The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are many. It’s changing the way we live and work, with many people across the globe now performing their duties from home. Even those who typically work remotely are contending with new distractions, such as children who are attending classes virtually.
Looking for strategies to keep the distractions at bay while trying to accomplish your most pressing responsibilities from home? Fortunately, software and technology (https://www.bairesdev.com/software-development-services/software-outsourcing/) have provided us with many solutions.
Set Timers and Reminders
Something as simple as setting up reminders on your Google Calendar can help you stay on task. Assign start times for different projects or responsibilities, and you’ll receive alerts in advance of when you need to begin. This will give your day some structure.
Another strategy is using a method like the Pomodoro Technique. Through this method, you break up your workday into 25-minute increments, called Pomodoros, and take five-minute breaks after each, as well as longer breaks after completing a handful. The idea is that the limited amount of time will force you to maximize your productivity, while the short breaks give you a breather.
Invest in Reliable Equipment
Having unreliable equipment can be a huge productivity zapper. If your wifi keeps going in and out, for example, you’ll constantly have to take breaks to check the router. Or, if you’re working on an old, slow laptop, you may find that it freezes frequently and the battery drains quickly.
Essential equipment for your home office includes a solid laptop or desktop computer with a camera that has Zoom or other video-conferencing application installed, high-speed wifi, and cybersecurity software.
If you do encounter issues, there are some ways to address them. For example, if you have a weak signal, you can get a wifi range extender to give you better coverage. This will use the signal from your router and, as the name implies, extend it to areas with flakier signals.
Consider Noise-Canceling Headphones
Working from home means you’re probably dealing with a lot of external noise, such as your kids yelling, dogs barking, drilling outside, and neighbors’ music. All that noise can be difficult to contend with when you’re trying to get your work done.
Enter noise-canceling headphones. Whether you need to drown out all the sounds you’re not used to hearing at work or need to pay attention in an important Zoom meeting, they’ll help you block out all the commotion. There’s a huge variation in prices for different models, ranging from about $40 to upwards of $300, so you can surely find something for you regardless of your budget.
Or, if you don’t want to invest in headphones, try the Krisp app. This tool lets you block out background noises during calls you make from any video conferencing app, including Zoom and Skype. You can use it for free for 120 minutes per week on Windows, Mac, and Chrome or 240 minutes per week from iPhone and iPad. If you need more time, you can upgrade to the Pro, Teams, or Enterprise versions.
This may sound counterintuitive for advice on how to maximize productivity using technology, but part of your strategy must include using technology responsibly.
If you have the discipline to stay off of social media apps and other distractions while you’re working, then you can certainly rely on yourself to get through the day by turning off your email and Facebook alerts and setting times to check your accounts.
But if you’re like most of us, you need a little push. There are tools that can help, such as Flipd. This app will lock specific apps on your phone for a certain period of time so you can’t access them, even if you restart your phone.
The age of Coronavirus has forced us all to cope with challenges at an unprecedented scale. If you’re struggling to stay productive while working remotely, you’re not alone. But with the help of these tools, you can find a way to keep your efficiency up, even if you’re going stir-crazy at home.