Good Routines If You Work From Home
Top tips for working from home
Due to the monumental impact Covid 19 has had on this year, many of us may find ourselves working from home for the first time in our lives. With little indication of when this necessary adaption may, if ever, end and the return to the office seemingly in the distant future, its about time we learned how to make this change work in our favour and get the best out of our working day at home. One aspect of office life which is distinctly lacking at home is structure.
This is especially hard when your home has become mentally associated with rest and relaxation, which can make it extremely hard to stay motivated and on the ball with your work responsibilities. However, many people have worked from home for years and have achieved great success whilst doing so, and the biggest key to this success, is a good and stable routine. We’ve complied a list of the best top tips for staying focused and productive when working from home and how to build a routine which will allow you to stay on top of your game and push yourself to be the best that you can be.
Wake up at the same time
No longer having to be rudely awakened by an early alarm to prepare for the daily commute maybe one the best parts about working from home, but keeping a regular wake up time can have numerous benefits and should be integral to your work day routine. Choose a time which works for you, setting yourself a 5am wake up time because society deems early risers somehow morally superior when you naturally find it hard to function in the morning will do you no good.
It doesn’t matter is its 6am or 10am as long as its consistent and allows you enough time to get a full working day done. Our bodies follow a natural rhythm and thrives off structure, and you will find that having a set wake up time will also allow you to sleep better, letting you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to perform at your best.
Plan the night before
Waking up with a clear outlined plan for your day gives you a feeling of confidence and certainty which will have a massive impact on the energy you bring into your work and ultimately the work you end up producing. Waking up and then planning your day takes vital time out of your morning and can lead to procrastination and general time wasting. Starting the day with a clear outline allows you to go from task to task seamlessly.
We all do it, you wake up and first thing you do is light up that little blue screen to see if you missed anything overnight. I know it can be tempting, but for the sake of your productivity, please don’t! Going on your phone first thing is a one-way ticket to procrastination station. Even if its work-related emails rather than social media check-ups, you’re far better correctly preparing yourself for the day and then addressing them. If you find it hard to remove yourself from your phone throughout the day and it’s a constant source of irresistible distraction, consider leaving your phone in another room in the house away from your workspace when you need to focus on an important task. There are also fun and innovative ways to help you resist the urge, such as the app ‘Forest’ which plants a virtual tree whilst you focus, but if you go on your phone off the app the tree dies and you have to start from scratch!
While this is a rather whacky example, and what works for some may not work for others, finding a way to keep yourself present and focused on your work is key to working effectively.
Some love it, some hate it, but it’s a scientific fact that exercise enhances your brain’s ability to function to its optimum level and to maintain strong focus, not to mention all of the other added physical health benefits it brings. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose to do, whether it be a light online yoga class, intense HIIT workout, or even just walking the dog down the road, getting your blood pumping and your body moving is what is important. Ideally make sure you choose an activity that you love or at least don’t hate as it’ll make the daily exercise routine easier to stick to.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you choose to exercise, but working out in the morning will give you a sense of achievement and boost before starting a hard days work, and exercising before bed will allow you to release any pent up energy which may keep you awake at night, whatever fits best into your own personal routine is the best option for you.
Lounging around the house in your dressing gown may seem novel at first, but over time not getting dressed and physically preparing yourself for work can leave you feeling lack lustre and unmotivated. No one is suggested you should be donning your suit everyday and taking a brief case downstairs on your short ‘commute’ to work, but taking time to shower and get dressed into something other than your pyjamas will do you the world of good and make you feel prepared for a day of hard work.
Have a designated office/workspace
Sitting in bed snuggled under your duvet with a coffee in your hand, sifting through your emails on your laptop with the TV blaring in the background may sound appealing, but this will ruin your work ethic in the long term, and also inhibit your ability to be able to switch off from work after the day has ended. Even if you don’t have a spare room in your home you can convert into your new home office, selecting a certain table or corner as your new work space will enhance your productivity and allow you to have a work and home life separation. Other options would be to go to your local library or rent a shared workspace if you cannot get the peace and quiet required to focus when you are at home. Separating home life and work life can definitely seem like a challenge when working from home, but this is the number one tip to allow you to keep them as separate as possible.
Well, now you know our top tips for working from home, you’re fully equipped to kickstart your own workday routine. Remember, what works for some may not work for others, we are all individuals and finding what works best for you is the most important thing!