Finding balance: Your #WFH schedule, refreshed
For many, working from home can often feel like both a blessing and a curse. While there are several advantages to having your office mere steps away from your bed, after a while, it's easy to lose sight of the reasons you loved it in the first place. Without the social camaraderie of being in the office, or even the loss of the physical barrier between home and work, working in your house every day can easily have you experiencing a lapse of motivation and a work/life imbalance.
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, don’t stress: this might be the perfect time to refresh your daily schedule by adopting new routines. Whether working from home was your company’s choice or a personal decision, our editors have compiled their favorite routines ideal to simplify your remote work schedule.
Without the pressure of a daily commute, it may be tempting to wake up 10 minutes before work starts, but this takes away time for you to get adjusted to the day.
Instead, wake up an hour earlier and take a moment for yourself. By spending this time doing something you like such as stretching, listening to podcasts, music, catching up on your favorite news or stories, you're establishing your home environment as a personal space before immediately jumping into the ‘office’. After taking an hour for yourself, by the time you start responding to messages, emails and phone calls, you’ll be more relaxed and ready for the day.
Instead of viewing all your responsibilities as one long and never-ending list, reimagining your schedule in blocks of time can help prevent immediate exhaustion.
Changing your perspective around your tasks can lead to a more manageable and goal-oriented mindset. By thinking of the day in small blocks of time, you can set up realistic expectations, for example, you can tell yourself within the next two hours you want to accomplish x-amount of things. Mini goals and outcomes can help you feel more accomplished, allowing you to move through your tasks with confidence.
We don’t all have the luxury of living in quiet spaces. Whether you’re sharing your space with flatmates or family members, or simply living on a busy street, external noise is inevitable.
Instead of working through distracting sounds, centralize your focus by transforming your work space. Adding padded fabrics - for example closing drapes and curtains - or working in a space with a rug or a carpet can help minimize outside noise for a more comfortable situation. If you need a stronger solution, it could be worth investing in noise-cancelling headphones.
If you’re working from home, you're most likely spending hours at a time looking at your computer. Whereas it probably doesn’t differ that much from the office, at home there are fewer moments of spontaneous social interaction. Without thoughtful conversation breaks and in-person meetings with your team, it becomes natural to go hours without leaving your desk, and while staring at a screen is the new normal, neck pain and eyestrain should be avoided.
Maybe you can’t change how much you’re looking at your computer, but you can be more mindful about your wellness.
To start, prop your laptop up at eye level. A coffee table book can even work to add a few necessary inches to aid a sore neck or back.
And for your eyes, invest in a pair of blue light glasses. Not only does this prevent strain, but research has shown that wearing blue light lenses helps increase evening melatonin levels, leading to improved sleep quality.
Your office is your sanctuary, even more so if you’re working from home. Establish a curated space that speaks to your happiness with loved objects, pictures or simply things that make you smile. Move unneeded stuff off your desk or table.
Use organizational pieces or stationery that helps keep your space decluttered and easy to maintain. Though everything is digital, sometimes taking a moment to actually write out your plans or goals for the day can help improve your mindset. Having a notebook where you can write your thoughts, goals, accomplishments helps organize your thoughts and leads to fewer distractions.
In between tasks, take a moment to stretch or a bathroom break. Move around your room and even try taking phone calls standing up and pacing, studies have shown standing up for calls can benefit you professionally and mentally. If you can, try to change your environment every so often: for example, take your lunch in a different room or chair. This allows you to separate your breaks from your work, leaving you to have time to relax, enjoy a moment for yourself and take a breath from a chaotic working day.