In recent months, many of us have faced a completely new reality. This reality involves “working from home”. For some, this may not be a problem, especially if they have previously worked remotely and still feel motivated, relaxed and are able to perform their work-related duties efficiently and with the required level of energy. However, for many of us, despite the numerous benefits of staying at home, the new situation can be difficult and challenging.

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If you have never come across such circumstances before, it is possible that at some point you will begin to feel stressed, lonely, unmotivated, disorganised, frustrated, anxious, whether you work as a translator of English or in any other profession that can be done at home. Being in a new environment, which in this case is your own home and in conditions that differ from your daily routine, can have a negative impact on work, reducing its efficiency. How to avoid that?

Here are some tips on how to deal with work from home and make it as productive as possible.

1. Set a morning schedule and stick to it

The fact that you don’t have to go to work in the morning does not mean that you can stay in bed until lunch and wear pyjamas throughout the entire day. Get up regularly at the same time, preferably at your usual time and prepare for work. You will sit in front of the computer for long hours so look after your body, exercise, play your favourite music, stretch or even dance. Imagine that this is your time that you would normally devote to commuting. Prepare a healthy nutritious breakfast and don’t eat it in a rush.

Good practices also include establishing a list of work duties to be performed. Decide which of them you need to do first and which ones you can do at the end of the work day. This will allow you to avoid putting everything off until later, thus letting you avoid working until late in the evening. Establishing such a list of duties is best done in the morning, even before you start working. This is how you can become sure that nothing will be forgotten and all the most important tasks will be included in your daily work schedule.

2. Separate space for work

Don’t take your laptop to bed. Doing work this way is not a good idea. It is important to organise the workspace in a limited area and to separate private life from professional life as much as possible. If you do not have a desk specifically for work, choose a different space that will only be used for this purpose. This will make you more focused on your tasks because you will subconsciously perceive the environment in which you work as “professional”, so that your brain can switch into work mode, instead of staying in home mode. It is equally as important to have all the necessary documents and items handy at your desk. As a result, you won’t have to stop performing your tasks to find anything you may need at a given point. It will contribute to improving your concentration.

3. Stick to regular working hours and take reasonable breaks

Set your work schedule and stick to your assumptions. Start and finish work at the same time every day, as much as possible. If you have not worked overtime hours before, there is no reason for you to work longer now. Try to separate work and private life because the work-life balance is a very important aspect that will help you maintain the right level of concentration and, above all, motivation to act.

Take breaks in accordance with the company policy and do not neglect your lunch break. A healthy meal during the day will supplement your energy. Also, remember to get up from your chair from time to time to walk for a bit or do a few simple stretching exercises. This way you will avoid sitting at your computer for too long, which will additionally give you power to continue work. Paradoxically, a few 5-minute breaks will improve your effectiveness and will enable you to finish your work before the official end of work day.

4. Limit snacking, eat healthy foods

Snacking and searching through the fridge or cabinets can be tempting but you have to keep in mind that it is especially important to stay healthy and strengthen your immune system. Do not eat more than 3 well-balanced meals a day and it’s best to prepare them yourself. Pizza delivery on weekdays is really the last option you should look at. Quick unhealthy snacks will also not satisfy your hunger for too long. Eat meals at the table or in a designated space, never at the desk in front of the computer. Treat every meal as a recovery break. Keep reminding yourself of the second point from this article!

5. Stay focused, remove any distractions.

Remote work, especially without supervision, makes it difficult to stay away from Facebook and other social media. Unfortunately, we know well that they are perfect at stealing your time and causing distractions. Focus on the work duties you need to perform. If necessary, log out of all social media during working hours. There will be time after work for browsing the web or talking with your friends on WhatsApp.

6. Set new rules for functioning with other household members.

Your family or roommates may find it difficult to understand the new circumstances. Seeing you at home every day from morning to evening, performing activities other than work, can be misleading and recognised as a natural state. It’s important to talk to them about this issue and clarify the circumstances. For some people, it will not be so obvious that even if you stay at home, cook or walk the dog at a different time, you are still working and you can’t handle all the household chores instead of doing work. It’s a good idea to set a schedule and exchange roles. If you have children at home, explain the new rules to them, clearly indicating what they can and cannot do during your work time. Compensate them for your unavailability, for example, inventing fun word games while you stay at home temporarily to do your work remotely.

7. Mark your presence, do not isolate yourself

Inform your colleagues or business partners about your work schedule and availability. When you finish a project or important task, let everyone know. Participate in online company meetings and mark your presence.

Say hello, be active, talk, express your opinions. Enable the webcam if possible.

How to work from home and not go crazy?

The above tips are only some of the good practices that will help you retain the appropriate level of motivation and energy to work from home. Do not forget to look after your family relationships. Try to call your loved ones regularly. Don’t avoid contact with the world. Just because social isolation is recommended it does not mean that you cannot talk to other people. Use the phone, join video conferences, talk via WhatsApp or use other messengers. Do everything you can to keep your work-life balance at the right level. Remember that work from home has its own specifics and even though not everyone has the appropriate predispositions to perform it, you should do everything possible to cope with the new reality.

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