Once upon a time, working at la casa may have seemed like a dream. However, now several months in, it's somehow lost its luster - not to mention the effects of this on our mood, productivity, and body. And, is it just me, or do the days seem to fly by without demarcations of time and endless distractions (we see you, dishes, a quick chore, or two and perhaps a little dinner prep)?
It's time we set ourselves up for success, at home, and become more purposeful in our days with a certain amount of willpower and scheduling, herein.
Location, Location, Location
That’s not your bed
Determine the “where.” Create a daily workstation be it your dining table, kitchen counter, or your coffee table if need be. Separate your lounge and sleep areas to put your mind into achieving mode.
Pro tip: Your productive place ideally is one where you can sit straight-up which helps your body and brain stay alert.
Dressed to the Nines
At least from the waist up
Outfit yourself in work-ready attire that transitions your mind from morning relaxed mode to daytime productive mode. At a minimum put on a cute top so your colleagues think you’re SO on it during your next Zoom call!
Make a List
Check it twice
Same as you schedule meetings, schedule time to actually do your work. At the start of each day create an achievable list of to-dos with a time assigned to each action. Check off each as you go for a sense of accomplishment. Plus, close with a state of affairs and figure out a way to achieve any incompletes the following day.
Pro tip: Order your to-dos with the most pressing or mentally taxing items at the start of the day when you’re most clear and fresh. Thanks to decision fatigue, throughout the day, your decision-making ability wanes and so does your productivity.
Set Working Hours
And, be on time
Establish a schedule to keep you on point. Wake up early so you have time for yourself in the morning to reflect, workout or journal before the day of emails, calls, and deadlines is upon you. Determine a time to be at your make-shift work station every day (and stick to it!) otherwise, it can be all too easy to let the morning slip by leaving you at a deficit. Consider setting a morning call with a teammate to ensure that you are on time.
Pro tip: Same as you have a start at a time, decide on an end time too. Boundaries are clutch when working from home, otherwise, the days and nights all blur together leaving little to no time to renew -- which, blah, blah, blah, self-care, but seriously, self-care, people. This is a marathon, not a sprint and when we take time at the start and end of each day to re-up on the good stuff, we can better and more creatively show up the next day. Think about it.
Take a Break
Shake it out
Unlike our lives previously known as BC (before COVID), wherein meetings, office activities, school drop off, dinners out and drinks with friends, kept us constantly on the go, it’s easy to sometimes sit for hours without moving; which goes without saying, isn't great. To offset this, set an alarm every hour or two for water and movement. Pressing pause for a bit of fresh air helps decrease stress and recalibrate the mind. When you get back to your desk, you can arrive fresh and ready for another round.
Pro tip: Don’t make every break a snack! A habit all too easy to form. Instead, give yourself two snack breaks throughout the day (mid-morning and afternoon), and reach for healthy, whole foods when you do.
Make Water a Must
Coffee’s great, but hydrate
Love ourselves some caffeine, be it coffee or matcha, but too much, is just too much. Instead, keep water close by (add some cucumbers or lemon for flavor) and drink the day away. Not new news, but science shows keeping our bodies and brains well-hydrated improves function and helps lower stress. So, let’s do this!