Working from home has become the new norm for those of us who are fortunate enough to work remotely during the pandemic. But being in charge of your own schedule is not easy. As we practice social distancing and figure out these changes, it’s important to maintain a positive and productive work environment for yourself to get things done. Here we’ll cover some easy ways to remain productive throughout the day and adapt to a new daily routine.
1. Stick to your morning routine
Wake up around the same time, wash your face, get dressed and eat breakfast the same way you would on a normal Monday morning. It’s important to give yourself a sense of normalcy in order to get into the right mindset for work. After finishing your normal AM routine, shut your bedroom door and try not to go in there throughout your work day to avoid distraction.
2. Follow a schedule
Keeping to a schedule is vital when working from home. Once you’ve done your normal morning routine, get straight into your regular work schedule. If you usually answer emails first thing, then work on projects, then take a lunch break at 1pm, try to stick to that same schedule when you’re at home.
3. Set up a designated workspace
Designate a specific area in your home as your new workspace. This will help your brain to clearly separate work from downtime. Keeping work in a designated area helps your brain to make the connection that this space is meant for work, and the rest of your home is not. Also, be sure to keep work out of the bedroom as it can disrupt your sleep schedule!
4. Take breaks
It’s easy to get sucked into work when you’re working from home. You don’t have the usual chatter from your colleagues or a schedule to tell you that it’s time for your lunch break. Be sure to give yourself breaks in between work to make yourself something to eat and to get moving.
5. Make a daily to-do list
Make a to-do list each morning (or the night before) so that you have a clear sense of what you need to accomplish that day. In doing so, you’re able to give yourself a clear direction for the day. You can then prioritise your tasks and get urgent matters done first.
6. Keep to normal office hours
It’s easy to jump right into emails and admin as soon as you wake up, but it’s important to set boundaries for yourself! Set some hard boundaries with regards to your hours of availability. The same goes for signing off at night. Turn off notifications if you need to, shut off your laptop and take some time for yourself so that you can decompress after a day of work.
7. Check your posture
Working from home means you can work snuggled up on the couch or at a desk for hours on end without getting up. This can cause tension in your shoulder, neck and lower back areas so be mindful of your posture when working. Doing stretches between tasks can work wonders!
8. Track your tasks
Throughout the day, track how long it takes to complete tasks so that you know where to properly spend your time. This will help with keeping to your work schedule and making sure you make the most of your working hours.
9. Set aside time to respond to emails
It’s easy to get distracted when replying to an inbox full of emails. These distractions can lead to late responses and missed mails, which can create a whole set of issues. Block out some time in your day to respond to all your emails with no distractions so that you’re able to get to everything efficiently.
10. Get plenty of natural light
When setting up your designated work area, be sure to find a spot where you have plenty of natural light. This can help with productivity as it reduces eye strain, can help prevent headaches, and improve your overall mood.