For some of us, working from home will be a familiar occurrence, whereas for others it may be an entirely new concept. However, it has now had to become ‘the new normal’ for nearly all of us and therefore requires a bit of adapting of our usual routines, to say the least! While we find ourselves confined to our homes, we should use this change as an opportunity to maintain or even increase our productivity and establish a new rhythm. Here are a few tips on how to do so:
1. Maintain a morning routine
Whilst it may be tempting to roll out of bed and stumble bleary-eyed towards your laptop in your pyjamas, you won’t be starting work in the right mind-set. In order to start your working day with an alert and focused attitude, it’s best to establish a routine as if you were heading into the office. This includes showering, continuing with your skincare routine if you have one, getting dressed and making sure you’re eating breakfast to set you up for the day. And don’t forget that all-important morning coffee if you require a caffeine kick!
2. Plan out your day
By establishing your goals for the day, you can lay out a clear list of objectives which will be highly satisfying to tick off once completed. Your aims should be optimistic for you to still push yourself, but also realistic. Don’t over-promise to yourself or others if you know you’ll only end up rolling a task over to tomorrow!
Current government guidelines in the UK (and elsewhere) allow you to leave the house/flat once a day to get in some exercise, be it a run, walk or cycle. This is a fantastic chance to clear your head and blow out the cobwebs. Some may find it easiest before work, others at lunch or even afterwards to shake off any persistent work worries, but what is important is to stay active wherever possible. Exercise is proven to sharpen focus, strengthen the body, increase energy levels and boost overall mental health – all incredibly important aspects to improving life in self-isolation.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and this is particularly relevant when it comes to work. Scheduling in frequent video chats with colleagues will boost creativity and encourage a healthy exchange of ideas. Plus, it’s a chance to check in with others and see the faces you would normally be seeing every day (a nosy peak into their living rooms is an added bonus!)
5. Take regular breaks
Just as your employer would encourage you to do in the office, it’s important to take regular short breaks to combat screen fatigue and give your eyes a rest. Make a cup of tea, have a chat (from 2 metres) with your housemate or family member where possible or even take a quick walk around the room to get blood moving and take stock of the day so far. Doing so will mean you return to your laptop refreshed, and more prepared for the tasks ahead.
6. Differentiate between locations
If you are able to, separating your work space from the areas in which you relax, eat and sleep is preferable, so that you are able to mentally switch off at the end of business each day. Whilst a ‘soft office’ in bed may seem like a good idea at the time, it can affect your ability to sleep, as you may start to associate your bed with work. Creating a work space away from the more recreational areas will help to keep clear boundaries between your work and life outside of it, meaning you can give your all whilst in your dedicated workspace, whilst maintaining a good balance once you leave it.
So there we have it, a few tips in order to stay productive and keep energy levels up whilst at home. We might not have control over how long we are in this situation, but what we can control is what we make of it!
We hope this has been useful; feel free to add any other tips you’ve learnt in the comment box below.