Spleet Africa
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Spleet Africa

Get more productive this week with these tips

As you jump back into the busy schedule of the new week, what do you look forward to the most? If it’s the weekend, well, same here. If you are looking forward to having a super productive week while working from home or remotely, well, same here.

I spoke with some friends who have demonstrated high productivity while working remotely during the weekend. Our conversations moved from the premier league to that last episode of Invincible season one and we finally settled on the coming week. As we navigated discourse around the new reality of working remotely in much of Africa, they shared some of their best tips for staying productive while working from home.

These tips were shared by individuals working different roles in different industries, but I thought to share them with you for the major reason that they seem to work very well for these people. Plus the added fact that I did some googling and found that many more high achieving people have tried and succeeded at working remotely with these tips.

Separate your work hours from your rest hours

This one was shared by my friend, Anderson, who currently works as a technology and business reporter for a tech media company in Africa. Anderson has been working remotely longer than the pandemic because his company encourages a distributed team structure. However, he believes that it is very easy to slip into the delusion that working from home means you can do your work any time you want.

“In my experience, one of the most difficult things to do is stay focused on work for long while working from home and this is because there is usually nothing to look forward to. For example, while working from the office, you can look forward to closing hours and the desire to not work past closing hours will drive you to stay productive during work hours. But remote work eliminates that, so you have to make sure that you define your hours effectively.”

Anderson has learned from his personal experience that working from home is inherently better, but can also be a trap. He advises that working from home should be seriously controlled and that work hours should be explicitly defined to avoid lagging behind in your work or overworking yourself.

Have a dedicated workspace and do nothing but work there

“One serious lesson that I learned when I started working remotely was that working from my bed is actually the most counterproductive thing ever, for me, at least. I was always feeling tired and the moment I moved from my work desk to my bed, I would immediately fall asleep. I have since learned that having a dedicated workspace is one of the most important things you can do to be productive while working remotely.”

I agree so much with this tip from my friend, Charles, who does marketing at a fast-rising technology startup in Lagos. When I started working remotely myself, I did not have a dedicated workspace and I was sharing an apartment with a friend. Not having a dedicated workspace affected my productivity so much because many times I had to work from the bed and if I did not fall asleep while working from the bed, I would develop severe backaches.

This week, increase your productivity by defining your workspace and strictly designating it for work. Focus on making your workspace comfortable, clutter free, and personalised as much as possible.

Prioritize your daily tasks and track progress in bits

My friend, Anderson, emphasized the importance of prioritizing daily tasks and tracking progress in small bits because, according to him, “it helps you focus on what’s important and do more quality work without any pressure.”

The most important thing about working from home is that you can find a way to stay productive without overworking your body. Tracking your progress in small, feasible bits is a better way to progress from one task to another. The satisfaction from completing small tasks will fill you with enough motivation to go on. It also helps take the pressure off your shoulders and gives you more breathing space to do more work in good time.

“It is easy to trail off while operating this technique and start falling behind on work. So, prioritize and track in bits in relation to the volume of work you generally need to do. The overall idea is to do your tasks in small bits rather than trying to take them on at once”.

Remote working has offered us an opportunity to really enjoy work in Africa. Not having to spend long hours in traffic going to or returning from work is such a big flex. You can now use all that time to do more productive work and keep your body in top shape overall.

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