As many of us find ourselves now working from home a lot more than before, we may find that we are feeling more lethargic and have less energy to focus for more than 4-6 hours on work a day. Whereas before, whether being physically in an office space with targets to hit, or having translation and interpreting assignments coming in non-stop made an 8 hour day a normal routine.
Well, this is only normal. You’ve gone through a huge change from having an established work routine with a commute or various interpreting assignments in a day. And now your commute looks a bit more like rolling out of bed and shuffling to your ”office of choice” for the day.
The lack of movement is definitely a factor responsible for your lack of energy. The process of getting up, getting ready for work and travelling helps to prepare you for the day ahead. You know what to expect because it is usually scheduled in already and your routines are established. As an online training provider, we have definitely picked up some habits along the way to combat the above. Here are a few of our tips:
- Schedule your work week on your calendar of choice, whether on your mobile, computer or in a notebook. Start by adding in your personal time such as a morning and evening routine, errands, non-negotiable family commitments, appointments, and so on. Then listen to your energy levels. Once you’ve scheduled your week, you can visualise what time you have left to get things done. If you know you work better in the morning, your calendar should reflect that. It’s also important to practice time blocking and note this in your calendar, whether for work or rest, so you can visualise the hours you have available. Unsociable hours before 9am and after 5pm should then be be off-limits for work and time-blocked for personal care, hobbies and family time.
- Use the 50:10 technique – for those of you who aren’t familiar with this technique, it involves you working in 50-minute chunks. You can set an alarm for this and as soon as the alarm goes off you have 10 minutes to rest. Hydrate, stretch, have a 5-minute workout or enjoy some quiet time in the garden. This helps to get the oxygen moving around your body because sitting down in the same position can leave you feeling lethargic. Return to your work station and take a look at what you’re going to focus on for the next 50 minutes to ensure you remain focused and on track. Then repeat. The Pomodoro technique is another similar productivity hack where you set a timer for 25 minutes, work on a specific task until the timer goes off and then you take a 5-minute break.
- Minimise distractions – find what helps you stay concentrated. Is it the plane mode on your phone, your headphones and some music, or using an app that blocks social media access for a particular number of hours? Turn off all unnecessary app notifications and close all the open tabs on your browser, then crack on with the task at hand using one of the techniques above.
We hope you find these tips useful. Whether you’re having the most productive few weeks or the most relaxing and mindful time during this pandemic, remember, both are ok. Self-care and time management can indeed go hand-in-hand.