If you are accustomed to the usual hustle and bustle of big cities, especially one like Lagos, then working from home sounds like #goals right? Being able to avoid traffic, early commutes, save on petrol or transport, amongst other things, and let’s be honest — sleep in a little more, sounds like a worker’s dream.

While there are definite perks to working remotely, if one isn’t careful, it is easy to become ineffective at your job due to the numerous distractions and temptations available. Before you know it, you are behind on your OKR’s but binge-watched all the episodes of ‘The Wire’ in one week.

So, we have put together a few tips on how to be productive at home:

  1. Create A Work Space:

This is one of the most important things to do if you work constantly from home. Lying in bed with a laptop or sitting in front of the TV is not a good way to make the most of your working hours. Carve out a room or a corner in your home to be your designated workspace, and always work from a desk and a chair. Organize this space how you would want your own dream office to look, and this will help you stay zoned in and focused on your daily tasks.

If your house is not conducive for working remotely, then you may want to look into workspace options such as co-working spaces or coffee shops.

2. Set your work hours:

Even if you are not going into an office and you are tempted to snooze till 1 pm, an effective way to stay organized is to set — and stick to — your working hours. The good news is, you have the ability to define what those hours are according to when you are most productive. If you are someone who works best late at night, you may churn out your work at night and afford the extra hours of sleep in the morning.

Before you know it, you are behind on your OKR’s but binge-watched all the episodes of ‘The Wire’ in one week.

If you are someone who is juggling family life/ kids and work, you may also want to set a routine that works best for you and allows you as much time as you need to be productive.

However, if you work at an organization where you need to check in remotely, you may want to stick to your office hours, even from home. This may be more effective for setting and attending necessary meetings — albeit remotely. Setting an unrealistic work schedule may have negative effects on the outcome of your work if you are not meeting deadlines or are unavailable at times when your team members may need to reach you.

3. Try As Much As Possible To Stick To A Routine:

Many of the most successful people swear by sticking to their morning routines. This could look like waking up early to exercise before the workday, meditating, journaling, having coffee, answering emails first thing in the morning, creating a to-do list, or even stretching, and showering; but having a routine makes you feel more organized, refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

4. Dress for Success:

There are studies that show that how we present ourselves shows how we feel about ourselves on the inside. You may find that you are more in work mode when you are properly dressed than when you are attempting to work in your pajamas. There is nothing like waking up, getting freshly showered and dressed for the day ahead, to make one feel more productive and more energized.

5. Track yourself:

If you are working for an organization, you may already have policies and tools in place for tracking your progress and making sure you are producing the maximum output, but if you are working remotely on your own projects, it is very important you learn how to track yourself to measure your effectiveness and productivity. It is easy for us to lag when we are not giving and sticking to deadlines or measuring how much output we are creating, especially when we are not accountable to anyone. There are many online tools such as Asana or Trello for tracking your tasks, and you can even make your own excel spreadsheet and tick off what needs doing and what has been done.

6. Don’t Burn Out!

The thing about working remotely is that it can also have a negative effect for those who just tend to keep going with no distractions or no one to force you to remember to eat, or rest, or shower or brush your teeth! Rest is part of being effective and productive.. if you are overworking yourself your body will soon force you to slow down, and you may develop stress-related illnesses. So remember to take breaks, to eat, to breathe, and to be active!

Making Life Possible is our ethos at paga, and it is what keeps us committed to our mission of providing inclusive financial services for all Nigerians. With over 17,000 agent outlets and 9 million+ customers, we are inspired by the stories of the community we are building and the people we are empowering by making life possible every single day.

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