Working from home and juggling uni and other commitments can be a stressful time for us all. We’re having to adapt and learn new ways of working, therefore it is important to ensure correct working habits are set to make the most of your time and be as productive as possible.
- Stop Multitasking
The majority of people cannot concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Even those who split their focus between several tasks experience a lower quality of work, with less creativity and more errors and stress.
Not every project is urgently urgent. When you realise that every week you have hundreds of things on your to-do list, it is time to list the tasks in order of priority. Make it a routine to set aside a few minutes each morning to review your tasks and list them according to emergency in descending order for the day. When you’ve decided your top 5 projects, focus solely on them until they’re completed. If at the end of the day some of your priority tasks remain unfinished, push them to the top of your list for the next day, then fill in your current top 5. If certain things consistently fall to the bottom of your priority list without ever rising in importance, it may not make sense to include them in your workload.
External stressors such as poor management, work overload or balancing work/uni can be beyond our control, but a significant percentage of our stress is self-imposed, and internal stress makes it more difficult to handle external circumstances. Stop what you are doing if you find yourself spiralling into destructive thought patterns. Take a deep breath and do a self check.
- Step away from your desk
Work breaks lower your stress levels, revive concentration, develop decision-making skills, and encourage more innovation in your thought. Any break is better than none, but a “movement break” is your best bet. Do something, even if it’s only a few minutes, that gets your body going, gives you a break and helps you to come back rejuvenated and ready to do your best.
It’s important to be very clear on the limits of your work/life, between yourself and others. Define it, and stick to it.