Working from home is a classic blessing in disguise. For many, the flexibility to forego a morning commute and office cubicle in favor of working from the comfort of home is extremely desirable. For others, working in sweatpants erodes a sense of purpose and routine they rely on to stay motivated.
Whichever camp you subscribe to, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced each of us to assume our respective groutfits in the name of #flattenthecurve. Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your WFH:
There are few moments in the day as important as your wake up routine. I am a firm believer that excellence starts with the little things, and the way you start your day is the way you will finish it. Get up when your alarm goes off. Make your bed, wash your face, and take care of any other personal hygiene items right away. Beginning the day by immediately ticking things off your list is the best way to generate and keep momentum. Don’t believe me? Take it from someone else.
This is one of those tasks that seems obvious, but has the ability to derail or encourage productivity depending on your approach. If you grew up in the sports world, you might be familiar with the old adage “Look good, feel good, play good.” While the English of the phrase leaves something to be desired, the message holds true. Feeling put together and good about how you look has proven performance benefits. Taking the time to select an outfit that makes you feel professional & ready to take on the world (preferably the night before so you don’t detract from other morning tasks) is one of the few things we can control even in the absence of our typical office routines.
3. Get Outside
Of all the tactics I swear by, this is the most critical. Getting outside for a brisk walk, even a for a few minutes, is perhaps the best way to improve productivity and break up the day working from home. Personally, I like to bookend my days with walks; a quick walk with the dog in the morning to grab a coffee, and a walk after dinner to digest. You’ll be amazed at what just an extra 20 minutes of walking a day can do for your energy and overall mental psyche. Walking can calm anxiety, boost energy, and enhance productivity.
Organization is critical when working from home. Without your manager or coworkers keeping you on task, setting your own deadlines is a necessity. If you are someone who likes lists, there are few things as cathartic is a big fat checkmark next to a task. Make lists that include not only the deliverable but the stepping stones along the way. Make your to-do list first thing in the morning, or even right before you go to bed the night before. Swear by your G-Cal? Splitting your time into chunks by setting “meetings” with yourself to accomplish given tasks is a great way to stay on track. Hold yourself accountable with the many productivity tools available in Gmail or Outlook.
Another great way to begin and ends your days is by being mindful. Mindfulness promotes mental and physical health, as well as productivity and focus; but in practice it looks different for everyone. Whether you prefer to journaling, meditating (there are some awesome apps to do this), practicing yoga, or to pray, pausing and clearing the mind of our anxieties is a break we all deserve.