5 Tips for WFH Productivity

Woman working on her laptop

With the arrival of Phase Two, we now get to enjoy the activities that we have missed participating in for the last few months, such as dining with our friends and family at our favourite eateries. However, even as offices reopen, it remains an undeniable fact that working from home emerges as the “New Normal”, and hence we should be well prepared for what’s to come. 

With that, here are 5 important tips that Outside has shortlisted for you in ensuring productivity remains an all-time high for you, even in the comfort of your own homes.

1. Never Skip Breakfast

Recall the last time when you start the day on a growling stomach. Feeling sleepy, unmotivated, and sian is common whenever I skip my breakfast. While it sounds tempting to hit the snooze button to exchange our breakfast into an extra 30 minutes of sleep, having breakfast is essential. More than just fueling us with energy to start the day right, eating breakfast also has many other advantages including a boost in our work productivity through enhancing our memory and concentration.

Although it is important to fill our tummies for better work productivity, stop when you are 80% full. At some point of the meal, does your stomach feel that it has only room for one medium bubble tea? This is likely akin to our stomach being at 80% capacity. Apart from preventing food coma, this can also help us reap health benefits in the long run such as lowering the rate of contracting fatal illnesses such as stroke and even cancer.

Garnish your pancakes with blueberries for some extra antioxidants! (Source: Giphy)

For even better work productivity, some recommended ingredients to complete your breakfast staples include blueberries on top of pancakes or serving toast with egg and avocado slices. These brain-power foods also have other health benefits, take for example blueberries. Known as a great source of antioxidants, blueberries are good in aiding the central nervous system to reduce inflammation.

2. Establish a Routine

Without being in our familiar working space with our co-workers around, it may seem hard to adapt our work routine. Coming up with a schedule and to-do list for the day is important in making sure every hour spent in work is objective and optimised. In order to best determine our productivity with our to-do list, assigning a realistic duration and deadline for each task is essential.

Sticking to a fixed waking up time, lunch hour, and knock-off period is the key to cultivate a better routine. A bonus tip on optimising your lunch hour is to plan ahead on what to eat, or even to prepare your lunch beforehand by meal prepping. With a variety of tasty meal prep recipes readily available online such as Chicken and Broccoli Shells and Cheese, we can look forward to less stress and more time in recharging during our lunch hour.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells and Cheese. (Source: Love Grows Wild)

Setting aside some time for physical workout is also a key in striking a balance for productivity, where people were able to better manage both time and workload on the same day. Especially after sitting down for long hours, doing some yoga or pilates would be good in loosening those weary muscles. Enjoy yoga and pilates online classes at your convenience from FREE (woohoo!) sites like Blogilates to paid apps like Yoga Workouts by Daily Burn (SGD $10.98/month).

3. Create a Dedicated Workspace 

While working from home, the line between work and rest is sometimes blurred. Therefore, a dedicated space for work is essential for us to remain as effective as possible even in the comfort of our homes.

Natural lighting for a view and better productivity. (Source: Hubble HQ)

A clutter-free desk is essential in getting you in the mood for work. One of the ways to start decluttering is to sort out the items needed for work purposes and not. With a Switch LITE lying on your desk, it may be hard to stay focused as it may remind you of the uncompleted missions on Animal Crossing. For objects that may be harder to sort out like decorations, a good rule of thumb to decide whether to keep it is to see if the decoration blends in well with your existing workspace — i.e. a terrarium which complements a wood table.

Conference room background. (Source: Elite Daily)

Apart from ensuring that your workspace is ready for work and ideally free from noise, here are some telecommuting etiquette you could practice while video conferencing. By muting yourself when you are not speaking, this allows the speaker to best project his message so that everyone can be on the same page better. Also, check out these video call office backgrounds and other high quality Zoom backgrounds to turn even the messiest background into a more professional backdrop.

4. Set the Momentum Right

Now that your physical workspace is ready for work, plug yourself in to some music. More than just improving our mood, listening to songs while getting work done has enabled people to generate better ideas and finish their work earlier. However, it is essential to match the right music as you go through the momentum of your tasks. Just as we find it difficult to fully concentrate as someone is talking, it is recommended to avoid songs with lyrics for better productivity. Here are some no-lyrics varieties you can explore which include low-fidelity and white noise.

Get your work momentum right with some music. (Source: Giphy)

Low-fidelity is a popular type of music that may be familiar to us as we mug in our student days. More commonly known as lo-fi, it has been helpful to 86% of people including working adults in improving their work productivity. The technical flaws in the music triggers the brain to pick up the differences in the music, and therefore gaining better concentration.

Do you miss the familiar ambience of your office? Switching on some white noise for offices might be a convenient solution to that. Apart from improving concentration, white noise is also found to have other health benefits such as promoting one’s well-being and reducing anxiety.

5. Clear Your Mind from Distractions

Scrolling through our social media, dazing into space.. we have all been there and done that before. Even if we get the above four tips right, having a preoccupied mind is the real deal-breaker when it comes to maximising our productivity.

Focusing is hard even while sitting still. (Source: Giphy)

There’s no doubt that our phones have become an integral part of daily living. We can’t help but to respond to every time a notification pops up. Redirect your screen time to better productivity by setting your phone on the “Do Not Disturb” mode (Apple / Android) during your working hours. Not forgetting an hour before your bedtime for a good undisrupted sleep, as sleep is the foundation for a more focused mind the next day.

Stress is also undeniably inevitable in our everyday lives. Even our daily tasks outside can be distracting as well. With the help of Outside, you can engage taskers to help lessen the distractions on your minds. Outside allows for great flexibility on the detail of tasks within your budget — be it in getting that Basque burnt cheesecake you’ve been craving from a particular bakery or to deliver a surprise gift to a friend who lives miles away. Settle it, with Outside today!

Outside is a community-tasking app that connects users to help each other out for their daily inconveniences. Since its launch in 2017, the app has gained recognition for its work through media features and competitions, where it has won multiple awards. Currently, the app boasts over 10,000 users and is officially supported by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)’s #SGUnited and Majurity Trust’s #SGStrong. 

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