A simple routine to follow while you work from home
Working from home is a mixed blessing. While it’s a privilege to be able to engage in your profession remotely, the home is a place intended for relaxation and entertainment. As we spend much of our home life watching TV or relaxing with a glass of wine, it can be a frustrating struggle to engage and approach work with the productive mindset to which we’re accustom.
Happily, you can quickly turn this situation around by creating a routine which signals to yourself that you’re going to work, to focus and to produce.
Here are our tips on keeping a simple routine while you work from home:
Get ready and dress to impress
While having an extra twenty minutes in bed and working in loungewear may sound like a bonus of home working, choices like this will hinder you in the long run. Keeping a morning routine of washing, dressing for work and eating breakfast is essential for signalling to yourself that the day has begun.
Give yourself a dedicated workspace
A fundamental part of your routine needs to be the act of going to work, and you can achieve this by allocating yourself a dedicated workplace. This provides you with a specific space for work that you can go to, and come away from. This boundary is also key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance in the home.
You don’t need to set yourself up with a home office to achieve this, it’s simply about making the right choices with what’s available. When choosing an area, select a flat surface that you can sit at comfortably; a dining or dressing table, or worksurface are all fine choices. Make sure you have plenty of light, natural if possible, a plant or some greenery in view and quick access to the utilities you need, such as a Wi-Fi connection, plugs and refreshments.
While everyone’s situation is unique and space availability may vary, at the very least you want to be away from your sleeping area.
Keep regular and regulated hours
It’s easy to think that because you’re working from home, you can start and finish whenever you please. However, this lack of structure can be extremely detrimental to your productivity. Setting and keeping regulated working hours will help you switch on in the morning and off in the evening. Keeping a schedule will reinforce the benefit garnered from our other recommendations, and help you fall into a healthy, focussed and productive routine.
Scheduled breaks are also a must, allowing yourself time to fuel up and have a screen break. A 15-minute break midmorning and mid-afternoon, and an hour lunch break will give you a productivity boost and have you feeling more refreshed.
If you’re someone prone to working overtime, this is particularly important. If you’re already at home, with no rush hour commute to contend with, it can be very difficult to put aside your drive for productivity, and rest. If you tend to get drawn into your work, setting an alarm to signal the end of the day can help. Even though stopping work can be hard, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.