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How to Increase Productivity in Our New Normal

Elizabeth Grady
Written by Elizabeth Grady  April 16, 2020

We’re all adjusting to a temporary, new normal and juggling a multitude of new stresses and environments. Vert adjusted within a week to working fully remote and maintained 100% productivity on all projects. I’d be lying as an ESFJ and Type 2 enneagram that this new working environment did not initially rock my world! I get a lot of my energy and motivation from in-person interactions with my team and my clients, so this has been a big change for me. I’ve had to ask myself – and my fellow Vertbags – how to increase productivity at home and keep my sanity. I’ve compiled our best tips for working from home:

6 Productivity Tips for Working From Home

1. Reset expectations for yourself

Take a step back and redefine what productivity means for you in this new environment. This will likely feel different than it did when you spent a regular amount of time in the office with your peers collaborating. Set new, refreshed productivity expectations for yourself, so that you don’t feel like you are falling short of the previous productivity expectations you had when you were in the office. This will likely take you time to get used to, so don’t be hard on yourself! 

2. Set weekly and daily goals to reach

In order to keep yourself motivated, set daily and weekly goals to work towards. Take a look at your big picture goals, ongoing responsibilities and upcoming deadlines to build bite-sized building block goals to help you feel accomplished and to increase productivity. 

3. Create a schedule to help build a sense of urgency for tasks and projects you know you will put off

Create a schedule  for yourself each day. Personally, I work more effectively on tasks with hard deadlines. It’s so easy to put off and procrastinate a task or project that has a nebulous end date. Recognize when you are procrastinating and losing productivity and adapt. Build a sense of urgency for yourself by setting timers or setting up accountability buddies on tasks with less-defined due dates. 

4. Keep up connections 

Participate with your team actively with simple check-ins or even remote team building activities. Don’t confuse productivity with set agendas in conversations! Simple quick team check-ins or quick chats with coworkers can increase productivity and motivation for projects and tasks. Continue to build on relationships and trust with coworkers, partners and vendors during this time without a set agenda. 

5. Build-in things to look forward to at the end of your day 

What are you going to treat yourself to when the workday is done and you’ve checked off items on your to-do list? A fun work out? Binge-watching the latest season of Ozark? A glass of wine? Give yourself something at the end of the day to work towards and look forward to. 

6. Be comfortable with walking away briefly

If you’ve just hit a wall and cannot get in the groove, accept it and walk away. You might not be able to walk away from your responsibilities for long, but a walk around the neighborhood, a quick cup of coffee, or a 20-minute episode of The Office can help reset your brain space and refresh you to come back and restart. 

We also asked our Instagram audience for some additional tips and tricks! Here is what they had to say: 

  • Set boundaries and set aside time for yourself. Decide on a time to close your laptop and officially end your day! 
  • Keep fewer bags of cookies in your kitchen to snack on. 
  • Find a comfortable consistent workspace with lots of sunlight and a second screen.
  • Get up and get dressed like you are going into the office. 
Elizabeth Grady

Elizabeth Grady

As a Senior Account Strategy Manager, I collaborate across Vert teams and with our clients to provide the services that meet and exceed their business goals. Some of my favorite things about my job include building relationships & trading in solutions. When I'm not at Vert, I enjoy hanging out with my dog Otis, watching documentaries and reading historical fiction books.