With the announcement that social distancing will continue through the end of April, I have found myself looking for ways to accept my new normal. Namely, how can I be productive while working from home? I’m having difficulty separating my work mode from my relaxation mode all win my little apartment.
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful that I am safe, healthy and have a job that allows me to work from home. However, that doesn’t mean there can’t also be a part of me that is struggling on the mental health front with this feeling of isolation and lack of routine.
Over the past 2.5 weeks that I’ve been working from home, I’ve compiled a list of tips that have helped me be more productive while working from home. I thought I’d share my tips with you all as well!
1. Get dressed as if you’re going into the office
I get it – working from home is a great excuse to rock your comfiest outfits. But I’ve found that I am nowhere near as productive when I’m dressed down. Sweats mean I get to relax so no way do I want to work! I like to put on a semi-professional outfit, including a real bra and pants, right when I get up. This helps signal my brain that it’s time to work, not relax.
2. Have a dedicated work space
I like to have a working space, a relaxing space and a sleeping space. This way my mind and body know what they should be doing as I spend time in each spot. If I work from my bed, I feel like I want to sleep. If I work from my couch, I feel like I want to veg out and watch Bravo. But when I spend the work day at my desk, I actually get work done! Then when I go to my couch or my bed, I can let go of work and keep it separate. If you don’t have a desk, try sitting at your kitchen table or even a different chair or part of the couch. It should still make a difference.
3. Schedule time for movement
When there aren’t any coworkers around to distract you, it is SO easy to let the hours fly by without even getting up. Also, my apartment is pretty small so even when I do get up, I don’t go far. I’ve started to schedule time in my calendar for walks. It doesn’t have to be an hour long walk, but even two 10 minute walks spread throughout the day can be refreshing and a great energy boost. I also love that my Apple Watch reminds me to stand and be more active. Those little reminders really do help me get moving!
4. Make a to-do list
Writing out a short list of things you’d like to accomplish gives you something to focus on. Make it attainable – it’s a to-do list, not a wish list! I personally like to write out my list daily on a brightly colored large post it, like these from Target, so that they catch my attention throughout the day. I then cross things off as I finish them so I can actively see how productive I’m being.
5. Don’t work extra hours
I try hard to stick to my usual working hours. When you don’t have anywhere to go, it’s tempting to just keep working all evening, especially if you’re in an industry that’s busier than usual right now. But this isn’t healthy! You still need your relaxation and rest as much as if you were going into the office. Focus instead on making your working hours productive and you’ll feel accomplished at the end of the work day without putting in extra time.
That’s all for today, friends. Stay strong, stay healthy and more importantly – STAY HOME!
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