As many of us transition into working from home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are quite a few adjustments we need to make to be as productive and positive as possible while we work from our home offices. Something that many of us forget when we start to work from home is the importance of scheduling. In the workplace, there are usually timeframes you are working around to keep you organized on a day-to-day basis, but when you begin to work from home, that schedule can sometimes get lost. Without a schedule in place, your work-life at home can go a bit off the rails. These are a few helpful tips you can use to schedule your day effectively while working from home so you feel just as productive and accomplished at the end of the day.
Create a routine
As human beings, we love a healthy routine to keep us on track. However, when we start to work from home, we start to enjoy the luxury of waking up whenever we want and working whenever we feel like it. The problem with this is it’s hard to be productive when you’re off your regular schedule. It’s important to have a daily routine so you feel motivated and ready to accomplish all your goals for the day. Instead of rolling out of bed 5 minutes before your video conference call with your team, wake up early and get ready the same way you would when you would normally go to work. Keeping the same routine you had when you were still going into the office (or at least parts of that routine) will help you stay motivated and help you complete your daily tasks productively. Also be sure to schedule “business hours” for yourself. If you’re working 9-5 every day, stick to that, and try to keep your work within those hours of the day.
Don’t forget to give yourself a break
When coworkers aren’t around to encourage you, it’s easy to forget to take breaks. So, don’t forget to get up every once in a while, make lunch and give yourself a mental break every now and then. Especially with tensions being high because of the virus, try not to overexert yourself mentally or emotionally. If you start to feel a bit stressed, give yourself a few minutes to recollect before jumping into your work again to help you maintain your focus.
Remember to exercise.
Don’t feel as though you need to be shackled to your chair while working from home. Sitting all day isn’t healthy, so a great idea is to schedule a part of your day where you can work out or even get in a brisk walk around the block if possible. Obviously going to the gym isn’t an option anymore for the time being, but there are still a number of ways you can work out from home. Whether you run up and down your stairs to get some cardio in or spend 30 minutes doing an online yoga class in your living room, any movement is better than doing nothing.
The purpose of working from home and everyone being quarantined over the last few weeks is to protect us and others physically from the virus. But remember to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally during this time as well. Don’t burnout from working too hard at home and overstressing. Check-in with yourself throughout the day and give yourself the breaks you need so you can continue to work at the best level you can. Create a daily routine, stick to it, and keep reaching new heights.
“Time management is all about distinguishing between what is important for you and what simply lures you into useless activities.” ― Dr. Prem Jagyasi