What was once a luxury has now become the norm for many of us - working from home. It can take some adjusting to this new reality as this is uncharted territory for workers. There are a few tried-and-true techniques that can help make working from home productive and manageable. Here are a few things to consider:
It's important to define your workspace. This may not be easy if your space is limited. But even in the tiniest of spaces, make sure that you have a comfortable area where you can focus with minimal distraction. Although hearing pets and kiddos in the background has now become more tolerated on virtual team meetings, it's essential to make sure that these are not a distraction to productivity.
Now that our commutes are only a short walk down the hall or into the next room, it's essential to keep both morning and an end of day routines. Routines can mean the difference between having a productive day versus a not so productive day. While it's not necessary to put on a work suit or do a full makeup routine, taking care to start the day properly with breakfast and your usual morning activities is important. It is also important not to let working from home turn into working from home into the night, which can easily happen when you're within arm's reach of the bed. Use an end-of-the-day routine, such as updating your to-do list or cleaning off the desk, at the same time each day.
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day. Schedule time to stand up every thirty minutes to stretch or do some yoga moves. And even though the kitchen may be a few steps away, taking an actual lunch break away from your desk can result in a much more productive day overall. Leaving the house to walk the dog, exercising, gardening, or just taking the time to make a great lunch sets the tone for the remainder of the workday.
Working from home is likely to continue for the next several months and may become permanent for some of us. With this in mind, it's advantageous for you to create a workspace and routines that will increase your productivity and reduce stress. Remember to get fresh air every day, take time to get up and move, and eat your meals away from your desk. The boundaries you create between your home and work lives will keep you from getting burned out in the long run!