Let’s face it, most people have done some form of work from home. Even if they don’t realise it.
Checking work emails, scheduling availability, reading the work newsletter, we can’t avoid work at home in this digital age.
The convenience of the internet makes working from home amazing – it also makes it hard to ‘switch off’ when we need to.
Whether you work from home daily or once a month, I’ve put together a list of handy pointers to make your life a little easier!
Make a routine
You don’t have to create a minute-by-minute structure of your day, but having a written schedule can be a visual reminder to help you if your mind wanders.
Whether it be written on sticky notes or a white board, write up your goals (and deadlines!) and put it in a prominent space that you can see easily.
Some people thrive by doing the same thing every day, and other people find it mundane and need to keep things fresh and exciting to keep them engaged. Understanding which category you fall in will make life easier for you.
Feel free to play around with the schedule that works for you (especially if you are a freelancer), and be honest about what you can truly do, not what you want to do.
We all would love to spend only 4 hours sleeping, 10 hours working and the rest of the time playing video games – or maybe that’s just me…
Point is, our brains love to think we can do it all, when we likely can only do what’s prioritised.
If we have energy left over then we can do the extra stuff.
Give yourself ample breaks and don’t take too much work on, you’re a human not a machine.
Don’t forget to stretch!
Let’s real talk for a sec.
According to this study published by the mayo clinic, spending 4 or more hours sitting down at a desk per day can increase of death by 50% and cardiovascular disease by 125%,
This is not meant to scare you – rather, help motivate you to keep it moving!
The best time to work on your health is RIGHT NOW!
Not a fitness freak? Not to worry! No experience necessary with the new form of exercise called ‘Deskercise’
Some things you can do include stretching your arms over your head and leaning side to side, crossing one leg over the other and twisting your body side to side.
Google ‘deskercise’ for more fun stretches you can do from the comfort of your chair.
Don’t forget to get up and go for a brisk walk every hour or so, and grab yourself some water while you’re up!
Clear workspace, clear mind… or something like that.
Where possible, it’s good to keep your bedroom separate from your work area. But I understand that’s not always the case.
If you’re lucky enough to have a separate work area, then keep your bedroom as device free where you can. There’s science to back that sleeping is easier if you don’t have electronic gadgets in there. Check out this article by Sleepy Foundation for more information.
If you have your desk in your bedroom – try and partition it. Maybe a nice screen separating your bed from your desk (i’m a fan of japanese style changing screens!)
Try not to eat at your desk (I know, easier said than done) and don’t collect rubbish there either. Keeping it completely devoid of clutter will remove distractions and you will feel good.
We all love a neat and crumb free keyboard!
Speaking of crumbs….
I’m by no means a nutritionist, but I do have a bit of an understanding of how food affects concentration.
Keeping hydrated is paramount to concentration. Look at this NCBI article for more information.
Drinking water often can be a super power to help you push through those days where you seem to be stuck in a mental rut.
However, water can get boring after a while so don’t be afraid of spicing it up by drinking herbal teas and adding fruit to your drinks. The luxury of being at home means that you can have your favourite drinks and often, and you can also go to the bathroom often without Karen from HR eyeing you off…
Another thing to note regarding food is planning your meals in advance. Planning your food (for example cooking food in bulk every week) can save you lots of time, money and avoid getting HANGRY when you don’t have anything good to eat in your fridge.
Of course, please consult your doctor and nutritionist for all health advice.
Many people find that a positive incentive will help them work harder. This could be anything from buying yourself a nice coffee (salted caramel latte anyone?), playing your favourite video game or seeing that film that you’ve been looking forward to!
If you ever find yourself struggling to finish that last bit of work, set a timer (for example, 15 mins). Then tell yourself you will allow yourself a nice cup of tea, a video from a YouTuber that you like, etc, once you’ve finished 15 mins no matter what.
Even if you don’t finish what you need to, the break can be good for your brain to have a mini ‘reset’ before you get back to the job.
With time and practise you may find yourself working smarter knowing you have something to look forward to.
Just don’t make your rewards candy, because… cavities.
Don’t forget to take time to be proud of yourself when you do something great, like finish a hard project! Even in our busy modern day lives, you can take yourself on a walk to try that local cafe on your lunch break.
Or order that delicious donut that you’ve wanted to eat for ages.
This isn’t completely related to working from home, but socialising is conducive to a good work life balance – and a good work life balance means you can be more productive in all aspects of life!
In this current world, with restrictions and social distancing, it’s not as easy as it used to be in regards to spending time with people in the real world.
That’s why it’s important to socialise online as well.
Burn-out is real and making time to see (socially or online) the people that you care about can combat this.
If you’re struggling to reconnect with friends and loved ones, consider trying a new hobby (preferably one that requires a group) or check out a social club. www.meetup.com is a good (free) website that helps you connect with like minded people!
Working from home can be an absolute dream, especially if you have the tools to empower yourself. I hope you found this article useful for your working life.
Ann signing off.
Note: all opinions are mine alone and in no way representative of the opinions of CryptoMode and its other staff members. All links posted are not sponsored in any way.
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