By Monica Mizzi
Have you moved your professional activity at home and are looking for some pointers on how to work from home effectively? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, it’s quite common to find yourself struggling to maintain productivity and give your all to each task, especially if you’re new to working outside of the office.
Fortunately, you’ll get the hang of it soon — as long as you set yourself up for success. And, one of the best ways to improve your productivity and performance is to arm yourself with the right tools. If you’re unsure what items, in particular, will make a marked difference in your performance, consider trying the five we present below.
Do you find yourself getting easily distracted when working from home? Temptations — whether they come in the form of Facebook or your fridge — can certainly feel overwhelming at times, and “just five minutes” can quickly escalate into hours. That’s why Angela Stringfellow from Girls Who STEM recommends a simple, but effective, productivity hack called the Pomodoro Technique.
“The Pomodoro Technique has gained acclaim for its ability to set even the most distracted of people on the path to productivity,” Stringfellow said. “The reason it’s so effective is because it breaks work up into manageable chunks and rewards you for completing them. It also couldn’t be simpler to start, as all you’ll need is a timer!”
To begin, set your timer for one “pomodoro” — which is a period of 25 minutes. Work until it rings and take a short break. Then, repeat the process. Once you’ve completed four “pomodoros,” you can take a longer break of around 20 to 30 minutes. It’s really that easy!
Without a doubt, your fridge is one of the biggest distractions you’ll face when working from home. What’s more, not only is it unhealthy to make frequent trips to your fridge but doing so is also a major roadblock to working effectively. That’s why it’s vital to be conscious of eating healthy when you’re working from home.
For example, that means saying no to the lure of the fridge and avoiding the constant urge to order takeout. If you do find your tummy rumbling before and after you’ve eaten lunch, prepare healthy snacks. Some tasty, nutritious snacks include fruit, nuts, and hummus and carrots. Unlike sugary snacks like candy and chips, these healthy alternatives will help you maintain your energy level so you can focus on the task at hand.
Working effectively at home will be much easier if you can make time to exercise. After all, daily exercise is not only essential to your health, but it also gives you the opportunity to blow off some steam and refocus. That being said, finding the time to exercise when you’re already up to your ears in work can seem impossible.
That’s why using an under-desk elliptical is a fantastic idea. As the name suggests, this is an elliptical that fits under your desk, and it can be easily used either while you work or during a short break (which you’ll have if you use the Pomodoro Technique!). Plus, it couldn’t be more straightforward — just keep stepping on it.
If you’re finding that your body aches far more than usual since you started working from home, your laptop could be the culprit. Making the switch from working on a desktop to a laptop may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a significant difference in your ability to have a pleasant and productive work-from-home experience.
As Thrive Global points out, this is because laptops invariably cause you to bend your neck or hunch forward as they aren’t as aligned to your eye level as a desktop computer. To fix this problem, place your laptop on a laptop stand, which raises your laptop to a more ideal position so you won’t need to strain your neck, back or eyes as much.
Blue Light Computer Glasses
For most of us, working effectively at home requires spending countless hours staring at your screen, which can cause a range of health problems, including eye strain and stress. While staring at a screen may be unavoidable, it doesn’t mean you can’t help your eyes out.
An easy way to do so is to start wearing blue light computer glasses, which filter out blue-violet light from your computer. Exposure to blue light has been linked to eye strain and also various sleep issues. Needless to say, both of these health issues can make it that much harder to work effectively at home. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive solution, try giving these innovative glasses a go.
About the author
Monica Mizzi is a digital marketer who specializes in SEO and content creation. She is a regular contributor to GirlsWhoSTEM.com and currently freelances for a number of clients, including tech companies. Monica previously worked as marketing manager at a cryptocurrency exchange and SaaS company. She is deeply interested in promoting the advancement of girls and women in STEM and spends much of her time learning about how to become a better ally.