As much as Nigeria seems to have controlled Covid-19 waves, the pandemic appears to have left a long-lasting mark on the work habits of most Nigerians. One of these marks was the full adoption of work-at-home, remote, and hybrid jobs, resulting from the lockdown in 2020. Two years down the line, one can still notice that most companies have stuck to these work-at-home habits, as they proved to be highly cost-effective and convenient.
Besides the effect of the pandemic, remote jobs seem to have gained more popularity in the past months. It is common among the Nigerian youth who have settled in with much interest in the highly commended ICT/Tech field, and other digital-related skills.
The hard part, however, with such remote jobs is the fact that one has to struggle with staying productive while still managing the challenges that arise from working from home in Nigeria.
The Challenge with Working from Home in Nigeria
Working from home as a youth in a Nigerian family home with parents and siblings is difficult. It means you have to deal with the daily chores that take a lot of time and energy. For a young mother juggling family responsibilities and daily chores, and still working from home in Nigeria, it’s even worse. It becomes a battle between both sides on which of them gets her attention more.
The same would apply to a young married man with a series of deadlines to catch up with, to keep the funds flowing. This cuts across different scenarios that surround working from home in Nigeria. Whether you’re single, married, or a family person, being productive while working from home in Nigeria is a big deal.
Staying Productive While Working from Home in Nigeria
Working from home in Nigeria requires a lot of management skills. You stand as your boss and are at the mercy of results that indicate how productive you are. To guarantee consistent productivity, there are some helpful tips for working from home in Nigeria.
Whether you are into remote or hybrid jobs, as a freelancer, self-employed or employed person, these few tips will help. You’ll have timely delivery of projects and services, and portray effectiveness to your client, while still maintaining a healthy personal and family lifestyle.
Explain the nature of your work to friends and family
One of the major challenges with working from home in Nigeria is that most family members don’t understand your work. They don’t realize how much of a workday it is and see it as a leisure day at home. For the young Nigerians living at home with parents, there is always the challenge of having to explain you are working, and not just “pressing phone”. The same thing may be for other young parents who may be distracted by their kids or friends occasionally visiting.
To remain productive while working from home in Nigeria, talk to family members and explain exactly what the nature of your job may require. With this, you could strike a deal on how to accommodate other house duties and remain productive. Yes, it may seem hard, but patiently keep on trying in various ways.
Starting your day early is almost becoming an underrated routine. Most people have either classified themselves as “early birds” or “night owls” depending on their respective productive hours.
First, it is important you know which works best for you. Both are quite important as long they help you cut off distractions.
However, for whatever category you may fall into, starting early still stands priceless. Early here, doesn’t refer to the early morning hours, but specifically implies you kick off with your duties early enough.
Bonus Tip: You should kick off by eliminating tasks such as household chores and other activities. Starting early enough gives you ample time to get into work early enough too, and free from distractions.
Differentiate tasks by order of value and importance
Differentiating between activity and productivity is hard most times. One may be busy all day and end up not still being productive. To ensure that you spend each day productively while working from home in Nigeria, clearly differentiate tasks that are of high value to you. Identify the ones that contribute less to the advancement of your growth and your job. This helps you know what to focus on in the pursuit of remarkable results.
In his book “Focal Point,” Brian Tracy advises that you ask questions such as “What are the things you do that contribute the greatest value to your work?” “What exactly have I been hired to accomplish in terms of measurable results?” “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” They will enable you to know what truly needs your attention.
Once you’ve done this, it becomes easier for you to move to the next tip for being productive while working from home in Nigeria.
Plan ahead of time
At this point, you’ve successfully differentiated between tasks of lesser and greater values. It’s easy to plan for your day knowing which tasks are of the highest priority. You’ll also be conscious enough to know what time is best to attend to work on certain days as you work at home.
Planning your days, week, and even month ahead of time helps you stay focused and organized. It also helps you track your progress and stick to deadlines. You could set out a day in the week to plan your week or plan each day the night before.
However, in planning, be flexible. Plan for a chunk of hours and leave intermittent spaces of a few hours or minutes, giving room for rest and the unexpected.
Read also: Effective Ways to meeting work deadlines
Allocate your working hours
On-site jobs have set out work hours. In working for an on-site job in Nigeria, you know you are expected to be working from 9 am – 5 pm. Also, within this period you are expected to carry out specific job responsibilities. Applying this same approach as you work at home ensures you stay productive.
With this approach, you can easily inform family members of your working hours. You can also effectively stay off distractions while working from home in Nigeria.
Work from a list
After planning your days and weeks, ensure to work with the to-do list you must’ve created. Most times, there is a tendency to believe you have mastered the list after preparing it.
When you lose track of your expected daily tasks, a to-do list is something to fall back on. This is the essence of planning on paper. So, keep your lists close by, and refer to them at intervals to ensure you’re still on track.
Declutter your work environment
We’ve all got those irrelevant stacks of papers and documents lying on our desks for months. This is the same with some of our belongings that are occupying space in our rooms or our workspace. Somehow, a cluttered space leaves us unorganized and with a cluttered brain.
If you must be productive while working from home, take time to clear up your work environment. Start from your desk and work it down until the entire house is in order. There is a strong guarantee this will help you stay productive while working from home in Nigeria.
Invest in your workspace
One of the challenges of working from home in Nigeria is the absence of designated workspaces or home offices. This hampers focus and effectiveness with your work.
Create a defined workspace at home and start investing in it. A simple way to begin is by getting desk accessories and other little things that make access to your tools easier. Moreover, you could procure more comfy work chairs towards creating a beautiful and comfortable work environment at home.
With these, there’s more excitement to sit at your desk, even on your low days, and you end up doing a task or two. Also, with more investments in your workspace, your work-from-home environment becomes more fun and comfortable. This will boost productivity while working from home in Nigeria.
Read also: How to set up a home office in Nigeria
Eliminate all distractions
It is very easy to get distracted while working from home in Nigeria. Distractions could vary from chores and time spent with family, to digital distractions and unwarranted visits that take most of your time.
To stay productive while working from home in Nigeria, you must keep off these distractions as much as possible. Although they may always persist, the responsibilities to either attend to them or not lie in your hands. You could use productive tools or digital wellbeing options present in some smartphones.
Eat healthily and exercise regularly
While working from home, there are chances of staying long hours on your desks without knowing it. You barely remember to take a few minutes of walking for improved blood flow through your body. Also, you could develop some unhealthy food habits like continuous consumption of junk food as you work.
You must be deliberate about your health while working from home. Keep a healthy diet. Avoid much junk and unnecessary snacking. Build a fitness routine that you could do either in the morning hours or evening hours after work. Also, check out for easy exercises you could do at 30-45mins intervals as you work at home.
From experience, regular workout sessions help you build resilience and persistence. These qualities, in turn, help build productive habits.
Step out of the house occasionally
Working from home in Nigeria is not synonymous with home imprisonment! Move out of the house as often as possible! You could take frequent evening strolls after a day of work. You should equally make out time to still hang out with friends and families. Moving out of the house can be refreshing to the body and mind. It can help you get out of creative blocks that sometimes accompany working from home.
Staying productive while working from home in Nigeria may seem very hard, but it is achievable. As well as it is important to succeed in your business endeavours, it is also important that you maintain strong family ties.
Striking that balance might be hard, applying these tips for working from home in Nigeria could go a long way in maintaining good relationships, yet remaining productive.
Paul Oganya is a content writer.
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