 5 ways to stay 100% more organized while working from home during the pandemic. Staying organised helps deal with a lot of issues. When you're organized, you achieve more, you're motivated, you can avoid burn out and you are able to maintain that work and home life balance; so family relations and all of that don't get to interfere with your work.
How can you stay more organized working from home? Simple! Let's start:
1. Set a schedule :
For me, this is like the basic! But it's crazy how many people ignore it. One of the things that made you seem more organized in the office or at school was that you already had a predetermined schedule that was set in stone. 8am - 5pm. 8am - 4pm, 7:45am - 6pm and so on. Having a predetermined schedule makes you more organized by over 30%. Even though while staying at home, a 9-5 schedule might not be doable, you could still do a 2-6. Or even a 12 am - 3 am schedule since if you're more productive at night.
Set a predetermined schedule and let it be stuck in stone. Know when you have to get down to work and just do it!
You can tune it up by starting and ending your workday with a routine. This lets your mind know when it's time to work and when you're done. This actually involves doing one specific activity right before you start work for the day and another activity that is done, as soon as you are through for the day. This could be taking a cup of tea to tell your mind, it's time to work or a morning run. Also, have one to tell yourself you're done and through with work for the day. This could be something as simple as turning off your system, clearing your desk or grabbing a snack or going out of your house.
2. Create a workspace :
Imagine trying to get work done in the parlour or sitting room. If your family is anything like mine? Then believe me, that when my sister will want to watch TV! That's when Caleb brings his friends for their guys' jab. That's when my Dad wants to have a phone call. How can you even be part of a video call in such an environment?
Find somewhere that is quiet, peaceful and allows you to be more productive and make it your workspace. Don't use your bed or the floor. Get a table and chair. Trust me, there's something about a table and chair that makes everything seem more formal and lets you quickly get down to business.
Keep this space strictly for work or study purposes. Don't use it for other informal stuff or let others use it. It's part of getting your mind in the psyche.
Keep your desk clean ALWAYS! Nothing hinders productivity and organization like clutter. At the end of each workday, clear your desk; arrange all files and notes, take off cups or that empty biscuit sachet and all of that, so the next day, you come to a clutter-free desk and can get down to business as fast as possible.
3. Focus :
Focus, Focus, Focus! Staying focused boosts your organization by almost 25%. When you're working or studying( if you're a student) resist the urge to do other things. I know, I know it's hard. Especially when you're home! That's when everyone needs you to assist with one thing or the other but communicate with your family and friends and let them know that by this and this time, you're busy and not available. This will be easier since you already have a set schedule.
Minimize distractions. Avoid checking WhatsApp or taking calls from friends calling to "check-up". These seem like little things but once your focus is broken and you're distracted, you start trying from scratch and lose your organization. Turn off the tv. Get noise-cancelling earplugs if possible to avoid noise. It's not that expensive believe me. You can get it on jumia for just 1K and for its benefits, it's totally worth the price.
You can also use a list. Write down everything you need to do with the deadline or due date beside each task in a numbered list and you can tick off each one you complete. Do be sure to put the most important and urgent tasks at the top.
To max out your focus potential then do one thing at a time. Avoid trying to multi-task beyond your capacity. You might end up making a mess of everything and delivering a poor job.
4. Take Breaks :
If you are keeping a schedule and focusing like crazy, sooner or later, you're gonna get tired. You need to set time for breaks. This could be 15 to 30 minutes or one hour break. This lets you rest and chill out and helps you regain fuel when you come back.
Breaks don't have to be checking WhatsApp or I.G. You could go chat with your family or take a breath of fresh air outside or maybe grab lunch, play games or call a friend even. Try leaving your desk so your mind can feel free and not in the work environment.
Be careful with this though, don't get too relaxed that you forget you have work to do. Set an alarm, once it rings; Break is over, go back to your desk and get back to work.
5.Deal with the phone:
Last but not least, our phones. Oh, these things are so amazing but trust me they can also be our worst enemies. You know how a call comes through when you're working or that moment when you're tired and you just wanna check Twitter for like 5 minutes? The issue is usually, that 5 minutes becomes one hour and before you know it, you're behind.
When you're working, you can put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you can't do that because your line of work deals with receiving calls, then dedicate a separate line or phone( if possible) for only work calls and be careful with the social media.
What if you work with your phone? You could put it on airplane mood and freeze your social networks for the time being or any other distractions. (For me, distraction is my pdf reader; I'm like a book addict and I need to know what's going to happen in the next chapter.) You need to freeze whatever distractions are for you. That way you won't get easily distracted. I'm actually typing with my phone and to be honest, it's on airplane mood right now. 😉 It keeps out the distractions, helps me retain focus and stay organized. So yeah, it works.
So, there you have it guys! Those are the best 5 ways to stay organized while working from home. Stick to a set schedule, have a work area, Stay focused like crazy and then breathe by taking breaks. Don't forget to deal with the phone though. Add these five ways to your work from home life and get 100% more organized. Let me know in comments which of them you HAVE been using and which one you intend to START using right away. Is there some way that has been keeping you super organized that's not on the list? Do leave a comment and let me know.
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Take care. Stay Organized and sane. This too shall pass. Till I catch up with you later.
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