A year ago we all loved having the possibility to work from home at least once a week, right? And at the beginning of this year we all had a positive outlook on it: less commute means more time for sleep, hobbies, downtime… But today? I think it’s safe to say that working from home is not as fun as we thought it would be… Motivation can sometimes be low, work times are not defined by “leaving the office” anymore”…
We put together a list of 10 tips that we think can help you making “WFH” a bit easier
1. Have a dedicated work space
If you are lucky enough to have a room in your house which you can use as an office, then by all means use it. Buy comfortable furniture (keep in mind you’ll be spending most of your day there), decorate it in a way that motivates you (be it plants, motivational quotes or minimalist).
If on the other hand you don’t have such a room, at least step away from your bed/bedroom. Researched showed that working on your bed or in your bedroom doesn’t allow your brain to make a separation between your working hours and your downtime. This can then have a direct impact on your sleep quality, and we all know that poor sleep is an issue that can have more serious consequences.
2. Stick to your morning routine
Does it include having a coffee on the commute to work, or a walk outside, or some exercise? Whatever it is that you did when you were going to the office, keep on doing it. Working from home is not an excuse to get to work immediately after getting up. Not only is it bad for your health, but keeping your usual routine helps you keep a sense of normalcy in your life, which is very much needed right now.
Get up at the same time as usual and take the time to sip your cup of coffee or tea while reading a chapter of your book, or pour it in a to-go cup and go for a walk around the block, or simply do a 20-30 minute workout to start the day with some time for yourself.
3. Write down your to-do list the night before
Before you finish your work day, write down your to-do list for the next day. With the tasks that absolutely need to get done first, and then the other tasks you need to work on. By doing so, once you close your computer, you won’t keep on thinking about everything you have to do the next day, as all of these thoughts will be written down on paper, and therefore enjoy a more relaxed evening.
By doing this little task in the evening instead than the morning, you’re less likely to forget important points, as you’ll still be in “work mode” and not floaded by emails as you are in the morning and dive directly into the day
4. Take your lunch break outside
Get some fresh air, go for a walk. Take an actual lunch break. Don’t feel like you have to eat in front of your computer. Sure, some days we have so much to do that we eat while smashing out some emails. But this shouldn’t be the norm. Take the time to cook for yourself, have a break from screens, emails, phone calls… You’ll be in a much better mood to get back to work once your brain got the break it deserves.
5. Sit near a window
Especially now that the sun set rather early, get all the daylight in while you can. And since working from home usually also means, spending the entire day inside, try sitting next to a source of natural light as much as you can (of course, protect your eyes and do turn on the lights if you feel like you need to).
6. Move your body
Whether exercise is a non-negotiable in your daily routine or you prefer going for a run on weekends, it is important that you move your body throughout the day. Of course, going for a walk during your lunch break is a good thing, but also try getting up every hour and stretch your legs, your arms, do what feels good after sitting down for a quite long period of time.
In addition, to feeling better physically, moving your body, even a little, does wonders for your mood!
7. Eat healthy snacks
Want some chocolate? Of course go have a square. What we are saying here, is that working from home is not a reason to snack mindlessly the whole day. You’ll end up feeling more tired and sluggish. We all know that staying home also means a constant craving to snack. Are you actually hungry? Not really. Are you bored or snacking out of habit? Most probably.
We’re not saying snacking is a bad thing, we all love to eat. But try to focus on fruits, nuts, hummus… try combinations like carrots + hummus, almonds + dark chocolate, apple + peanut butter… Carbs and protein, carbs and healthy fats… It will hit the spot without leaving you feeling tired.
8. Make time for your hobbies
Working from home can easily be never-ending. That urge to have a last look at emails before going to sleep, just because the computer is right there. Resist that. Instead, take advantage of the time you don’t spend on the commute to actually start that book, paint, write, or simply cooking a delicious dinner.
9. Try the “Pomodoro Technique”
Having trouble with time management? Try this simple, but super effective technique, in 4 easy steps
- pick a task
- work on it for 25 minutes
- take a 5 minutes break
- every 4th set of 25 minutes, you get a longer break (15-20 minutes)
This simple technique can help those who are easily distracted and have trouble focusing on a task. By setting breaks, you allow yourself to focus on the task, knowing there’s a “reward” after it and therefore resisting the urge to look at your phone every notification you get.
10. Be kind to yourself
Yes, work is work. We all know that. But we are also living in a world with an unprecedent situation (at least in the world as it is today) and we therefore need to adapt. Not being able to gather with friends and family as often as we would like to, can be difficult, so don’t feel bad if one day you feel like you’re not being as productive as you should. Tomorrow is another day and will for sure be better. For now, do the best you can and everything will turn out just fine.