6 tips for staying productive while working from home in the time of COVID-19

Aug. 19, 2020 / By Michelle Bradley

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to force many of us to work from home. With so much going on in the world right now, it can be difficult to be productive, especially after months of home-based work with no end in sight. For health care professionals working remotely, their organization’s revenue stream and even effective patient treatment depends on consistent and productive work. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused:

  1. Maintain your routine. While working from home might give you the ability to sleep in a few extra minutes, it’s important to continue your normal workday morning routine. This will help your brain switch to working mode.
  2. Make a to-do list. Having a concrete list of things that you are going to accomplish is integral to both staying on top of your work and preventing yourself from getting overwhelmed. When you don’t even know where to start, make a to-do list and start with the most difficult or time-intensive tasks.
  3. Get dressed. Over the course of the pandemic, many people have bragged about the ability to go days without really getting dressed. When you have a job, however, putting on your work clothes before you sit down to start coding can signal your brain that this is time for work.
  4. Turn off social media and news notifications. Social media and news websites are time wasters during work hours, even in the best of times. When you sit down to start work, turn off notifications for social media and news apps. This will prevent you from getting pulled into reading updates when you should be working.
  5. Cut out distractions. Working remotely can mean getting multiple distractions daily from family members. It’s important to give yourself a dedicated workspace that is quiet and free from as many interruptions as possible. Make sure your balancing your time between work and home. Set boundaries for family members and friends by letting them know your work schedule and telling them to interrupt only if there is an emergency.
  6. Stay healthy/take breaks. It’s very easy to get pulled into your work while working remotely and if you don’t get up to take regular breaks or stretch, it can be detrimental to your health. Make sure you to take an occasional mental break away from your computer screen. Another temptation when working from home? Grabbing snacks and food all day. An easy way to overcome this is to meal prep in advance so you can easily run to the fridge and grab something healthy when you feel the urge to snack.

Working from home means an increased number of distractions and a decrease in motivation at times. Use these tips to stay on track and get your important work done!

Michelle Bradley is a client manager for Outsourced Coding Services at 3M Health Information Systems.

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