Let’s admit it, we all have been affected by the current pandemic situation. The coronavirus has already had a profound impact on the world. If it all works out for the best or the worst remains to be seen, but right now what’s important is how we deal with the ongoing response in our immediate environment.
The reality is that many of us have suddenly found ourselves moored at home, possibly juggling between homeschooling the kids along with our regular workload. The topic of remote work being a blessing or a curse is hotly debated and highly subjective.
Regardless, here are 9 tips on how to improve and make the most out of your newfound everyday routine.
1. Commit to balance
Mind-body balance is the most important factor for success no matter what’s happening around us. Find your way to keep your body and mind as peaceful as possible. It can be as simple as meditating for 5 minutes every morning or evening.
Make sure that nobody disturbs you for those 5 minutes every day. It might be challenging, but 5 minutes is doable for everyone, so no excuses here. Sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight and concentrate on your breathing. Let your thoughts come and go. Accept reality. Breathe out all the frustration you might have.
After introducing this routine into your life you’ll be surprised by the constructive results and you’ll thank the pandemic for providing you with a chance to actually pause for a moment and breathe deep.
Add to that 5-10 minutes of physical exercise and you will be a new person in a few weeks. Yoga, pilates, stretching, martial arts, you name it. You can find stellar wellness resources overflowing with all the possible tutorials on YouTube. You only need to commit.
2. Dress for success
If you’re not careful, it can be very tempting to make pajamas your official working from home uniform. But do all you can to fight the urge. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with relaxing your look, but don’t trade in all of your button-downs for sweatpants just yet.
You might find that getting dressed up before getting to work actually helps to maintain a certain degree of normalcy. So when your alarm clock rings, you really should hop in the shower and get dressed
The attire you choose to don can have a significant impact on your productivity levels, so set yourself up for success. As cliche as it may sound, when you look good you really do tend to feel better, so put on your favorite comfy blouse and commute on over to your new remote office.
3. Improvise a workspace
Have a workspace where you can concentrate. It may be a challenge if the entire square footage of your home is your limit but think about it creatively. There is a joke circulating on the internet about traveling plans for a weekend with a map of an apartment. Try to take a look at your home with the same point of view. If you have your office/private space, that’s perfect. If not, try to view your kitchen as a whole new realm, or a balcony or any other space that can double up as a workstation. Try your best to keep things organized and clean within your new workspace.
As more and more workers move away from their traditional workplaces with controlled and secured devices, the need for organizational IT solutions has arisen. Approaches like Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) enable employees with flexibility while empowering IT admins to manage and secure all network devices and corporate data from one real-time unified platform. If you work for a company with UEM, the great news is that you’ll benefit from seamless remote access while working remotely.
4. Prepare to get things done
If you’re alone it will be easier, however, if there are other people around that depend on you or your time – talk to them and make a mutual agreement. Don’t be afraid to let them know the times you’re likely to be extremely busy.
Steering clear of your designated workspace might be difficult for you and your family depending on the dynamic. But then again, you might be surprised how independent your loved ones can be.
And on the flip side, in addition to agreeing on ‘do not disturb’ hours, try to simultaneously plan breaks and downtime to be with your family members. Pencil-in designated family quality time and try to stick to it.
5. Stick to routine
Speaking of sticking to things, if possible try to stick to the same routine every day. Get up at the same hour, eat your breakfast, take care of your family and dive into work.
The email is one of the critical tools for effective communication among remote teams, but it’s good to also try and work out a routine when it comes to checking your inbox. Depending on the volume of emails you receive, your frequency will vary.
However, to avoid excessive time suck, try to limit yourself to no more than once every hour. Prioritize doing what needs to be done and being as disciplined as possible.
6. Try to group meetings and appointments
Here’s a big productivity pro tip for you: grouping meetings together will result in longer stretches of uninterrupted time to actually get down to business. Try to leave tiny buffers of time in between, but short breaks are key.
It might not sound groundbreaking, but if you’re in the habit of scheduling meetings an hour or so apart, you must know only too well how many distractions can crop up. You tell yourself you’ll tackle that unfinished task, but your quick coffee refill turns into a long snack, followed by a scroll through social media posts. Before you know it, your next meeting is about to start.
Learn to embrace back-to-back appointments so you really only do have time for one quick refill. The growing to-do list that seems to just grow and grow after every meeting will thank you. Say hello to way more uninterrupted time to get things done.
7. Learn something new
Now, this is kind of extra for those of us who are lucky enough to have a spare moment of free time. If you find yourself sitting at home and wondering what to do, don’t hesitate, take this opportunity to learn something new.
Again the internet is full of free or relatively cheap courses, tutorials, video editing, or anything you want. New activities will not only make your life more interesting but will also stimulate your brain and make you more productive.
If you happen to be a small business owner with a brick and mortar establishment deemed non-essential and unable to fully function at present, you can explore online courses for setting up an eCommerce store. Some platforms enable you to create online stores without any prior experience. So you can learn and discover things such as choosing proper WooCommerce hosting or building great user experience design.
8. Prep healthy meals & snacks
22/7 access to your pantry and refrigerator comes with the territory of being a remote worker. This is why it’s super important to ensure you stock up with healthy options. You want to fuel up on foods that help keep you energized. And no, that doesn’t suggest another coffee refill.
Try to plan and prep meals based on your work schedule. If you work a regular Monday- Friday routine, maybe Sundays could become your designated day for spending some time in the kitchen. You want to focus on dishes that are easily reheatable and snack you can literally just grab and go like pickled popcorn or fresh fruit.
It’s a well-known fact that eating fruits and vegetables has a direct link to the overall productivity. So whenever getting groceries, try to stock up on the good stuff and maybe even consider signing up for a health-food subscription. There are loads of healthy snack box options that take the stress out of things and deliver nutritious brain food right to your door.
9. Take it easy
Of course, it’s important to follow the current events, but remember to take things relatively lightly. How to do it? Read news only once a day, speak less to constantly worrying and panicking friends, do follow what’s going on, but keep a distance.
At the end of the day what matters is your health and too much worrying is not healthy.
Work hard and rest hard. Make sure every evening you do something entertaining. Watch a movie, cook dinner, color a color book, and once a week take a total break. Talk to your old friends with whom you are not in touch anymore. You might find them via TruthFinder in case you lost their contact. This is essential for our brain and body to function properly. Additionally, you will want to get enough sleep each night so that your body is ready for another productive day. Sleep Advisor recommends 7 or more hours of sleep for adults aged 19 and above.
Hope you find this ultimate work from home guide useful and they have encouraged you to look at the current circumstances from a new point of view. As cliche as it may sound, when life gives you lemons – it is best to try and whip up some lemonade.
Here’s wishing you a swift adjustment period. Stay safe and sound!
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Uwe Dreissigacker is the founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry & also offers free invoice templates to businesses. Small businesses and sole traders can create, send and manage their invoices, quotes and credit notes with the tool. In his free time, Uwe travels the world and enjoys experiencing different cultures.
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