With all the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve found ourselves in a position unlike never before. For many of us, today’s moments bring days spent at home. While the ever-coveted position of “remote work” or stay at home jobs is now a title we all share, it turns out that being productive and staying in can be a little more difficult than expected.
But don’t give up just yet.
As always, our priority is to look out for your health and well-being, inside and out. Here are a few tips on how to work from home, all while staying healthy and happy. And remember, we’re all in this together.
1. Plan and Schedule Out Your Day
While many of us are accustomed to walking into the office at 8:55am, grabbing a quick coffee, and saying hi to your coworker by this time of day. Odds are, your roommate roaming around their pajamas isn’t as tantalizing as your boss sitting a few desks away from you, and the netflix you overhear isn’t the motivational background noise you need to drown out your wandering thoughts.
Stay motivated and in work mode by planning out your day and scheduling tasks, as if you were in the office.
First thing’s first, set your hours. While it may now seem silly to think about what time you’ll be working to and from, this will help map out your day, so you can stay on task. Set hours for yourself, from start to finish, and plan out your schedule to set priorities and deadlines.
Second, define your priorities. Leadership guru Michael Hyatt explains the importance of defining, what he calls, the “Daily Big 3” tasks to accomplish your day. While many of us are focused on creating to-do lists longer than our arm, Michael stresses the importance of limiting our options to three major tasks in order to boost productivity and measure our accomplishments.
It’s easy when working from home to feel like you’re doing everything and nothing. Narrowing down what needs to get done will help you stay focused and reach your goals.
2. Pause and Take A Deep Breath
We’re not talking yoga (though we might get to that later), we’re talking about mentally and emotionally giving yourself a break. We get it, there’s work to be done and things to worry about – you might find yourself not feeling your best or being as productive as you usually are. And we’re here to tell you, that’s okay.
We’re all on a learning curve here, including the entire world. This includes learning new ways of doing, new ways of being, and new ways of keeping on. While we’re not here to downplay the major crisis going on, we are here to tell you that if things aren’t going as planned, that’s okay.
This has and will continue to push us to adapt to new ways of transition and learning. The good news is that we’re all in this together. So, take a deep breathe, and pause when needed.
3. Shower, Get Dressed and Maintain Your Morning Routine
With the option of checking emails in your pajamas, it’s all too easy to get comfortable and shift away from your usual self.
Like rest, studies have found that your body associates mental cues with physical reactions. For example, when having trouble sleeping, specialists suggest that rather than laying in bed aimlessly awake, your body benefits more from getting up and spending 20-30 minutes in a different location, then returning to bed. The reason being is that by laying awake in the physical location where you’re supposed to be sleeping, you’re mentally queuing your body to continue to stay awake in that same place.
In the same way, by maintaining your normal morning routine of getting up, drinking coffee, showering, then getting dressed for work – all with the exception of heading out the door in the morning – your body is now mentally queued to get work done.
You now know how to have more productive work days from home – and, better sleep too.
4. Fuel Your Body
With a lot of attention being placed on food right now, we’re here to set the record straight. While chips and pasta may have an expiration date set far away enough to keep your grandchildren interested, we can’t remember the last time eating junk food made us feel good. Instead, it probably has you wondering “Why am I always so tired?”
It’s simple knowledge we all know: healthy eating leads to a healthy life. Those who fuel their bodies with nourishing food can wake up earlier and can work for longer periods of time than those who are clouding their brain with processed food.
While finding ourselves in a time focused on hoarding food, we shouldn't lend ourselves to binge eating.
Honor your body by consuming nutrient-dense foods such as veggies, pasta packed with protein, homemade pasta sauce you can freeze, nutritious smoothies, and immune boosting foods such as citrus, broccoli, kale, leafy greens, fish, eggs, probiotic yogurt, collagen peptides, bone broth, matcha green tea, ginger, and garlic. Give your body the nutrients you need by clean eating to keep it happy and whole.
5. Get Moving
Yes, we know – the advice many of us don’t want to hear: how to eat healthy, and now, workout, too.
But, it’s undeniable, nothing quite boosts energy levels like working out. And with the next few weeks (or months) ahead of us set to be spent inside, the phrase “a body at rest, stays at rest…” has never rang more true.
Though, it’s not all bad news. While we may be deemed to stay inside, instead of paying for fitness instructors or gym memberships, you have all the access you need to help get your body moving right at your fingertips – check out how-to workout videos and order a set of dumbbells or a jump rope to get moving!
Here’s to coming out of social distancing stronger and healthier more than ever before.
6. Keep It Clean
This one’s just from us – A messy space is a messy mind.
Not only does a clean space increase productivity, but it’s a great way to keep yourself healthy while fighting off germs and viruses. When you work from home, it’s kind of essential.
We know that organizing the spice cabinet might not be on everyone’s fun to-do list during social distancing, but embrace spring cleaning by tidying up your space – make your bed, organize your WFH workspace, and watch your productivity (and mentality clarity for that matter) soar.
7. Unplug and Take a Break From Technology
We talked about taking a break already, but this time, we mean from your computer, TV, and most importantly, your phone!
We get that minutes spent on the phone can turn into hours, and hours can turn into full days scrolling, watching, and messaging. But, with work being limited to what you can accomplish on your computer, all this screen time can seriously be detrimental to your mental health and well-being.
Instead of hopping off your computer to check social media, swap that with getting up and making a healthy meal, taking a long hot shower, accomplishing a house-hold task that you’ve been putting off (yes, we see that laundry pile), or reading a book!
As with anything in life, balance is key. If you’re starting to feel anxious and tense, odds are, you probably are. Unplug and taking a break from technology are great quick fixes to maintaining your productivity and mental health.
8. Stay Connected
While the term “social distancing” is rather daunting and watching months worth of Netflix shows is tempting, keep in mind that this might not be the all encompassing distance you’re mistaking it for.
Yes, social distance is referring to physical distance and boundaries, but this doesn’t mean you should disconnect from your friends and family. Instead, check up on your loved ones who are a text message, phone, or video call away.
In this time of social isolation we’ve never found ourselves in before, take advantage by really connecting with those in your life, including your roommate whom you’ve probably only spoken a few sentences with. Make time to finally get to know your roommate by sharing a meal or just talking to get to know each other.
And then tackle those who you haven’t heard from in awhile. Reach out to friends you haven’t called since you moved or your grandparents who you only see over the holidays. While everybody's list is different, we all have someone we can reach out to and check up on.
9. Add Activities and Projects
For those of you who have kids, use this time to create fun activities to keep them busy while you’re working from home. There’s much more than playing dress up and house – try hide and seek, puzzles, or karaoke (when you’re off work).
And with the extra time you now have, think of that passion project you’ve been putting off.
Maybe, you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, redecorating your bedroom, or writing a book? Whatever it is, cut out some time to pursue your dreams and make your passion a priority, as well as a part of your emotional health.
Everything that’s been going on is new territory, but we’re in this together. Thinking of you always – let’s come out of this better, stronger, and together.