Whether you enjoy working from home or wish you could go to the office, there are several ways to optimize your performance while working from home. Working telehealth is a critical job that requires concentration and focus, so be sure to set yourself up for success.
Get in the zone
It may be tempting to crawl out of bed at the last minute and start working, but don’t do it. Take a shower, get dressed, make coffee, and eat breakfast. Do what you need to do to feel professional and ready to work.
Create a productive environment
Do you plan on getting comfortable on the couch? Relaxing in bed? This won’t help you focus. Set yourself up in a location that allows productivity. Even if you don’t have a home office, find a spot with good lighting and few distractions. Use white noise or quiet, classical music to prevent distraction from other sounds.
You will need enough room to spread out notebooks and your computer. If you will be video conferencing with colleagues or patients, consider what the background will look like. Make it appear as professional as an office.
Organize your day. Are you more focused in the morning? Then plan challenging tasks first. Do you get a lunch break? Be sure to take it. Give yourself small breaks throughout the day to stay on task and motivated. Whether you use a digital calendar or planner, keep everything updated. Jot down notes so ideas and tasks don’t clutter your brain.
Eat for energy
You’re at home, and so are the snacks. Try not to be tempted too much. A large meal or sugary drinks and snacks will only make you feel tired. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time so that good nutrition will keep you going.
If you are responsible for tracking your own hours and progress, it may be easy to slack off a bit. Stay accountable by keeping honest hours, taking breaks as needed, and checking in with colleagues or a supervisor throughout the day. The best way to fight procrastination is to just get started. If you are really unmotivated, tell yourself to work for just a few minutes. Since getting started is the hardest part, you may find it easy to keep going.
Find what works best for you and then stick with it. Not everybody’s work-from-home plan will look the same, and that’s ok. Give yourself time to get in the groove, and keep up the focus once you find it.