WFH Grind & Productivity Hacks

bankingmba's picture
Rank: Monkey | 49

Hey all,

Been experimenting with my WFH situation and I'm looking for any advice or tips from the community.

Big struggles for me:
- I definitely waste more time on social media / reddit at home. Also, first few days, I left the TV on. Big mistake
- Pain in the ass to have to give all turns via email or call; used to like walking over to cubes to discuss a markup in person
- My printer crapped out after ~2 weeks of heavy use lol
- Since my bosses have to manage their kids during the day, I feel like they care less about our personal time at night (this is somewhat balanced out by dealflow being nonexistent)

What's worked:
- I work at my kitchen table and moved TV to bedroom (smallish apt); try to keep table clear and free from distractions
- Try to limit phone time to when I'm taking breaks
- Dual monitors

Anyone else got pointers? This is a new situation for all of us, and I'm open to suggestions

Comments (25)

Apr 3, 2020

I place my personal phone in my drawer and replace it with a kindle on my desk. Now instead of browsing social media during down time (i.e. waiting between turns), I feel more productive by reading a book.

    • 5
Apr 3, 2020

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 3, 2020

Am doing the same. Getting in a couple of chapters of any book I have.

Most Helpful
Apr 3, 2020

This is a good topic. Personally, my approach is a bit different from yours. In the office I had a lot of downtime that I couldn't take advantage of, because people would have viewed it as slacking off... now i'm free to get a workout in or watch some netflix

What's worked:
- I try to start the day with calisthenics (might as well get in better shape if I'm stuck at home)
- I like working on my couch with some background show on, but in the afternoon I'll move to my bedroom to get some sun
- Try to be as efficient as possible (reusing precedents, Logointern for logos, etc)
- My bosses do have more night requests (as OP pointed out), but generally seem less eager for unlimited turns

What hasn't worked:
- Hiding my phone (I'd go grab it after ~30 min; also I need to be reachable)
- Letting the doggo on the couch with me
- Getting caught distracted on multiple conference calls :(

    • 11
Apr 3, 2020

Agree with most of these. I've also been on the calisthenics train.

Logo intern has been a big time saver. Colleague sent it to me the other day...

Biggest thing for me has been taking more frequent breaks and enjoying the more relaxed work schedule. Sounds simple, but it definitely took me a week+ to settle into the new rhythm

Apr 3, 2020

Yes to exercise, logointern, background netflix and gaming during conference calls

No to hiding my phone.

Also been picking back up reading, since I cant watch tv all day

Apr 3, 2020

I managed to watch all of Tiger King while grinding on a deck for a meeting that's definitely going to be canceled.... I call that elite multitasking

    • 20
Apr 3, 2020

This is truly aspirational... thank you for sharing your wisdom

Apr 3, 2020

Almost as impressive as running for governor while also operating an exotic animal zoo

    • 3
Apr 3, 2020

You bite your tongue. That is a fine animal establishment

Apr 4, 2020

Well if we're really going to have fun with it, you should play the cat game from Super Troopers.
"Right now I'm working on the model boss. Did you want me to prioritize the deck instead and work on it meow?"

Apr 6, 2020

Same but on a model!!!

Apr 3, 2020

wake up early go to bed early

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 1
Apr 3, 2020

Enough said

Apr 4, 2020

And watch smokeshow girlfriend do yoga while eating. I remember. Respect you brother.

Apr 4, 2020

I was discussing this with another WFH professional recently. See video below.

Apr 4, 2020
  • make the bed. Well. Admiral McRaven was absolutely right.
  • create a physical structure for productive work. For me, pre-corona that means paying a lot for a co-working space, but it's worth it, especially since I have an adorable 5 year old boy who wants to play with daddy. Now during corona times that would mean an extra monitor for your laptop, good quality mouse, and an ipad for document consumption. It also means a quiet area in the house to work in.
  • I schedule phone calls to a window, but it's difficult to do
  • if you are going to go on social media or porn use it as a break/reward system, like 10 minutes reward for 50 minutes of focused work
  • make sure to schedule in human interaction that is non-work. Otherwise you'll flip your differential
  • get on an exercise and healthy food routine - which is consistent in content and timing. I do a 1pm workout for 25 minutes, pushups, planks, burpees. I find it energizes the latter half of the day. Sometimes I get in a 20 minute morning workout which does the same in terms of pumping blood and energy into the first half-day. I eat clean, whole food plant based, no sugar, no oil, no animal products, minimal salt
  • I use a checklist, and cross even mundane sh*t off. It gamifies productivity.
  • I tell others what I'm going to do, and ask them to hold me accountable. Shame is my friend.
    • 4
Apr 10, 2020

This post makes me feel bad, because I'm not doing any of these... :(

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2020

Plant based diets are the move. I second that. Also, even just 20 minutes of exercise boosts energy & focus

    • 1
Apr 5, 2020

Thanks man. It's not been perfect. I'm still trying to calibrate. My weight shrank a fair bit and my cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure went down, and protein went up. But I've not lost as much weight as I had hoped, and still trying to reduce weight. So I'm still trying to figure out the diet thing better. We can DM and exchange ideas if this is an area of interest.

Apr 10, 2020

Try adding intermittent fasting to your plant based diet. I've been doing IF for nearly 18 months and really noticed the health benefits and definitely the increase in energy. But never lost any decent weight until I introduced a plant based diet


Apr 4, 2020

For me it's actually quite difficult to concentrate. I'd much rather be out in the world doing / meeting / physically active than jockeying a computer. This has been a continued area of challenge in an office environment or at home. I've tried Pomodoro Technique and other tricks, but it is difficult to figure out how to keep my jackrabbit brain from jumping around. Anyone got ideas? I have tried downloading 'concentration mustic' MP3s off of Youtube. i'm open to suggestions.

Apr 6, 2020

The hardest part for me has been the lack of a physical workspace. I'm used to my 3 screens at the office; my 400sq NYC apartment doesn't allow for the space of additional screens. Can confirm with the more late-night requests form MDs that are typically quiet after 10pm.

    • 1
Apr 9, 2020
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 9, 2020