Working from home boasts many advantages; however, changes in routines caused by the pandemic have created a variety of unforeseen difficulties. Here are some simple ways to aid in being more efficient and driven, in addition to taking care of your mental and physical health while working from home.
1. KEEP A CONSISTENT SLEEP CYCLE
Sleep is arguably one of the most crucial aspects of our life and caring for ourselves. Forming and abiding by a consistent sleep schedule may be more difficult to accomplish when working from home.
Regardless of having many priorities or maybe having few, establishing and sticking to set times to go to sleep and wake up is key for a healthy lifestyle. Even if you don’t have that usual morning meeting, or if you're locked in on a Netflix binge in the evening — it is still extremely important to follow your sleep schedule.
If you find yourself getting drowsy and losing productivity try taking a quick nap! Naps around 20 minutes [max], taken around mid-afternoon can be impactful in enhancing focus and energy.
2. SET A ROUTINE AND FOLLOW YOUR SCHEDULE
There are many things that go into a healthy daily routine: Following consistent sleep patterns as well as getting out of bed, eating breakfast, and putting clothes on around the same time each day are simple things to schedule and carry out.
Even when the physical commute is gone, we’ve learned that setting time aside for your "commute" each day is an effective method for pre-work preparation or relaxation before logging in.
When the work day ends: Close and shut off the computer! Stop checking work emails—focus on your personal life and its tasks—get ready for, and go to bed at your normal time.
3. ESTABLISH A DEDICATED WORKING SPACE
On day one, establish an area specifically for work or work-related tasks. From there, always keep this chosen workspace clean and organized.
Before beginning work EACH day, get EVERYTHING you’ll need in that one spot! Also, be sure to utilize a real chair when in work mode —that means: No working from the couch or comfy lounge spots. This is an effective and healthy way to help your brain make the connection and prepare for work.
Much like the previously timing of your daily “commute” or for eating and getting dressed, creating a specific area away from distractions and temptations is a major factor when working from home.
4. MAKE SURE TO TAKE BREAKS
Sometimes when working remotely, we lose track of what the normal work day used to be like. It is beyond important to incorporate breaks into your work day and work week to concentrate entirely on non-work items. Getting outdoors for a stroll or just some fresh air if possible is a great choice for a quick break.
Also, try to avoid forming daunting to-do lists each day; rather, have a general plan for daily tasks. You can even experiment with different apps that can remind you to move around, stretch, etc. throughout the day.
5. RESET + REFRESH
In order to assist ourselves in establishing a healthy and functional work-life balance, we must find a way to revitalize the mind and body before returning to work later in the day or even the next day.
Activities like working out, walking, and meditation are all valid and productive forms of resetting and refreshing. Reaping the benefits of taking breaks and performing physical activity are critical to our daily lives.
6. EAT A NUTRITIOUS LUNCH + STAY HYDRATED
Similar to taking breaks, it is necessary to remind ourselves how important our food and water intake is when working from home: Think hardy, healthy meals to keep you nourished and energized and take advantage of reusable water bottles.
For some, maybe making lunch in advance is a smart way to start the day by knowing what you’ll eat later on, instead of stressing over it when it's time to eat.
Avoid snacking: The “at-home buffet” may seem intriguing, but in most cases it leads to unhealthy, all-day grazing in the kitchen.
7. GET OTHERS AT HOME INVOLVED — IF APPLICABLE
If you have other people living with you—whether it is a family member or roommate—display and share the benefits of creating a routine with them! Feel free to invite them to join in on your [healthy] habits: Eating, walking, reading, working out, etc.
At the same time, it is just as important to practice methods to combat feeling overwhelmed with the potential of others living or working around you during the day. You may feel enticed to try to fill all time slots of the day to keep busy, but this usually leads to excessive structure causing unnecessary stress.
8. MAKE YOU TIME WHILE STAYING CONNECTED
As previously mentioned, self-care is important to every individual and must be heavily prioritized everyday. There are many ways to find healthy methods toward keeping one’s personal life comfortable, organized and connected.
Working from home can feel isolating at times, so stay in touch with what and who matters most: This will aid in boosting your wellbeing while boosting others too! The next time you want to reach out to someone, think of video chatting or calling rather than texting or emailing.
Do not be afraid of reaching out for help if struggling with the challenges of remote working — You are not alone! There are many others in the same boat as you.
Whenever possible, dedicate time to get away from the house and work to socialize. Human interaction is a major component of our lives that has experienced a hefty decrease since the beginning of the remote working era.
Shifting from working within an office to inside your household is demanding in itself; and, with the added stress of a worldwide viral outbreak it then becomes chaos.
That's why self-care isn't purely a concept of comfort, but a vital aspect of adapting to this new normal. Keeping yourself happy and productive—while keeping the stress at a minimum—is essential for those working at home this summer and beyond.