Tips and tricks to optimise productivity while Working From Home as a procrastinator

Due to recent unusual health events (COVID-19), more and more of us are encouraged to work from home. As a self confessed procrastinator who has been working from home for the past year or so, I have looked out for tips and tricks to increase productivity while working from home.

Here is a list of tips and tricks that I use to increase my productivity while working remotely.

1. Remove guilty pleasure

I am a self confessed Netflix Marathoner. If I start streaming one episode of a TV show, I’ll often end up streaming all of them in one go. I’ve decided to miss out on a few popular TV shows and canceled my subscription.

What is your guilty pleasure?

2. Limit the use of Facebook on desktop

I had a habit of going onto Facebook too often. I use the Chrome extension News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. Since the majority of the time I go onto Facebook is to keep up-to-date with news outlets and discover new short form humor driven images (also known as memes... ), I use this extension to minimise my time spent on the site. At first, it felt odd. Gradually, I have become used to it and only use my phone to browse when I really have the time and see what is happening out there. This is one of the best Chrome extensions I have ever used.

What is your go to self regulation app to limit the time spent on social media?

3. Set up a separate digital environment for different projects

At times I am working on 4 projects at the same time, I find myself constantly switching between tasks and seldom bring things up to speed to the way I want my productivity to be. I have found another Chrome extension called Workona. It allows me to stay on task and stay focused on different aspects of the projects by giving me the freedom to assign different work documents or links to different tabs. Oh, I forgot to mention that I use browser based programs such as G-Suite, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Figma 90% of my time. So, Workona is very useful to me.

What other Chrome extensions would you recommend?

4. Have a specific workstation, furthest away from bed as possible

In the workplace, it is often assumed that workers who are more satisfied with the physical environment are more likely to produce better work outcomes. Ask a workplace architect or interior designer, they will assure you that the workplace environment will impact productivity greatly. I ensure that I have natural air and sunlight while working from home by having an organised workstation and putting that furthest away from the bed as it is physically possible.

How would you describe your home office?

Good routine

On a habitual level, maintaining a good routine and establishing to do lists for the day (just like you would as you go to a “productivity meeting place” - office) will greatly improve your productivity. I use a sheet to track this and see if I checked off the tasks at the end of the day when doing some self reflection journaling and planning for the next day.

As a User Experience Designer with a keen interest in how people interact with technologies, things and their surroundings, I will post this question out there: how do you optimise your physical, digital and mental space when you work from home?

Finally, as a fellow procrastinator, I hope you find this list useful. I’ll keep updating it as I go along. Please do share your own productivity tips with me in my next session.

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