Whether it’s for university or for your job, working from home can have its perks and its hitches. AAU Alumnus and partner at Procrastination.com, Juraj Vozar, unpacks how to optimize your work from home routine during these unprecedented times.
Vozar is an alumnus of AAU’s Masters in International Relations & Diplomacy program. Since graduating he has had an extensive career as a trainer for Fortune 500 companies, a consultant for social enterprises and NGO’s throughout Europe, and most currently as a partner at Procrastination.com where he shares strategies for optimizing your productivity.
In light of the current COVID-19 situation that has effected the way people work around the globe, Vozar has some tips and insight below to help us optimize our current circumstances.
When we want to boost our productivity, get the work done or just stay sane while doing so, we all have principles and tips on how to manage ourselves, our space and our time. In the current ‘QuaranTimes’, many of us may have a bit more time and quite less space to manage. This could bring a different set of challenges when trying to manage ourselves. Let’s take a look at 5 tips that can help us work more efficiently from home.
Establish a workspace and routine
We all have a certain routine, whether we like and know it, or not. When we do not have a system or plan to follow, we tend to behave mostly reactively to our needs (bathroom, food, e-mails) and likes (snacks, videos).
Based on the work with our clients as well as personal experience: To-Do Today Lists are the main ally against the ambushes of our auto-pilot urges. Tangible, simple, and visual, the To-Do Today List represents a revolutionary update to the old To-Do List.
Read more about To-Do Today Lists and why this should be your next habit here.
Identify your distractions and make time for them
TASK: Think for 8+ seconds and answer the question: “What is my most common distraction?”
In order to beat or limit our distractions, we first need to identify them. Chances are your distraction has a name or you usually carry it in your pocket and it is designed to keep you occupied.
Once you have your main distraction(s) identified, you can create an environment to avoid/moderate them. One possible way to do this is to:
I know, it may sound like an oxymoron. You either make a schedule of must-do activities and stick to it or ruin it all with the binge activity of your choice.
Instead, by implementing “feel-good” and “high-binge-potential” activities, you increase the chances to continue with your To-Do Today list by creating more positive emotions. Moreover, you are more prone to keep the binging at bay during crucial times.
Use digital tools to limit screen time
For avoiding the well-known path to Facebook/Youtube/Instagram 2 minutes after you’ve finally opened your work-related task, try some applications that limit your access to the internet or blacklist certain websites.
I usually prefer the Self-Control App (for Mac) or the “physically displacing the device to another room” application, for my cell phone. In case you need to use your phone for calling, instead of another room, an arm’s-length distance is sufficient for dodging subconscious phone-reach followed by mindless browsing.
If you are in search of an application to help with “screen-stractions”, you can find a well-versed list here. Choose one and try it out.
During quarantine or any unexpected times working from home, it’s possible that we all may experience “low moments.” Here are 3 tricks (seperated by time) to pick you up again:
Browse through old photos: family/friends/parties/good times and think of how you felt and what was going on in your life in those moments.
For getting out of a funk reach out (call/facetime/skype) to 1 person you:
would love to talk: close friends, cousins, siblings
think will be pleased by you reaching out: grandparents, a friend from the past, someone you haven’t spoken to for ages,
These categories may (and should) overlap.
Now we have time for dusting-off one of the “put-off-for-later” items on our list. Especially when it comes to learning or improving particular skills, we need surprisingly little to do so:
- languages (Duolingo)
- instrument – ukulele (youtube + ukulele)
- deepen the know-how of your interest (internet?)
- cooking (internet + food)
- push/pull-ups (floor/bar)
If you want to start and also stick with your new habit, the best way to do this is to note down your activity, at least every time you felt tangible progress. A simple piece of paper could make all the difference!
Feel free to use our habit-list template with simple instructions available here.
I know. Surprise, surprise. There are a ton of tips we could be talking about, but the punch-line is the following:
Do not sweat the thought of choosing which kind of exercise…or when or how to do it the best. Just do something. Really. (Nike got it right!) Once you start and get moving, your body will make you feel better.
To create some leverage, make a bet or simply talk about the work-out of your choice with your friend and dare each other to start or…. check tip 4 again!
You can read more on the useful topic of the “Do Something Principle” here.
BONUS TIP – When feeling overwhelmed, take the Baby Test.
I will speak from my perspective, but maybe you can see yourself in the following lines:
Many times, when I do not feel the best, there is a sort of unease or inner tension, it leads me to thinking of some profound, deep-seated existential questions, ideas and considerations:
“What is wrong with me again?”
“How can I achieve more balance in my life?”
“Shouldn’t I be somewhere else in life, at this (st)age?”
“What difference do I make in the world?”
“What is the meaning to all of this?”
Believe it or not, it’s not only me! Many people are like this. What to do, when you go through your version of such a state of mind, is a Baby Test:
As the most advanced masters of our universe and developed beings, we tend to think of our issues at this same high level (think of the top of the Maslow’s pyramid). Yet, this simple check may help you identify a very simple lacking particle to your home-o-stasis and well-being.
Do you want to take kicking your procrastination to the next level? Procrasination.com is offering the AAU community a 40% discount on their online learning program! Learn more here.
It is our choice and responsibility, even during a prolonged stay at home due to COVID-19, to be as proactive as we need to be. When we step outside, our responsibility is also to be as preventive as we should be.
Watch an informational video on how to slow the coronavirus here.
Publication date: April 02, 2020