Tips For Product Designers Working From Home During The Pandemic – How To Improve Your Working Life
“We are all in the same boat” or “we are all in this together” has never felt more true for so many then it has during this pandemic.
If you never worked from home before but have been forced to due to COVID-19, you probably have noticed some difficulty accomplishing the same tasks you did before.
It can be difficult to work from home, your system has been interrupted, your desk is probably smaller and potentially you don’t even have a dedicated “work” space. Maybe your tools are in the office and you could not bring them all with you. The comforts and distractions of your home are only foots steps or clicks away from derailing your productivity. If you have a family, that means that your spouse and children are sharing the same space as you. The whole dynamic of working at the office has been shifted. Does this sound familiar?
If you are a product designer struggling to work from home these tips might be useful.
1) Get started early
It all about the mindset. If you get up early, take your coffee, have breakfast, shower, get ready, or whatever your morning routine may be, it will mentally set you up for the next task. When you practice that morning obligation as if you are getting ready to head out to your morning commute, it gives you early start to the next assignment. We are creatures of habit, as they say.
2) Set a Schedule
Structure your day as if you are going to the office or design studio. When you manage your own time, it is easy to get worked up on trivialities. Time management is essential. Break up your day based on your virtual client meetings, company meetings, prototype building, lunch break and the tasks you need to accomplish.
3) Make a list of what you need to achieve each day
Write it on a sticky note, a piece of paper, a tablet or an excel sheet. However, you feel more comfortable, but do it. Always check off what you have finalized and do not punish yourself for not completing everything, just make that a priority for the next day.
4) Food preparation
Make sure you prepare your lunch the night before and any snacks you use set that a side as well. Continue with the same routine you had when you took lunch at work. Following this routine will not only help you with time organization but will allow your lunch break to focus on eating and relaxing and not on food preparation. Another reason why it is important to follow the food preparation routine is because when you allow yourself in the fridge you are opening a world of opportunity to eat more. This is another huge issue during a pandemic quarantine, we are eating too much. Stay away from your fridge.
If you live in a small space or every space in your house has a purpose, try to find a space away from the household members. A space that is not frequently used by all or as far away from any leisure spaces. But it is especially important to set a designated space. As product designers we may need to build a prototype or sketch up some drawings so it’s important to have a designated area.
6) Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space
Especially if you have children you need to be clear on what they can and cannot do during your working hours. If you have the chance to isolate or close the door of the room you are in while at work, do so and let them all know of your schedule and meetings so you are not interrupted easily.
7) Take breaks
Breaks are ok, we take them at the office so take them at home. A few quick 10 min breaks plus your lunch break to get out of the room and walk away from the computer will allow your day to be balanced and will help with productivity.
8) Stay away from social media
If you are the social media type or you have many friends and family in WhatsApp chats that distract you easily then mute them. Remove social media from your phone unless you need them for work. Get rid of interferences that can halt your day.
9) End your day on time.
Just like you start it end it! As if you are at work be extremely strict with your time. This is good for your work, your family and your own mind set.
We understand its challenging to stay organized and focused. This situation will not last forever. We will go back to our design studios and get back on track. For now, remember to keep in mind to set these rules for yourself. The more you do it the more accustomed you will get to it and the easier it will get with time. I hope these tips were helpful.