Make “work from home” work for you

My Post - 2020-03-27T124131.212.pngIn my job at Google, I advise people on how to use their time as efficiently as possible. When working from home, my productivity strategies are even more important because I don’t have the ordinary structure of a day at the office, like commuting to work, walking to meetings, or running into coworkers. When your house becomes your office, you need to learn a whole new routine.

Getting work done when your teammates aren’t physically with you has been the norm at Google for a while (in fact 39 percent of meetings at Google involve employees from two or more cities). But it might not be for everyone, and many people around the world are now finding themselves in new work situations. So I put together some of my go-to productivity tips—no matter where you’re working—and a few things I’ve learned about how to get it all done from home.

Designate your “spot” where you work (and where you don’t)

It’s easy to pull your computer up to your kitchen table or plop on the couch and start working. But a consistent room, spot, desk or chair that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot (smells, sights and sounds) with getting work done. Put up some things you had at your desk, like pictures of your friends or family. Get a new mousepad you love. Stock your go-to snacks on a little shelf. And just as important as creating your “work spot” is determining the areas where you don’t work. Maybe you never bring your computer upstairs or into your bedroom. This helps create mental distance and allows you to relax often even though your work is at home with you.

Use Hangouts Meet like a pro.

You’ll probably be spending more time on video chat—in our case, Hangouts Meet. Here are a few tricks for Meet at home: lower your video quality when you’re experiencing bandwidth restrictions or delays, dial into a video call but get audio through your phone, and caption your meetings to make sure everyone can follow. If you’re needing some (virtual) human interaction, set up an agenda-less video chat with your team or friends in the office—it’s not a formal meeting, just time to chat and check in with each other.

Practice “one tab working.”

If you don’t have a large monitor or your usual screen setup at home, it’s even more important to focus on one Chrome tab at a time. If you’re on a video call from your laptop, minimize all other tabs and focus on the conversation—just like you would put away your phone or close your laptop in a meeting to stay engaged.

Act the part.

Resist the urge to wake up and start working in bed—it doesn’t help your brain get in the “mood” of being productive. Stick to your usual routines like waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, then “commuting” to your new work space. Staying in your pajamas, while comfortable, will make you feel less like it’s a regular workday and make it harder to get things done. – Read more

Working from home? 4 tips for staying productive

My Post - 2020-03-17T180227.430.pngCOVID-19 has led many companies to recommend that employees work from home. For many, remote work is a new reality and one that takes some getting used to. Below are a few tips for working remotely from Google’s Primer team to help you make the most out of the situation. A version of this tutorial originally appeared in the free Primer app.

Whether it’s done by choice or by necessity, working from home has its benefits, like avoiding your daily commute. But it also means it’s up to you to motivate yourself and get as much out of your time as you would in an office setting.

To help, here are four tips to keep yourself accountable, collaborative, and productive as you work from home.

Establishing a designated workspace can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively.

Tip 1: Create “work” triggers for your brain

When you work in an office, the daily routine of getting ready and commuting helps your brain get ready for the day. When you’re working remotely, you can create “start the day” triggers that get your head ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, reading the news, or making coffee.

A workspace may also be key. If you can sit down and be productive anywhere, that’s great. If you need more structure, establishing a designated workspace — whether it’s a separate room, a fully stocked desk, or just a clean part of your kitchen table — can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively and without distraction.

About distractions: They’re one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. To keep your brain in the right mode, avoid doing nonwork tasks during your work time. For example, schedule a separate time to do laundry instead of tackling it while you’re finishing a work presentation.

Tip 2: Stay motivated with a list

A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you both organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home. As you create your list, think about big, long-term goals, like finishing a project, as well as small goals, like completing tasks that lead to that big goal. Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, which gives you positive reinforcement throughout your day. And work feels much more doable when it’s not all one giant task.

Write or type out your list instead of just having it in your head. You won’t have to devote headspace to constantly remembering what you have to do, and the pleasure of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated. – Read more