Find It Hard to Be Productive during Pandemic? Here’s How You Hack It!

by | May 31, 2020 | Blog

         Going through physical distancing affects our rhythm of life. Our morning routine might not be the same as we had before. Some of us start to miss the feeling of our cubicle or how comfortable our office chair is, or how crowded our workplace can be sometimes; the thing we used to hate becomes what we miss the most. But the fact that things will go back to normal again after social distancing sets a new standard: we have to stay as we are, despite all these changes. Sooner or later, we’re expected to go back into the old routine with the same performance and motivation as we had before the pandemic. Although we missed it, some of us are starting to forget what it actually feels like.

         Luckily, Artanto ‘Pepe’ Ishaam, one of our volunteers who is also Tech Talent Manager & Agile Coach at HappyFresh, had covered this issue on one of our Weekend from Home Instagram Live Session in “Productivity Hacks for WFH #3”. Pepe shared how each of us can maintain our creativity and still be able to deliver our best output while remote working. 

Working Individually

1. Build your routine

We have to keep the commitment and discipline we had even though we’re working from home. As mentioned before, although the pandemic seems to affect our rhythm, we have to find it back and keep everything on track, simply by doing what we usually do in the office. If you usually grab a cup of coffee on your way to the office, then you may take a 5-10 minutes walk around your neighborhood and make yourself a cup of coffee when you get back. All for the sake of keeping your routine and getting your mind and body ready for work. By recreating the routine at home, our mind can still be familiar with everything, thus, we can keep ourselves ready anytime we’re expected to go to our ‘normal’.

2. Stay connected

To provide ourselves with a good internet connection is crucial during this pandemic. Our presence to our supervisor and other team members depends on our internet connection. We don’t want to miss an important meeting just because our connection is lagging, right? Aside from the fact that the internet is important for our work-from-home routine, there is lots of information that we can’t miss during this pandemic, including health information, Coronavirus prevention, and recent conditions. With proper internet connection we can also attend a lot of useful webinars, learn new skills and stay in touch with our friends and coworkers. That way, we can use the internet for greater good and boost our productivity.

3. Avoid distraction

On the contrary of having a good internet signal for our benefit, it can also bring a big distraction to our routine. That is why we should stay on track during our work-from-home routine and stay focused on our job list before we reward ourselves with Youtube videos or online games. That way we can keep our work ethics in line and no worries of losing our goals. Artanto also suggested that our workspace at home should not be as similar as we had in our office, but make sure it feels familiar and comfortable. Moreover, we should also inform whoever is staying with us of our working hours and we should not be disturbed during that certain period of time.

“Our workspace at home should not be as similar as we had in our office, but make sure it feels familiar and comfortable.

4. Do task-alternating, not multitasking

Instead of multitasking, Artato suggests that we should focus on one task at a time before changing to other tasks. That way, we can be productive and not be distracted: the good result comes with a good performance. Multitask is not suggestible during work-from-home because we are more prone to be distracted and end up not finishing any task at all!

5. Meeting effectively

During this remote working period, people tend to schedule a lot of conference calls just to discuss even the slightest detail of a project… And boy isn’t that exhausting? So if you’re invited or inviting a meeting, it’s important to have an effective one. It is important to state the objective of the meeting and generate your contribution value to the discussion. You might want to avoid giving unnecessary comments that would prolong the discussion and waste other people’s time.

Talking About Teamwork..

Now we know how to boost our individual productivity, but there are more things to keep in mind when it comes to teamwork. Knowing this fact, Artanto suggested these four points along with our team-working during this pandemic:

1. Group launching

As everyone is working from home, we have to set the team’s playbook a.k.a. goals and rules. This is an important foundation to setting up a smooth team collaboration. Decide which methods, workflow, and communication channels that your team uses. When it comes to facing problems, try to find a quick and effective solution. You might need to rework the playbook until you find what works best for your team.

2. Build trust

We have to trust our people, our teammates.  When you’re working as a team, micromanagement is not always preferred. Let alone in this ‘long-distance-relationship’ with your co-workers. We have to build our trust in each of the team members by letting them work independently and try to maintain a good work environment.

“When you’re working as a team, micromanagement is not always preferred.”

3. Give sense of presence

Be an active listener, or maybe over communicate. Usually, we can see our colleagues whether they are available, busy, or look like they’re having a bad day. Now that we can’t see everyone all the time, we need to give them a sense of presence. Reply their texts with emoticons, just a simple thumbs up will do. At least they know that you’ve read their message and will be on it soon. Event the slightest response can be a delight for your team and they can acknowledge your contribution.

4. Awareness

During work-from-home as a time, to be aware is a must, especially when we’re talking about our progress. Don’t forget to ask yourself: have I been productive enough? In what aspect do I need to improve myself, and how to be more effective? It is—again—important to be aware of ourselves. You may also want to recognize signs of tiredness and whether you should take a break. Going all in for productivity also means that you need to create space and have enough rest when needed.

That’s it. Nine tips to keep us motivated and productive during WFH. The important part is to try these tips and find what fits that we can do in a long run. The suitable method will stick into our routine and bring the best in us, whether there’s pandemic or not. Also, as important as we want to be productive, it is also important not to lose the real and genuine human connection with our teammates.

So, are you ready to be more productive and show the pandemic who’s the boss?

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