Amidst the pandemic, most of us (including me) are struggling with work from home productivity. As we know, becoming more productive and efficient, the greater the chance you will become successful. We’re stuck with spending more time at home for the past year, and finding the motivation to get your work done before the deadline may have been a little bit difficult.
After a while, I found my biggest enemy was procrastination to get beat my procrastination. I spend some time on the internet and found four ways to increase my work from home productivity scientifically proven.
1. Increase Work From Home Productivity by Taking Frequent Breaks
When I was in high school, I took freelance jobs to sustain my needs. These additional freelance work I took add a lot of stress and pressure because I’m trying to focus on school and work simultaneously.
At first, I tried to do as much studying and work as possible. I’d spend a lot of time in front of the computer for hours staring at a monitor or notebook, as a result, I am starting to experiencing headaches from time to time.
Few months passed, I started to realize this is wrong. All of this work and school assignment at once and cramming and doing it for the shortest time possible wear me out. And I changed my way of doing it by breaking it down piece by piece to give me some break in between.
Even though it sounds counter-productive, having to take a break every once in a while makes me more productive than sitting for hours and tried to do it all in one session. Your brain needs a break every once in a while, and I felt like short 5-10 minutes break get me going again at full speed.
I read an article on Psychology Today by Meg Selig, and according to her.
Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative. “Aha moments” came more often to those who took breaks, according to research. Other evidence suggests also that taking regular breaks raises workers’ level of engagement which, in turn, is highly correlated with productivity.Meg Selig
2. One Task at a Time
Around April was the first time the government (Indonesia) started promoting work from home. At first, I tried to do things multitasking (since I had multiple jobs) to increase my work from home productivity. I got in the bad habit of taking a job, doing it halfway, and setting it aside, not finishing it until later. Then, I’d get another job and keeps repeating this same process.
But, in the end, I would have two jobs that were half-done, and another job keeps coming and piling each passing day. This leads me into procrastinating and taking longer to finish. I also need to keep shifting my focus based on what kind of job I did.
After a while, this method of multitasking makes my work from home productivity getting worsened day by day. After that, I decided to start doing my job one at a time. It’s the best way to do it, increasing my work from home productivity and keeping me organized, too, as a bonus.
Why Doing One Task at A Time is Better?
Some studies show that multitasking is less efficient. It takes additional time to switch gears and focus when they switch tasks. I also need a couple of extra times to change my focus on the job I had already started.
When people do two things at once, are they being more efficient or wasting time? A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance (Vol. 27, №4) indicates that multitasking may actually be less efficient — especially for complicated or unfamiliar tasks — because it takes extra time to shift mental gears every time a person switches between the two tasks.American Pyschological Association
I’m not trying to say that my way is much better, but apparently, not everyone is becoming more productive by doing multitasking. It might be you’re more productive by doing multitasking. However, if you are a multitasker and struggle to be productive, doing one task at a time may be the best way for you scientifically.
3. To-do List is The Key
I’m not used to writing a to-do list before. Since high school, I have owned several planners (from the bank) but never used them. Instead of writing some notes, I’d try to store it in my head from a meeting, deadline, and other information that I needed to keep track of. Of course, it wasn’t the best method, but back then, I’m not an organized person and thought it was a waste of time to write everything on a planner.
Since early 2020, I started to use a to-do list, and it helped me immensely. Since I do multiple jobs at a time, especially for my work from home productivity, it helps me break down things I need to do in a timely fashion.
Every morning, I write every single task that I want to complete that day. I’m not writing the times or anything, but things I need to do and finish by the end of the day. Crossing every item once it is finished, and feeling the instant gratification by crossing every list for the day.
To-do List is Great For You
Studies show that people who write out their tasks that need to be done increase productivity. A study known as Zeigarnik Effect showed that individuals who completed tasks from their to-do list increase their productivity, science says, because it freed up their brain from worrying about their unfinished task that needed to be completed.
The implication is that people are more effective when they are able to cross off the first thing on their list. It allows them to go on to the next thing.Sarina Schrager, MD, MS and Elizabeth Sadowski, MD,
4. Sufficient Sleep
Since high school, as I’ve said before, I’ve to do work and school simultaneously. Getting sufficient sleep is probably the least worries I had at the time. Pulling all-nighter before the exam, finishing work, or binge a tv series at night. Yes, it was bad.
Recently researchers found that individuals who suffered insomnia or insufficient sleep had a noticeable decline in performance, productivity, and safety.
Sleep deprivation leads to lost productivity because it causes a loss of mental clarity, focus, and creativity.Ruth C White PH.D from Psychology Today
Getting an extra hour of sleep each night can improve your work from home productivity. Giving your mind and body proper time to recover to prepare yourself to do some work during the day.
In a pandemic situation like this, work from home productivity is a problem for many people, especially those who are not used to work from home.
If you’re facing procrastination and having difficulties doing some work in a timely fashion, try out the four tips above to boost your work from home productivity. They work for me and might work for you, but it has been proved to work scientifically speaking.
There is no harm in trying them, right?
What about you? is there any work from home productivity apart from the tips above? or do you try the four tips above, and it works or didn’t work? Share some thoughts on the comments below!