Thinking back on my day-to-day life now versus just a few months ago, I sometimes can’t believe how things have changed! I am thankful that my job was able to adjust to remote work fairly easily, I know that is not the case for everyone for various reasons. Prior to COVID-19, I was working from home at least once a week so I already had an idea of what works best for me. Today, I am going to share a few tips to maximize your productivity when working from home!
Continue to Have a Morning Routine
I know how easy it is to feel like you have all the freedom and you can just jump out of bed at 7:45 and somehow magically start your work day in your pajamas. I promise it will not work and you will be dragging. Waking up and going through a more “normal” get ready for work routine will help you get in a mental space that is prepared to work! You can change into your favorite athleisure look or a flowy summer sundress, put on a full face of makeup or go natural, drink coffee, do yoga —whatever works best for you! Just make sure you create a routine and stick to it before you sit down in front of your computer.
Designate a Space
When you first start working remotely, you will want to lounge in your bed or on your couch with Netflix on in the background. Rookie mistake my friends. You will be distracted and it is terrible for your back and neck. On top of that, it brings work (and the stress of it) into a space that is normally meant for relaxing. So then your body learns those emotions and it will make it hard to unwind after work hours. You don’t have to purchase a fancy desk and a massaging chair, just designate a space in your house meant for work. Even if you have to pop up a card table and put a kitchen chair with it!
Put Your Phone Away
This one can be difficult for me because I do run my organization’s social media accounts. When I am planning content or interacting with users, it sits right next to my computer. To ensure I don’t pick it up too often, I will go put it across the room or set aside time for a “phone break.” To see if you’re improving on your personal phone usage, check your screen time metrics on your iPhone!
Plan Your Day/Week
Depending on your organization’s structure, you may have less check-in or staff meetings. Because of this, it is easy to forget tasks and projects when your team isn’t reminding you and you aren’t discussing it in person. Whether you use a physical planner, your Google calendar, or just a trusty ole to-do list, make sure you are collecting your thoughts and goals for the day/week somewhere you can see it! I always love checking things off my to-do list!
Build in Breaks
Just like you probably don’t sit at your desk 24/7 at work, get up and move around! Take the dog for a short walk, tidy up the snacks sitting at your work station, or do a quick standing stretch. Never taking breaks will wear you out quickly. You need (and deserve!) a quick refresh. I still try to take 30 minutes-hour for a lunch break and read a current paperback book. Another way to cut down on that screen time!
When all of the above doesn’t work or you just need a break, put on your favorite empowering song and move around or move your work station outdoors! Also, take advantage of your new flexibility and enjoy it. Without my commute time I am able to move a little slower in my morning and enjoy coffee on my porch. Maybe you will have time to do a load of laundry that has been sitting around or tidy up your room. Find joy in these small and seemingly insignificant things. It will help you mentally during these otherwise troubling times!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Please leave any advice you have for work from home life in the comments!