When I first started working from home, it took me a while to find the balance and structure I needed to lead a productive day. Sure, it’s fun to have a movie or show running in the background and what does it hurt to do a couple of BuzzFeed quizzes in between emails. But these little breaks in between can add up and can hurt your productivity so here a few tips to set you up for a great stress-free workday.
Take Care of Yourself
Especially if you’re not used to working from home, days may seem to drag on and productivity may plummet during this transition. You may be feeling a mix of emotions during this time. But during all of this, it’s important to focus on your physical and mental well-being. Don’t be so hard on yourself during unproductive phases and give yourself breaks. Speaking of breaks be sure to try and schedule your breaks. Why should you take breaks while working from home? Taking breaks during your workday can have many positive effects on your productivity, attention span, energy level, focus, and more. In this study, many find that taking time out every 75 to 90 minutes works for them but determining when and for how long you want to take breaks really depends on your work style and what works best for you. So try taking more breaks to do whatever it is you need to do to ensure you’re staying sane and healthy and you’ll start feeling much better.
Be Mindful of Your Time
What’s great about working out of an office or coworking space is that you do your work there, usually from 9 to 5 and come home after a day’s of work and have that physical distance between work and home. When you’re working from home this barrier obviously doesn’t exist. Your commute consists of going to the bathroom(usually) to get prepared for the day, then maybe to your closet to put on some pants or if you’re like me then probably not, and then to your desk. As you may notice there’s really no distance between your workspace and home space even if you do have a home office. But who has space for a home office in San Francisco anyway? This is why it’s important that you allocate the time you spend working and your free time. Don’t overwork yourself and carefully log the hours you’re working because your work time and your free time can very easily start to melt with one another and you’ll find yourself sitting on the couch watching t.v yet still responding to emails at 9 pm. Do it for your sanity or else you could easily end up burn yourself out.
Set Ground Rules for the People in Your Space
Now by people, I really mean pets. Because pets think they’re people. Let’s face it, pets are cute, cuddly, warm and nice but they’re manipulative as can be. They’re one day going to rule the world. I’m almost certain of this. Charles the orange tabby may look cute when he nuzzles his cute fuzzy face into your hand when you’re trying to move the mouse but he’s secretly being a jerk. For real though, your dog is in love with the fact that you’re now home all day but do you really need to take him on his 6th walk of the day? I mean yeah I guess you do. Who am I kidding? Pets are the best and they can pretty much get away with anything. No tips for you from me in this department. Now children, however… They need to know their boundaries. Make sure your kids are mindful of your “office” hours but also don’t forget to spend quality time with them at the end of the day.
Socialize with Colleagues
It can get lonely working from home, especially for extroverts. Hop on a video call with your colleagues on zoom or houseparty to keep the office morale high. You can even have team lunches or play games together using these kinds of apps. It’s pretty fun and even for introverts, it’s a nice change of pace. Be sure to send memes on slack in between they’re fun and help lighten the mood. Here’s a great article on how to have a successful virtual happy hour. When you’re feeling isolated it’s important to reach out and connect with your peers and friends.
Make it a Routine
It helps to create a routine for your daily work schedule. This boosts your mood and productivity because it sets the foundation for the day that lies ahead of you. This is important because without a structure you may start to feel stressed and/or overworked. You should take the breaks you need but also put in the hustle when you need to get work done.
Here’s an example of a daily routine you could follow below ⬇️
✅7am – Wake up
✅7:30am – Work out -> Here’s a fun work out video I like to do in the morning
✅8:15am – Shower & Breakfast
✅9am – 12am – Work
✅12pm – 1pm – Lunch time -> Check out these fast and easy healthy recipes
✅1pm – 4pm – Work
✅4pm – 6pm – Virtual happy hour with colleagues
✅7pm – 8pm – Dinner
✅8pm – Downtime
To sum this all up. I think it’s pretty evident that if you want to have a productive work from home lifestyle you need to do a number of things altogether to ensure that you’re staying focused and productive, yet healthy and mindful of your time and space. And if you’re struggling with a transition from office work to working from home, just know that you’re not alone in this struggle and that you can reach out to your family, friends, and employer at any time. That is the beauty of technology today. So throw on your loafers and get ready for another day.