Work from home tip of the day

Surviving and thriving while working remotely.
People get a lot more information from facial expressions and body language improving communication and understanding. Furthermore, concentrating for a long time is harder when all your attention is focussed on auditory stimulus alone ie. being on the phone for two hours is more exhausting than a video chat.
Digital communication channels can often mean you can cut to the chase a lot quicker than a face-to-face meeting. Getting in the habit of having ‘task oriented’ short calls will free up your day and increase productivity.
Jigsaw puzzling is known to help relieve stress, increase creativity, concentration and memory. Doing a puzzle with your partner or family is also a great way to connect “offline” and get some time away from screens.
Getting lost in the process of creating something (painting, sewing, drawing, writing, photography) is known to reduce anxiety and improve happiness. Studies have found that writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put into words.
Walking while talking can help keep you focussed and stimulate creative thought processes. The light exercise also releases endorphins making you feel better and keeps your brain more engaged in the conversation.
Having goals is a good way to focus attention on the things that are important. It allows us to create a vision of how we would like our life to be. When we have a goal, we tend to increase the amount of time and effort we spend on an activity, and develop effective strategies to achieve that goal.
It’s good to be task focussed, but making sure you hit your mental ‘refresh’ button regularly will keep you more productive, creative and focussed in a more sustainable way.
Resist the temptation to be ‘insta-worthy’, and know that by being real you are signalling to others that you trust them.
Sharing photos is an effective way to build empathy and connect more meaningfully while also having some fun. For example: Day 1: Your pet Day 2: A plant Day 3: Favourite shoes …
Make sure your work space is sacred to work, and be clear enough to those around you that this is ‘work time’. Sometimes even ‘getting dressed’ for work can be a helpful signal to yourself and others around you that you are in ‘work mode’, rather than ‘home mode’.
Make your first two hours of the day full and active. If you start the day at a crawl then that’s likely how you will end it as well! The sense of progress will keep you going as you check things off your mental to-do list.
If you are going to be on the phone/computer all day you will want to invest in hardware that makes that more comfortable! Our brain is wired to avoid pain, if your work time is painful it will also be cognitively draining as you suppress the urge to stop.
Reflective journaling is known to assist with managing emotions, reducing stress and improving emotional intelligence.
People like a challenge, and they love to win. Our brain’s natural reward system is designed to feel good about competing and winning. Do a weekly ‘steps’ challenge, create an idea board, do something that gives people the chance to win.
If you aren’t bound to “business hours” learn what your bio rhythms are and build your work day around them to optimise your productivity.
Routines create stability, predictability, and reduce cognitive load once they become habits. This is particularly important when the world around is anything but these things. It also helps you get up and into the day, setting yourself up for success.
Walking while talking can help keep you focussed and stimulate creative thought processes. The light exercise also releases endorphins making you feel better and keeps your brain more engaged in the conversation.
Having goals is a good way to focus attention on the things that are important. It allows us to create a vision of how we would like our life to be. When we have a goal, we tend to increase the amount of time and effort we spend on an activity, and develop effective strategies to achieve that goal.
Plan in times for your team to simply connect and ‘shoot the breeze’ with no work talk allowed. This helps build depth of relationship and allows people to be known for who they are, not just what they do.
Break up your presentation by asking people questions that require a response. This increases engagement, gives your brain a chance to reset and helps keep your discussion relevant to those on the call.
Don’t fall into the trap of parenting like you’re not at work, and working like you’re not a parent. Be ok with not being able to be everything to everyone.

Be a role model for your family and your team and ensure you are taking time to get away from the computer, get outside, meditate/breath.  Managing cognitive fatigue will increase productivity while supporting overall health and wellbeing.

Create a “success stories” channel in your group chat space to call out all the great work people are doing. Positive feedback boosts motivation and a sense of being valued.

Win the morning and win the day. Jump into the day with enthusiasm and try to complete something quickly. This gives you a sense of productivity that powers you through the rest of your day.

It’s easy to get caught in the habit of pointing out problems rather than focusing on the good things in life. Smiling and laughter is contagious (like yawning) so be the positivity you want to feel and remember to smile when you’re on a video call!

With the exception of the agile project meetings, try to keep one day a week which is focussed on ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking’.

If you have a work lull, be creative and use the time to come up with ideas that could help the business or someone else in your team. Problem solving and creativity helps stimulate neurons and gives you extra mental energy.

Too many meetings leads to low productivity and mental fatigue. It’s amazing how productive a group chat or short call can be.

Use free time to focus on personal development. Find an online learning course or a great podcast to keep your brain engaged and give you extra mental energy while developing new skills. This creates new neural pathways and increases your mental flexibility.

Be okay with focusing on one thing at a time and not available for everyone all the time. Be human, not superhuman. This will conserve mental energy, and improve attention to detail.

Episode 1 – Gratefulness

In the transition to working remotely, it can be difficult to remain grateful for where you’re at. Check out this 3 Minute video from Decida’s Phil Slade and Roshelle Weir on the importance of gratefulness.

Episode 2 – Extroverts are not okay (and how to help)

Are you an extrovert crawling up the walls? Or an introvert wondering what all the fuss is about? In this short video, Decida’s Phil Slade and Roshelle Weir share a few ways to energize your days and kick goals while working from home.

Episode 3 – Remote Collaboration

Are your online meetings boring you to death? Are you struggling to stay focused bouncing from back to backs? In this short video, Decida’s Phil Slade and Roshelle Weir share a few ways to make meetings more productive and enjoyable for everyone!

Episode 4 – Designing your Post COVID-19 World

Are you thinking about returning to the workplace? Phil Slade and Roshelle Weir discuss some of the things you should think about before taking the plunge.

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