Working from home can feel like a dream come true – until it doesn’t. As Alina Heim puts it, “Having the flexibility to work out of your home, your favourite cafe, or even an airport (provided they have the Holy Grail that is free wifi) is a workplace game-changer.”
In late 2019, I wrote a blog post titled “How To Work From Home.” Looking back, this article was probably a forerunner for the pandemic and post-pandemic world. Having worked remotely through the pandemic (like we all did) and beyond it, I wanted to share some of the hard-hitting tips I’ve learned since then with you.
Working from home offers you two sides of the same shiny coin: on one hand, you get to wear comfy joggers and probably work from the comfort of your couch (a productive couch potato!). On the other hand, it’s easy to get consumed by it all. So, here are some strategies that have helped me put a lid on them and create a healthy work-life balance:
1- Establish a morning routine.
2- Create a timeplanner.
3- Draw the line between work and home.
4- Create a healthy diet.
5- Allot time for self-care.
6- Exercise daily or every other day.
7- Focus on your top capabilities.
Let’s dig into each one now…
1. Morning routines
Roll out of bed at 8:20am.
Grab a cup of coffee.
Throw on a jumper and comfy sweats.
Scroll through your phone for a couple of minutes.
Turn on your laptop and get to work.
Does your morning routine look somewhat like this? If it does, it’s time for a complete overhaul. A strong morning routine is one of the major keys to productivity because it sets the tone for the day (if not the whole week!).
Rolling out of bed and getting straight to work might seem like you’re hitting the ground running but in reality, you’re just setting the tone for a super groggy day. Here’s what my morning routine looks like:
Get up at 6am (or 6:30am if I treat myself to a lie in).
Go for a walk or to the gym and let the fresh breeze/workout wake up my system.
Try a bit of yoga or journaling to get into zen mode.
Have a quick shower.
Grab a big, healthy breakfast (no skipping meals!)
Having a routine like this keeps me energised and feeling like I’m ready to take on the world (or at the very least, my industry!).
2. Create a timeplanner
Time is everything. You want to borrow a page from Ebenezer Scrooge, especially when it comes to working from home. Set up a routine to organise your day and stick to it religiously.
Remember to manage your time efficiently by not biting off more than you can chew. Often, we tend to take on multiple tasks at once – hoping for magical superpowers – instead of handling them one day at a time. The more realistic you are with your daily goals, the more productive you’ll be.
Pro tip: to help you allocate your time better, try getting mundane yet time-consuming tasks out of the way. For instance, instead of spending half an hour everyday on making lunch, you could meal prep at the start of the week or order food.
3. Drawing the line between work and home
When you work from home, it can be difficult – if not nearly impossible – to draw the line between work and home. However, it’s important to switch off at the end of the day. Working late into the night might seem like a great idea on paper, but in reality can be damaging to your wellbeing. You want to protect your personal time and hold onto every free second.
But how do you pull this off? Here’s how I switch off at the end of every work day:
Set a firm closing time: If work shuts down at 5pm, you need to get off at that exact time – or 5:30pm latest. No dawdling, no late texts and emails – shut it all down!
Pause all notifications and walk away: Pause all notifications from Slack, Gmail, and any other work software you use. A friendly reminder – if you need one – your laptop won’t crash and burn when left unattended until the next day.
Go out and unwind: Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply walk away from your desk – you need to unwind with some fun activities as well. See a movie or go out to dinner – you’ll be less likely to work into the night if you’re out having fun.
4. What’s diet got to do with it?
In between responding to emails and crossing off tasks on your to-do list, it’s easy to skip meals or survive solely on junk. But this shouldn’t be the case. What we put in our bodies can affect not just our general health but our attitude towards work as well.
You can kick off your journey to a healthier eating habit by choosing healthier options and prepping meals at the start of the week. Remember not to skip lunch!
5. Allot time for self-care
What does self-care mean to you? For some people, it means a trip to the spa. For others – like myself – it could mean taking a day off my busy schedule to recharge and do something different. Whatever your definition of self-care might be, it’s worthwhile to allocate some time to this rejuvenating act.
Don’t just limit self-care to what you already know, you could try a few new activities as well. Go swimming, give up alcohol or set yourself a fresh fitness challenge – you’ll feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take on the day with a new sense of purpose.
6. Exercise daily (or every other day)
This is closely tied to my previous point about self-care. With most of our hours spent behind a desk, it’s clear that we lead a sedentary lifestyle – much to the chagrin of our bodies. To strike a healthy balance, you can try exercising daily or every other day. It doesn’t have to involve a 20kg dumbbell – a simple walk in the park or a quick run counts as exercise too.
7. Focus on your top capabilities
Striking a healthy balance between work and home is no walk in the park for the average WFH-er. If you’re still struggling to create this balance, it’s advisable to focus on your top capabilities and delegate the rest of the tasks.
For instance, if you’re a pro at content creation, you could focus on content marketing for your brand and delegate other tasks. However, this may not be the case and that’s okay. If content creation isn’t amongst your top strengths, you might want to delegate this bit and focus on other areas. This way, you can maintain productivity while working from home without juggling too many tasks and feeling burnt out.
At Write Business Results, we’re here to support you by handling your content strategy, production, and promotion, giving you more time to focus and recharge. Why not book a clarity call to find out more about how our team of experts can help?