Tips for increasing productivity during COVID-19 lockdown
“All I ask is that today, you do the best work of your entire life.” – Steve Jobs.
Today, millions of people are working from home amidst the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. It is an initiative taken by the governments of many countries to protect the citizens and prevent the transmission of the virus from one person to another. Working from home facilitates employees to follow a flexible schedule and work at their convenience. However, it can pose a serious challenge to the employees in terms of coordination and communication.
Feeling isolated and distracted is not unusual when you work from home. The lockdown may be extended for a few more weeks or even months in some regions. For this reason, focusing your attention and maximizing your productivity during the lockdown period are prerequisites so that your work does not suffer. Learn how to improve your performance and achieve a work-life balance by following these productivity tips.
- Strategize: Create a work strategy and identify which task is urgent and which task is of lesser priority. Focus your time and energy on important tasks first. Outline at least 4-5 tasks with the expected number of hours you have to invest in completing them and map them on to a plan by creating a to-do list.
- Routinize: Set a daily routine that includes your start time and time of completion. Wake up at the usual time and try to follow your routine. You can increase your productivity when you complete some tasks earlier than the set time. Take short breaks after a particular time duration. You can do stretching or exercise to keep your focus intact.
- Communicate: Working from home can make you feel isolated and dull, thus affecting your productivity. To overcome this, you can have daily meetings with your team or team leader. Talk to your team members about how they are doing and discuss the week’s strategy. You can start by asking about their day’s agenda and work progress. Before you organize a meeting, ensure that:
- It has a purpose and agenda
- An appropriate time is set to discuss urgent matters
- All technical issues are resolved
- All the team members are informed
- Meeting invites and links have been sent to the members
- You have all the relevant information related to the topic of the meeting
- Workplace: Have a look around your house and choose a place where you can work without any distractions. Working on your bed with your smartphone next to you may not be conducive and can affect your productivity. Try to create a designated space for your work, all you need is a chair and table. It will help you focus on one task at a time. Keep your phone on silent, and only use it during your break hour.
- Quantify: Create a list of work goals for the entire week that are specific, can be measured, and are achievable and realistic. Break down your task list and quantify your goals. Remember every task is time bound, so try to finish it within the given time frame. For example, if you are editing a research paper, write down the name of the sections or number of pages you plan to edit in a day. Consider the fact that the time for editing the introduction section would vary from the time you would require editing the methodology as it contains sub-sections.
- Measure: Measure your work output at the end of the day by maintaining a spreadsheet. Include the tasks completed by you and the tasks that are still pending. You can also note the number of hours invested by you for finishing a particular task. For example, if you are working on writing a dissertation, you can note down the hours it took to finish a section of the paper. This way you will be able to assess your writing speed as well as how close or farther away you are from meeting the deadline.
- Organize: Set up your computer in a way that minimizes distractions and maximizes your productivity levels. While working on your laptop, turn off social media notifications. Use apps that are necessary such as your e-mails and Skype, so that you do not miss any updates from your team members. You can also use sticky notes to note down important information and login passwords. Manage your inbox folders and keep priority mails at the top.
We at Author Assists support our employees during this time of need by providing a flexible working environment for everyone. As responsible citizens of the country, we must fight the COVID-19 pandemic together. To support the scientific and medical research community, we are offering 65% discount on editing services for studies related to coronavirus.