Ever since our world transitioned into the era of remote work, countless cubicles have been replaced with kitchen tables, and office chit-chat has morphed into the soft hum of a washing machine or a child’s distant laughter.
But as alluring as working from home sounds (and it truly is), it’s not without its unique set of challenges. Between the numerous distractions, feelings of isolation, and often blurred lines between work and leisure, staying productive is a frequent struggle.
But here’s the good news: sometimes, the most unconventional solutions are the most effective.
Here are three (science-backed) productivity hacks that might work for you:
1. The Outlandish Outdoor Office
Have you ever thought about moving your entire work setup to your backyard? Or maybe setting up camp on your balcony, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, your roof?
It sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?
Why It Works:
There’s scientific evidence showing that a change in environment can stimulate creativity. The fresh air and natural light not only elevate your mood but also energize you for the tasks ahead.
And let’s not forget the beauty of being away from indoor distractions, like that tempting couch or the ever-beeping microwave.
To illustrate, meet Yeshua, a freelance SEO Specialist. When asked about his unconventional workspace, he smiled, “I’ve had countless breakthroughs while working from a nearby university park. The gentle breeze, kids playing in the distance, and the greenery… they just ignited my creativity.”
2. The Dress-Up Drill
Now, think about this. Instead of lounging in your cozy pajamas or everyday casuals, what if you started your day dressing up as Sherlock Holmes, a medieval knight, or even Wonder Woman?
Why It Works:
Clothing is powerful. There’s a profound psychological shift that occurs when we dress a certain way. For instance, sporting a tailored suit might make you feel more confident during a business meeting.
Similarly, by adding an element of fun to your attire, you add joy to mundane tasks. There’s also a clear demarcation between work and play, making transitions smoother.
In fact, a research by Omri Gillath showed that shoes correlate with the shoe owners’ personal characteristics.
Now, for a dash of inspiration, let’s turn to Eliza, a remote history teacher. She began wearing a different historic costume for each of her online history lectures. “It wasn’t just for the students,” she laughs, “It was for me. Every morning, choosing a costume sets a playful yet focused tone for the day.
3. The Silent Disco Strategy
Imagine you’re deep into a task. The pressure’s on. But instead of another coffee, you pop on wireless headphones and indulge in a two-minute silent dance fest. Absurd? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely.
Why It Works:
Moving our bodies, even briefly, can stir up our brain cells, improve concentration, and break the monotony of sitting. Such mini breaks can elevate our mood, proving to be quick stress-relievers.
To really paint a picture, here’s Tom, a data analyst. “I live by my 3-minute dance breaks. When the numbers stop making sense, I dance. It’s as simple and as revolutionary as that.”
4. The Two-Desk Tango
In the age of home offices, versatility can be a game-changer.
Enter the Two-Desk Tango.
Picture this: one desk stands pristine, holding just the essentials. This is your laser-focused zone. A few steps away, another desk brims with color, inspirational quotes, maybe even a plant or two. Welcome to your creative haven.
Why It Works:
Our surroundings significantly influence our mindset. By differentiating our spaces, we not only create a physical demarcation but a mental one as well.
Moving between these two spaces can be as impactful as transitioning between a conventional office desk and a vibrant meeting room. It’s all about setting the mood for the task.
To understand this better, meet Maya, a content strategist in Alberta. “I’ve always liked compartmentalizing,” she says, gesturing to her ‘writing nook’ and her separate ‘idea lounge.’ “It’s as if I’m physically stepping into a new role with each desk.”
Don’t have enough space for two desks? You can also do this with your devices. For example, I use my laptop for all work-related tasks and use my iPad for brainstorming and creative activities.
5. Digital Detox Hours
In our hyper-connected era, the concept might seem counterintuitive. But setting aside an hour (or even just 30 minutes!) where screens are a strict no-no can be surprisingly liberating.
Why It Works:
Continuous screen exposure can lead to digital burnout, eye strain, and even mental fatigue.
But there’s more to it.
Distancing from the digital, even briefly, ushers in a world of tactile, real experiences. It can be a gateway to rediscover non-digital hobbies or simply offer a quiet moment of introspection.
For a real-life perspective, here’s Raj, a digital marketer in New Delhi. “Every day, from 3pm to 4pm is my golden hour. No screens allowed,” he emphasizes, showing off his sketches and a half-finished sci-fi novel he reads during these breaks. “I dive back into work recharged and with a clearer mind.”
6. The Task-Color Coordination Technique
Amidst the world of to-do lists, calendars, and productivity apps, let’s infuse a bit of vibrancy. Imagine associating colors with different types of tasks. Blue for brainstorming, red for urgent tasks, green for breaks, and so forth.
Why It Works:
Colors have a profound psychological impact. They can evoke specific emotions, set moods, and even catalyze certain actions. By associating tasks with colors, we create an immediate visual cue for our brains, helping us switch gears more seamlessly and prioritize effectively.
Adding a dash of color to your workday can make the mundane magical. It’s not just about getting tasks done; it’s about enjoying the process. After all, when working from home, a little splash of color could be the very thing to brighten up both your tasks and your day.
Every remote worker’s journey is as unique as their favorite coffee mug. But the challenges? They’re universal. The trick lies in understanding oneself, recognizing one’s specific distractions, and finding innovative ways to tackle them.
In the end, as our world becomes more digital and remote, it’s these little quirks and hacks that keep us human, connected, and yes, incredibly productive. So, what’s your zany productivity hack?
⸻ Author Bio ⸻
Yesh is a Link Building & Content Strategist at SEOExpert.ph. He loves to drink coffee, even though his body hates it – the ultimate juxtaposition of life (according to him).