While not all companies have embraced the work-from-home arrangement, it’s definitely gaining traction, especially when there are scenarios that require it (like the current Coronavirus outbreak). If you’re a freelancer, you probably already do a lot of working from home. Regardless, being productive at home can be a challenge. For many of us, our home is a place of rest. However, there can be ways to be productive while staying at home – even if you’re not working.
So, whether it’s your first time working from home (such as office-based employees who are now forced to stay in and work from home because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine), or you’re a regular freelancer, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to spend your time better, here are ways to get things done at home:
Part I: Work Hard
There are many kinds of work that you can do from home. No matter what industry you’re in, there are some basic things that you can do to make sure you’re productive:
Set up an environment conducive to work
If you’re serious about getting work done at home, you need to set up a productive environment. At the bare minimum, you should have some kind of workstation like a desk and a chair. Avoid working in bed as this will affect your motivation to work, and you might just end up sleeping, resting or procrastinating. It’ll also be ideal if you can plan and print out a work schedule that you can post at your home office so you can manage your time wisely (and also remind everyone in your home that you’re going to be busy with work).
You’ll also need the tools of your trade like a computer – a laptop, most likely, and a stable internet connection so your employer, clients or colleagues can reach you. You can add peripherals like a mouse, speakers, or a wireless keyboard to make things easier for you. Depending on your work, you might need a higher-end desktop for tasks like video editing.
Finally, a conducive environment also means having a space where you’re free to work without disturbances. This is easy if you live alone but if you live with others, there can be some challenges. If it sometimes gets noisy where you live, you could invest in some earphones or headphones so you can put yourself in the zone. Or if you’re not used to quiet places and miss the sound of people busy in the background, you might want to simulate that by listening to these cafe noises that we found while you work.
Clean or declutter
Even if you have all the things needed to get work done, having a dirty or messy environment can be distracting. In fact, it can be unhealthy. So, you might want to take the opportunity to clean or declutter your room. While there are home cleaning services in Metro Manila, sometimes it’s not an option. To be able to do it yourself, you should have at least a broom, a dust pan, a mop, and some wiping cloth so you can clean your house (check out our tips on cleaning and disinfecting your home).
Take the time to declutter too while you’re at it. Cleaning the house is an opportunity to find things that you don’t really need anymore. You can gather them together and choose to sell them on Carousell.
Receive and share the gift of learning
There’s a wealth of knowledge to be found online, many of which are offered through online courses. We found this list of websites that offer them for free that you might want to check out.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers a wide range of courses on technical skills such as entrepreneurship and web development. Google, meanwhile, has Digital Garage and Primer to help startups develop business and marketing skills. Coding, which is a very lucrative skill now, can be learned through courses online or through apps like Grasshopper.
But, it goes both ways. You can also share what you know to others. These days, there are many opportunities to do online tutoring. From engineering, to foreign languages, to music, there are plenty of ways to make money from home. And you can post your services online on Carousell.
Part II: Play Hard
All work and no play makes for dull days. It’s important to leave room for non-work related tasks so you can recharge. It also helps you develop creativity which is a great quality to have for your career. Here are some ways you can balance work with play:
Make sure you don’t spend the whole day sitting down and working. Take time to move around. Not only will it make you more productive because it clears your mind, it will also make you healthier. While you don’t have to do a full-on workout, try to do some exercise. Maybe have some dumbbells or an exercise mat near where you work so you can squeeze a few reps in between tasks.
Learn to play an instrument
“If music be the food of love, play on,” so goes a line in one of William Shakespeare’s plays. While we’re not all going to be rockstars or pop idols, being able to play an instrument is great. Music is a good outlet for creative expression and it could introduce you to a community of other people who appreciate music as much as you.
Skills in music actually translate to many other things. Playing guitar develops dexterity while playing drums develops a deeper sense of rhythm, for example. Being able to play a piano or keyboard can let you develop the ability to do one thing with one hand and another thing with the other.
So, if you spend a lot of time at home, consider picking up an instrument. It’s easy to get preloved instruments that can be just as good as brand new on Carousell. Just make sure to ask your household for some patience and understanding while you’re still learning to play.
Also, being a musician is sexy. There, it’s been said.
Start a hobby
Having a lot of time at home is a great opportunity to pursue hobbies you’ve always wanted to. Materials for most arts and craft hobbies can be found easily on Carousell. These are great ways to express yourself, cultivate creativity, and develop an eye for detail.
You can also try reading books. In a world full of digital content, there’s still value in taking the time to read a book. While most content out there screams for your attention, with a book, you make the active choice to read. That’s why it’s been said to increase focus and attention. Even if the feel of a page isn’t your cup of tea, you can always buy an e-book reader.
Part III: Rest Easy
You don’t always have to be doing something. These days, speed has become one of the defining characteristics of our society. But, amidst the rush of our daily lives, there’s still a lot of value in slowing down. It lets you take the edge off, have a clearer picture of things, and remember the most important things in life.
Meditate, reflect, reconnect
One of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to de-stress is by simply doing nothing. Life can be hectic and sometimes, the best way to treat yourself is to step back and just let yourself breathe.
This could also be an opportunity for you to reconnect with family and friends, especially during difficult times. After all, no matter what tips or tricks we try to make ourselves more productive, it’s remembering the things and people who motivate us that really keep us going.
Stay safe, everyone!