Now that you’ve started to wrap your head around the reality of working from home, you’ve set up your swanky (not-so-swanky) remote office and are totally down with the ins and outs of the Zoom Video Conference, we’re going to share some tips and tricks to help you stay positive and stay healthy while working from home. It’s one thing to get your work done and complete those projects. But it’s another to do it in a way that allows you to balance your health and wellness along the way. During a time where so much seems uncertain, adding your own routines and familiarity can make a massive difference to your state of being. So let’s dive in.
Stick to Your Normal Routine
Remember when you used to work in an office? It probably feels like a lifetime ago. But if you can reach back to that long ago and far away time, you probably had a pretty regular routine set up, right? Well stick to it. Wake up at the same time. Have breakfast, get dressed (we know pajama sales have gone up… predominantly in the bottom area. Put some pants on, friends). If you have kiddos at home as well and they’re working on their studies from home, get them into their routine along with you. Sticking to this regularity will help you get into the right frame of mind for a productive day while also creating a sense of normalcy, despite the chaos outside.
Schedule Your Day
Get to know your Google or Outlook Calendar really well. Consider it one of your new besties during this remote work-life to which you’re getting accustomed. Now break down your day. Creating a clear schedule will help you stay on task and not jump from one item to the next, get distracted easily or feel the pull from your kids or anything else. Trust me on this. I’m a full-on case study.
Let’s take a look at how this could break down:
9:00-10:00am - Answer emails
10:00-11:00am - Return any phone calls and list any items to address that have come out of your emails and calls. Prioritise them.
11:00-11:10am - Stretch. Get tea or coffee. Give kids snuggles and a check in.
11:10-1:00pm - Work on X.
1:00-2:00pm - Lunch with kids, assist with their questions/have a play depending on age and studies.
2:00-3:00pm - Work on X…
Get the idea? Schedule in breaks for you. Breaks to stretch. Breaks to exercise. Breaks for lunch. And prioritise your projects for work so you know what you’re working on when, and for how long. It will keep you focused and on task, and you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day!
Exercise. Meditate. Mind and Body, Baby!
Make sure you have time to be kind to your mind and body scheduled into your plans for the day. A twenty-minute walk, a bike ride, or a stroll followed by a five-minute meditation session, whatever works for you! It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of making work, well, work. Especially if kids are in the mix! But you still have to maintain your physical and mental health through all of this. In fact right now, it’s even more important! So check out videos online with awesome businesses like @vitalitahealth, @_tiarafit_ and @F45_training if you’re looking for great workouts from home. That being said, be sure to add a little fresh air to your daily routine, too! So post-video, go sit outside and do a little meditation sesh to wrap it up. Or take that as a fiver later in the day! The Calm App is a great option to assist with this to change it up from the familiar sounds of your back or front stoop. Here’s the Apple link if you’re a Mac/Apple user.
A Proper Lunch
Ok. This sounds pretty basic. But it’s really important! If you’re living the best ‘snacks-all-day’ life while you work, you’re inclined to, well, pay for it a bit. It’s harder to keep track of what you’re putting into your body when you’re not doing it with mindful intention. Lunch gives you the opportunity to take time away from the computer. It also gives you a chance to connect with the kiddos while they eat and/or gives you time to get some sunshine on your face while you mindfully eat the healthy meal you’ve made for yourself. None of this, handfuls of crackers and spoonfuls of peanut butter here and there (I’m not speaking from experience. What are you talking about?) Do what you can to eat fueling foods like fruit, veg, whole grains and so on. If you plan your lunch and your time, you’ll feel better and work better because of it.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
It is so easy to get caught up in work when your workspace and home space are one and the same! It’s important to clock in and clock out with intent. If you typically clock out at 5pm when you’re in your out of home office, then do the same here, too. When you have a break scheduled in, take it. Don’t answer work emails from your phone after you’ve logged out for the day.
We understand that it isn’t that cut and dry in all scenarios. For example if you’re trying to balance work with taking care of the kids, first of all, you’re a freaking CHAMPION. But also, you may need to adjust your time clock. If you typically log out of work at 5, but you’ve dedicated some of your workday to helping the kiddos study, it’s ok to adjust for that. Maybe clock out at 6pm or 6:30pm. But you don’t have to be a hero. We’re all doing our absolute best. In the reality that is life, you need to stay mentally healthy, too. So you can’t work full-time hours and teach full-time hours for your kids and expect to have any sleep or stay sane. So adjust. You’re only human. Yes, you’re a freaking exceptional human. But your mind and body still need rest and sleep. So talk to your boss and your colleagues if need be, to let them know your hours may be a bit less or a bit wonky as you also have to home-school during this crazy time. It’s the current life we live in. If they’re human, too, they’ll understand.
Speaking of Kids
Depending on the age of your kids, different tips and tricks can help you all get through the day, not just by surviving but actually with a bit of a smile and sigh of satisfaction. That’s a win, right?!
For the younger kiddos, I must admit a bit of bribery and a rewards system can help you a lot. Buuuut it can help you with kids of any age. Let’s be honest. So while you get your calls done, let the young ones have some tv time. It’s ok. They won’t break. If you’re on a roll with a project and the deadline is nearing, set the kids up with some projects of their own. Have them write a story. Draw x number of pictures. Finish their own project. Depending on the age, you can set aside a dedicated amount of time for them to accomplish their own tasks. And reward them with a treat (whether it’s a chocolate, a toy or a new t-shirt). If they’re a teen wanting a tee, you can up the stakes. They have their own homework to get done. Have them come up with their own schedule and to-do list. At the end of the week, if it’s a win, give them a little something. They’re going through it too, and doing their best to cope, so acknowledging that with kindness and gifts of gratitude can be kind of nice for them, too.
When you have some downtime, when the weekend rolls around or however you schedule your out-of-office hours, treat yourself. Read. Catch up with a friend over Zoom or have them over for a socially distanced coffee or wine date. Do something fun and creative with the family. Just make sure you’re taking time away from the job at home! Separate work from home by really, decisively, working from home. Then turn it off. Seriously, giving these little tips and tricks a try will help you to stay positive and healthy while you’re getting your groove going as you learn to work remotely.
You’ve got this. x