Many of us have recently transitioned to the work-from-home lifestyle. This can be a big challenge for those that are not used to working and living in the same confined space. While it may be nice to wear leggings and sweatshirts everyday, it’s easy to start feeling lazy and unproductive, even when you are working.
We’ve compiled these tips to help you stay focused while also enjoying your extra time at home.
SWITCH UP YOUR WORKSPACE
Admit it–you’ve worked from the comfort of your bed at least one of these days. Who can blame you? However, after weeks of doing this, you may start to feel like a sloth and have less motivation to get your work done.
It’s okay to start your morning emails in bed. But set a reminder to switch up your workspace for the day. By 9:30am, move to your desk (if you have one) or the kitchen table. Later, try out the couch or outdoor patio. I find that changing my surroundings can help jumpstart my productivity.
For those of you who are used to having a standing desk, see if you can make your own at home. Use a kitchen counter or dresser and stack some extra books underneath your laptop if necessary. Remember, you want your wrists to lie flat on the surface (don’t angle them up or down) and try to keep your screen at eye level.
TAKE A BREAK TO STRETCH
All that sitting on your chair/bed/couch can take a toll on your body. If you haven’t tried daily stretching before, now is a great time to get in the habit. Set a reminder for once or twice a day to get up and stretch your muscles and do some deep breathing. This can help center you and get you refocused on the tasks at hand. If you want to take it a step further, try doing a 10-20 minute yoga video. This can be a great way to start or end your day.
If the weather is nice, get outside and take a walk. 15 minutes of sunshine can improve your mood and make it easier for you to focus once you get back to work.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
If you’re working in a dark room curled into your covers, it’s easy to start to fall asleep or get distracted. If you have a primary working space, set it up to your liking. Get some flowers to brighten the space. Display a few of your favorite photos. Sit by a window so you can get some natural light. Put a few post-its with your favorite quotes on your work area.
STRUCTURE YOUR TIME
It’s easier to lose track of what you should be working on when you’re constantly working alone. I’ve found that scheduling out my day can help avoid this. Map out what you’re going to do for the day and for how long. Use a planner, Google calendar, or both! Even if things change, you have a basic plan that can help you stay on track while still diversifying your projects.
Another tip is to write down your three biggest priorities for the day. These are the three things that if completed, will make your day a success. This is a great way to stay focused and get your most important tasks finished on time.
SEPARATE WORK LIFE FROM HOME LIFE
If you have roommates, kids, a spouse that’s working from home, or pets, it can be hard not to get interrupted and distracted. While you definitely shouldn’t ignore your child for 8 hours a day, make sure that when you’re attending to them, you are taking a break. It’s okay to step away from the computer and tend to your young ones. Trying to send an email while feeding your child can make things more stressful.
Set boundaries with roommates and your significant other, if needed. Let them know that you need to focus on a project and you can chat later or plan to have lunch together.
When the work for the day is done, close the laptop and put it away. Some people struggle to not check their email one last time or finish up a project that’s almost done. While this might not seem like a big deal, it can quickly turn into a habit that’s hard to break. Setting these boundaries will be beneficial for you and your loved ones.