Published On: February 24th, 2021By

This time last year, the whole world was in flux. At UpHouse, we were beginning to debate shutting down the office and working from home, certain we’d look back at our “better safe than sorry” decisions as a humorous overreaction.

A year later, we’re still at home. Occasionally someone will head into the office to clear out the cobwebs (more mental than literal) and the rest of us get to catch a glimpse of the place through a tiny Zoom window.

It hasn’t been easy, but luckily we’ve got some tips on how to keep “working from home” working for you. You might have seen Alex sharing his insights on CTV Morning Live, but if not, we’ve got you covered.

Give Yourself a 2021 Restart

So many of us figured we’d be back to our old routines by now and have abandoned our once good work-from-home habits. Set yourself up in a new spot at home if you can, or try changing up your workspace just a little bit to keep it feeling fresh. You’ll likely need to do this a number of times to keep things dynamic, comfortable and interesting.

Work on Your Starts and Stops

After working from home for an extended period of time, being fully “on” or fully “off” becomes less like a light switch and more of a dimmer knob, with both states blending into each other. Improve your time-management by making yourself and others aware of whether you are in focus time, flex time or free/family time. No matter what you’re doing, make a conscious effort to stick to your task, acknowledging your intended focus and when it’s time to stop and move on to something else.

Set Smaller Milestones

If your plate is fulled with work and your downtime is limited by isolation, it can be pretty hard to stay motivated. Set small milestones that will help you feel like you are moving forward. If tasks begin to feel insurmountable, break them down into smaller pieces. If your to-do list for the week feels overwhelming, focus on a separate list for the day or even break your day into parts. It will make it easier to see the progress you’re making.

Make Time for Connection

Add five minutes to a meeting for a catch up, create a co-working virtual room, play online games, have a brainstorm, make time for one-on-one chats. We still have the power to make someone’s day with even the smallest moment of joy or silliness.

Happy employee waving at their laptop in an online meeting.

Stop Talking About Productivity So Much

Everyone you talk to says they wish they were being more productive at home and with work. Productivity is born from inspiration and a lot of us aren’t feeling very inspired. Shift your focus to getting re-inspired and productivity will follow. Fill up on creativity by engaging with the people, activities and art that inspire you. Call, text or write a letter to a friend, take time for a walk at lunch, watch a good movie or read a great book. Do the things that will help you recharge your internal batteries.

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