I’ve been working from home since the start of the COVID19 lockdown and I’m really struggling. Not only have my productivity levels have plummeted whilst at the same time my weekdays and weekends have merged into one? How can I regain some control?

Firstly, try not to be too harsh on yourself. All of us are having to make adjustments – even me and I’ve been working from home for many years. And rather than aiming for perfection focus on trying your best, especially during such extraordinary times. Secondly, don’t forget that productivity shouldn’t only be measured by hours worked. Another way of looking at productivity is by assignments completed / goals achieved. Thirdly, I’d recommend introducing a routine into your day that works for you. Flexibility and imagination is important here. Provided you manage expectations and colleagues can get hold of you if something urgent comes up then it may not even be necessary to work a 9-5 routine and instead you could experiment with working during the times of the day when you feel most alert. The three “P’s are also important here – planning, prioritising and pacing. Taking regular breaks is proven way of boosting productivity. Fourth, if space permits then create a dedicated workspace and preferably one without too many distractions and at a desk that helps with your posture. Finally, when planning your day or indeed work have a think about what home-based activities, other than watching 24 hour news channels will help you to properly switch off. Exercise and some mindfulness are on my list as is my adult colouring in book.

Husnara Begum, Associate Coach & Contributing Editor