As we move into the next phase (gradually reopening) of this pandemic, one thing is becoming clear. Those of us fortunate to work from home will likely continue to do so, at least for the immediate future. If you haven’t, now is the perfect time to master your work from home routine. Why? So that you can continue to thrive and show your managers that you are capable of producing quality work, even from the comfort of your home. Who knows, maybe this temporary agreement can turn into something permanent between you and your employer even after normal operations are resumed!
I’ve been working from home for the past four years, and let me tell you, the common myth that working from home is synonymous with being productive is not true. It’s taken me much trial and error, loading myself up with the day to day tasks, to realize this nugget. “Keep it Simple.” Because that is ultimately what’s made for me NOW having the most effective work from home routine since I’ve begun.
Wake up Early:
Wake up at least one hour before your work start time and get yourself ready for the day. I know it seems that you should be working out, meditating, making breakfast, and working on your side-hustle all before you start your 9-5. However, if that’s not something you did before, don’t start now. Keep it simple. Essentially, treat your mornings as if you were still going into the office. Get up, do your hair/minimal makeup, and get dressed into something comfortable enough to wear around the house, but that still feels like clothes. No pajamas!
Claim Your Space:
Have a dedicated office space! It doesn’t have to be an entire room. Just have some nook in your home that you primarily work. Eventually, once you start to enter this space in the mornings, your brain and body will recognize this and go into “work mode.” Once you settle in for the day, focus only on what is required for you to do your job!
As tempting as it is, don’t pile yourself up with household tasks that you think you should be able to do because you are now working from home. Trust me; you’re only going to find yourself overwhelmed and feeling as if you’re giving half effort both at work and at home.
Take Your Breaks:
Instead, be strategic throughout the day and make the most out of your breaks. If you get 15-20 minutes a couple of times plus a lunch break, that is plenty of time to read and respond to messages regarding your side hustle, start a load of laundry, or even get dinner started. I’ve also found that working out during lunch is the perfect solution to mornings being too early and after work being too late. Of course, that means you’ll likely eat at your desk, but for an early afternoon workout, that’s a comprise I’m willing to take. Remember, having an effective work from home routine is all about creating and fostering habits that make you feel like the best version of yourself.
Wrap Up You Day:
The same way you wind down when you’re in the office, bring that mindset when you are working from home. If you get off at 4:00 PM, you should be logging off at 4:00 PM. Afterward, leave the comings and goings of the work day in that space. If you need a way to transition your mind from work to home, taking a stroll around the neighborhood usually does the trick for me. My husband and I have started doing afternoon walks, and it’s something we’ll likely continue even after the pandemic is over.
These simple steps make up my effective work from home routine! Using this approach, I”m, producing more at work, managing a less stressful household while being a newlywed, and continuing to grow this blog. If you work from home, I encourage you to try it for a week, a month, a year, to see how life-changing it could be.
Until next time,