2020 is soon over but COVID-19 virus has not been beaten yet. Many countries in Europe are in the middle of a second lockdown. Working from home is strongly recommended or mandatory, social contacts are significantly reduced and many free-time activities can no longer take place. This has an undeniable impact on our productivity, focus and mental health, three aspects that are very important in order to do good work as a developer. But besides all the negative aspects, these lockdowns told me five important lessons that will help me increase my productivity when working from home, even after COVID-19.
Well, this is the most obvious one. This pandemic made me realize how important social contacts are at work and how they help me to be more productive in the long run. These are some recommendations to connect with your team while working from home:
- Do all meetings with video turned on
- Take a lunch break together
- Listen to music together (e.g. with JQBX)
- Post internal news to keep everyone up to date.
- Share fun company moments
Establish your workspace
As when working in the office, keep a clean desk with enough space to work comfortably.
It is also important to dedicate a specific space to work. If you don't have enough space in your apartment to dedicate an entire room to work, divide it. Check out Apartment Therapy's 14 Ways to Divide a Room That’ll Make Your Space Feel Bigger.
Keep your daily routine
While working remote it is possible to structure a day in a very flexible way, but this is not necessarily a good idea. There is nothing wrong in having a strong daily routine and while working from home, it even helps to be more productive:
- Reduce stress and worries about what still needs to be done
- Easily set goals
- Save time by planning less
- Easily break bad habits
Wake up early
I am not an early riser, at least I thought. During the first lockdown I got up at 6 a.m. to work directly on personal projects before starting my daily routine. This new habit not only helped me be more productive during the whole day, it also helped me relax in the evening, then the time after my working day was 100% free time.
Getting up earlier also means going to bed earlier, but at the end of the day I am truly exhausted and ready to sleep.
Accept a bad day
Sometimes we are less productive, and that's okay. It is not possible to have the full control over our body and our mental health the whole time. Our focus should be to improve our productivity for the next day. These are some activities I would recommend doing in the evening:
- Go for a walk (min. 30 minutes)
- Eat something healthy you really like
- Go to bed earlier
- Avoid social media
- No screen time
- Focus on positive news
Everyone is different and everyone has different tricks to be more productive. Due to the pandemic, I realized how the above points help me be more productive while working from home. If you have some other ideas or tricks to share, leave a comment.