Working from home can have a whole slew of advantages. From avoiding traffic and eliminating commute time, to creating your own schedule or work day plans, there are numerous benefits. But, working from home can also be a slippery slope. It can set you up to work too much, lose productivity, and develop some unhealthy habits. Here are some tips to help make sure that you make the most of your work from home time while taking care of your body and brain!
1) IMPLEMENT A STRUCTURED SCHEDULE
Structure is king for anyone who works from home. It can be the key to keeping you on task and keeping you productive while avoiding procrastination. This means your workday should have a start and end and the appropriate breaks (more on that later!) just like it would if you were working in an office. Then you can structure your open work time in a way that works effectively for you. That could look like an hour of email time, a block of project time, etc. But the key is that is planned and scheduled.
PRO TIP: Do the thing on your to-do list that are dreading FIRST! It will feel amazing to get it out of the way and your productivity will improve with it no longer hanging over your head.
2) HAVE A DEDICATED WORK SPACE
Yup, that means the kitchen table shouldn’t double as your office! You want your work space to feel like a work environment, so that when you step into it, your mind transitions into work mode. And, even more importantly, stepping out of it switches you out of work mode. That way, when your work day ends and you leave your work space and leave the idea of work (instead of having dinner in it!)
PRO TIP: If you don’t have an extra room that you can make into an office, try blocking out a corner of any room and filling it with a small desk and a small cabinet to help keep things tidy and out of sight.
3) TREAT YOUR WORK DAY LIKE A WORK DAY
Working from home sounds like a great opportunity to multi-task. I mean, the idea of doing dishes in between meetings could sound like a great way to stay on top of things at home. But the reality is that doing that sort of thing takes you out of work mode—and too much of that could impair your productivity. Instead, treat break times the same way you would if you worked in an office: maybe a full lunch break and a shorter break mid-morning and again mid-afternoon.
PRO TIP: If you have errands to run, try and plan them into your break times as an opportunity to get you out of the house for a bit.
4) KEEP A FULL WATER BOTTLE ON YOUR DESK
Dehydration can be an issue for anyone during the work day, whether you work from home or not. But when you work from home, it’s easy to get caught up in work and forget about the little aspects of self-care throughout the day- like hydration. Having a water bottle on your desk all day, both in eye sight and in hands’ reach, will help remind you to get sipping throughout the day.
PRO TIP: If you don’t already have one, get a water bottle you LOVE! The shape, the size, the color, everything. IF you love your water bottle, it will make sipping throughout the say much more frequent.
5) INCORPORATE QUICK MOVEMENT BREAKS
Sitting in the same place by yourself all day can make anyone’s brain start to feel fuzzy. Taking your normal workday breaks will help with that, but if the rest of your workday is without human interaction, you may need more than that. If you are feeling a little foggy, consider adding quick 1-minute bursts of movement as needed, like push-ups, jumping jacks, or squats. The resulting fresh oxygen and blood flow will get your brain back where you need it.
PRO TIP: If your body feels sore and achy at the end of the workday, use your movement breaks as opportunities to stretch or do some yoga poses.
Implement these tips today to be healthiest and more productive work-from-homer you can be!