Life Hacks

How to Be More Productive Working from Home?

Kiera Xu
May 29, 2020

As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 keeps spreading, many schools and companies in Los Angeles have begun to implement home isolation and self-quarantine policies. Students start to take online courses, and people start to work from home. Working from home is awesome, but can also become a disaster. Cats and dogs throw up on your laptop, neighbors could be quite noisy and you get distracted easily. No worries! Here are some wonderful tips to improve work efficiency when you work at home.


1. Tailor Your Daily Plan

One of the great benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to drive for hours. Especially in Los Angeles, many people spend an hour or two on commuting during the rush hour. Take this opportunity to re-plan your schedule! You can use an electronic calendar to arrange your daily, weekly, and monthly plans. Those plans include not only when to finish your own work tasks, but also sports, body care, diet, and learning. Set some small goals for yourself in the near future, and life will become more meaningful and exciting!

Calendar


2. Schedule Your Day Like You Would in the Office

You can pretend like you’re going to the office: get up early as usual even though you don’t have to catch up with subways or drive; make coffee and have breakfast, and wear clothes you’d probably be in while working in the office. All is to get mentally ready for and connected to your usual working pace. But you can still slip in some things you wouldn’t do in the office without messing up with your schedule. Maintaining a regular routine will improve your self-control and execution ability.


Another great benefit of working from home is that you have the opportunity to make a work-life balance. You can cook your lunch the night before, do a set of 10-minute indoor exercises as breaks, and give yourself 10 minutes to stand and think during work.

Neat Desk


3. Set up a Workstation

The working environment includes external and internal environments, which can be adjusted according to personal habits and preferences.

It is necessary to properly distinguish the working area from other areas, and never work in bed. If you don't have a table for work, you can organize your dressing table into a working table. Also, keep your desk as simple and neat as possible and this could help limit your distractions.

workstation


An organized desktop can also increase your productivity. When you start working on a personal computer/laptop rather than a corporate computer, you’ll need a process of adaptation. It's a good habit to sort and archive the documents you need for your work on your pc. You can also use some four-quadrant desktop wallpapers to categorize your work by importance and urgency.

organized desktop
Picture Source


4. Optimize Online Communication

Communication could be time-consuming while working from home and collaboration becomes harder. We can definitely optimize online communication to increase efficiency. You can create a timeline for each project and make conference calls on a daily basis at a fixed time, so that everyone can have a picture of where the project is heading to, how it has been done, and what needs to be done. You can do so by leveraging Google shared platforms such as google drive, google docs and google sheets and other online working apps and platforms which will be introduced below.

Online Communication


5. Take Advantage of Various Apps and Online Platforms

Here are some tools that can be used to increase communication efficiency. 

Schedule & List: Google Calendar, Minimalist, Asana, Slack, Wunderlist

Remote Conference Call/Chat: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts Meet, Google Hangouts Chat

Remote Working Collaboration: Google Docs, Google Sheets

zoom


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