The WFH Tips You'll Use

How to keep motivated + focussed

WFH l-block

Words: Sanri Pienaar | Images: Supplied

Struggling to keep productivity levels where you’d like them to be? We turn to creatives, entrepreneurs and industry leaders for their insights on mastering the art of working from home while social distancing.

Qondile Dlamini M1

Qondile Dlamini, Graphic Designer + Illustrator

  1. Build a routine and give structure to your day. Not only does this give your day direction, you can do a lot more when you know what you expect from yourself. It also helps you set boundaries with yourself as well as with your remote co-workers. Make time for work, make time for you.
  2. Declutter like your mother is coming and remove anything you don’t need. Clutter can really build up over a week when you are spending most of your time at your desk trying to deal with deadlines and a barrage of emails. Pick a time in the week when you clean up your physical workspace as well as your digital work space.
  3. It makes complete sense to want a Pinterest-worthy home office, but if COVID-19 has taught me anything it is to be realistic. Having a space to work from home is a privilege no matter how small. Take your time with it and make it yours.
  4. Pro motivation tip: Have a mirror near your workstation, so you can always consult with the most important person in your life first.
Bielle Billingham M2

Bielle Bellingham, Interior Designer + Product Developer

  1. Ignore the fact that it's cocktail hour somewhere in the world.
  2. Working from your bed is completely productive and acceptable, unless it’s after 9am or before 5pm. And as for working in your pajamas… don’t get me started.
  3. Be careful of doing laundry between emails. It's a slippery slope.
  4. Good natural lighting and ventilation are everything. Make sure that your dedicated workstation is fresh, not chaotic, and far away from the fridge.
  5. Avoid “work creep”. Make sure that you start and finish work for the day, otherwise you’ll end up being half-on, half-off all the time – and resentful.
Charl Edwards m3

Charl Edwards, Editor of House and Leisure

  1. Colour-code. It’s a quick way of creating an Insta-worthy desk set-up, ready to show off your stationery or that favourite Christmas mug.
  2. Add plants or greenery from the garden to your desk. I’ve clustered all of mine together to create a mini jungle.
  3. Create routine and implement mini daily rituals: Pausing, stretching, appreciating your view and surroundings, enjoying a nice cup of tea.
  4. Dress up. Trick yourself into thinking it’s business as usual. It’s all in the mind.
Katlego Molaolwa m4

Katlego Molaolwa, Brand Marketing Manager

  1. Go to the same designated area every day so your mind doesn’t wander. This way, you can focus and increase your productivity.
  2. After a full day’s work, remember to pack away your work laptop like you normally would. This helps you relax and recharge your [figurative] batteries.
  3. Keep your attitude in check. Don’t let being stuck in the house distract you from your goals and productivity. Keep a positive attitude.
  4. Discourage personal intrusions. Interruptions can make you lose focus, procrastinate or get behind on a deadline. Notify your child or family members that during working hours you are unavailable.
Christine van Wyk M5

Christine van Wyk, Product Manager at OVER

  1. Wear shoes. It keeps you focused and formal. Differentiate between working and living in the same space.
  2. Take coffee breaks away from your desk to use the time to think, stretch and connect.
  3. Take meetings at the couch – a change of scenery motivates you to move every now and again.
  4. Keep hydrated, especially when you are sitting in front of the computer most of the day. A beautiful jug of water is recommended.
Fhatuwani Mukheli M6

Fhatuwani Mukheli, Creative Director + Photographer

  1. Avoid watching TV while you work.
  2. Make lists. Have your daily tasks scheduled into your calendar. I alternate my time between an hour in front of my computer and an hour of brainstorming.
  3. I find mini exercises and workouts very useful throughout the day to keep focussed and present. And now you can, because there is no one watching.

Shop the story

Best desk
Video call