By Catherine Adenle
Explore how to keep sane working from home for an extended period. These are 7 tips to follow in order to maintain wellness and high productivity from the confines of your home.
To slow down the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, a record number of employees had to switch from working in an office to working from home. If you are pleased that you can protect yourself and your loved ones by working remotely, but at the same time you now feel lonely, confused and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. These are stressful times for most professionals and it’s perfectly normal to struggle with the transition especially because it seems to have come out of nowhere and it’s still unclear when restrictions will be lifted.
However, don’t worry about the situation as working from home can be a pleasant experience and these 7 tips will help you stay on top of your productivity game without neglecting your mental wellbeing.
One of the most important tips of how to keep sane working from home is having a routine structure. It is also one of the biggest challenges when working from home for an extended period. Moving from a well-regulated, structured, supervised environment to an informal one where you used to relax could be challenging for some. This can affect your productivity and prevent you from concentrating, so, to add more structure to your day, create a schedule the night before. Include everything from work-related tasks to lunch breaks and meditation time, so you don’t neglect anything.
Excited about working from your bed or living room couch? It might look dreamy in Instagram photos but trust me, it’s not so great in practice. First, it’s terribly unhealthy for your spine and you’ll end up with back-ache and stiff joins. And second, the place where you usually sleep and watch TV isn’t very productive for work in the long run. If you haven’t done so already, set up a dedicated space that you only associate with work. This will help you get into a focused mindset and avoid procrastination. Do you live in a small apartment or share the space with a partner? Improvise! Any small table can be a desk if you set your mind to it! Again, this is vital to how to keep sane working from home.
If the old pen and paper method doesn’t motivate you, use planning tools like Trello or Todoist to keep track of your tasks. Few things are more satisfying than crossing all your tasks for the day.
While some people find it hard to focus and stay productive while working from home, others tend to overachieve and put in the extra effort. Be careful, that fire burns out fast and will affect your sanity in the long run. Schedule breaks from time to time and takes a breather when you feel tired. Working from home is still work. Also, know when to draw the line and call it a day. Checking one more email after hours is tempting, but if this little habit ends with you skipping dinner and working till late at night, you have to learn to be kinder with yourself. Knowing how to keep sane working from home means knowing how to switch off when you should not be working.
You may be working from home, but don’t throw away your fitness tracker in a drawer just yet because there are many ways to stay active. The most important thing is to get up from your desk at least once every hour. If you have time, you can also start your day with a quick and easy fitness routine to feel more energized. For those of you who feel uninspired, check out workout videos on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. If you’re looking for something lighter, yoga is a great option because it stretches your muscles, improves flexibility, and helps you destress. Needless to say, if you have a stationary bike forgotten in a cupboard, now’s the best time to get it out.
Lunch breaks are more structured in an office environment but at home, you may tend to skip meals and snacks instead. This may be a big mistake. Your body needs the proper fuel to work and Cheetos will only take you so far. So go ahead, take that one-hour lunch break as usual and take advantage of this situation to eat healthy, home-cooked meals. If you live with your family, this lunch break can be a great opportunity to catch up and unwind.
At home, there’s no one around to tell you to turn off the TV or stop checking your phone, so you’ll have to practice self-discipline and remove distractions yourself. It will take some work, but you can do this. If you feel the urge to check the news constantly, you can install a browser extension that blocks certain websites or turn off the TV and put the remote in another room.
As a final word, remember that there are no fixed rules and that working from home is flexible. Try working in different rooms until you find a space that inspires you, adapt your schedule and wear whatever makes you feel at your best. In a few weeks, you should be able to have some sort of routine that makes you feel confident, productive, and relaxed.
Now that you have explored these 7 tips on how to keep sane working from home, what can you add? Let us hear from you. Drop your comment below.