Cover (Image: Alexa Williams/Unsplash)

Working from home: You either love it or you don't. But here's how you can do it more efficiently, with the help of something you probably already own—your iPhone

How do we adjust to this new normal? If you have an iPhone, here are seven ridiculously simple and incredibly useful tips that you can adopt immediately to keep you focused and avoid WFH burn-out. 

1 / 8

Use the Do Not Disturb mode

When you’re working, cut all distractions with the Do Not Disturb mode, so you don’t get pinged by overly-active Whatsapp group chats. It hides all notifications but you can personalise it and allow calls from specific groups of people and repeated calls.

When Do Not Disturb is on, there's a crescent moon icon in the status bar. There are two ways to turn the function on or off: Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb or open your Control Centre: tap and hold the crescent button to set a time.

With home and office colliding, this can also help you keep both a little more separate too—use this feature during family mealtimes to avoid being disturbed by work messages.

2 / 8

Connect your mouse to your iPhone

Working from home, and working from phone? To make things easier, connect a mouse, trackpad or Bluetooth keyboard to your device—if it does not come with a Lightning or USB-C port, you’ll need an adapter. To connect a Bluetooth device: Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch > Devices, then select Bluetooth and your device.

(Related: 8 Smart Tech Gadgets To Upgrade Your Living Space

3 / 8

Swipe instead of tap

While lots of Android phones use swipe keyboards, the iOS 13 has made it a native option called Quickpath. There’s no longer a need for any third-party apps, nor will you need to switch keyboards. Instead of tapping, just hold down on the first letter and move through each one, and you can slide or tap interchangeably too. Particularly useful when you have only one hand available (with the other one holding your Dalgona coffee, of course).

4 / 8

Make your phone less attractive

Need to get work done, but you habitually scroll through Instagram without even realising it? Here’s how you can focus: make your screen monochromatic. The colourful interface encourages your brain to use it more, while a grayscale mode makes everything less attractive.

Here’s how: go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display & Text Size> Colour Filters> Grayscale.

Because you probably want to go back to full colour, create a grayscale shortcut where you just have to triple-click the side button to switch between both modes. Go to Navigate to General > Accessibility> Accessibility Shortcut > Colour Filters. Done!

5 / 8

Don't waste time typing out your work email in full again

How sick are you of typing out your full email? You never have to do it again with this little hack. Tap Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Choose as shortcut text, for example, if you type “@@”, your office email address will automatically replace it. 

6 / 8

Siri’s right there

Make use of Siri. It can help you plan your day, send meeting invites, and even read aloud to you. Tap General >  Accessibility > Speech > Speak Screen. Even better, get it to write emails and messages for you (on chat apps like Whatsapp, just click the microphone icon below the keyboard and dictate away).

Always double-check your documents for accuracy, of course, but this means you can get some stuff down when your hands busy putting together a new lunch recipe or if you remembered something in the middle of a yoga session

7 / 8

Work in spurts of 25min

The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most effective techniques to increase productivity. It’s an extremely simple idea: create a list of tasks to do for the day, and divide your day into 25min chunks. Use your iPhone timer (or Siri) to set that with ease. After each session, goof off for a quick five-minute self-care break: check your Instagram, make a Quarantini, stretch, get some sunshine.

After four blocks, take a longer break of about 20-30min, and don’t forget to include some time for lunch too.  

(Related: 5 Easy Breathing Techniques For Instant Calm

8 / 8

Focus on something that isn’t work, for a while

Pencil in some time for meditation. There are lots of great apps for meditation, and that can help increase your daily productivity levels too. Be it 10 or 30min, setting aside some time every day can help you find calm amid a schedule that you're still getting used to. Not into meditation? Schedule a quick workout.