It’s been well over a year since we started working from home. In the beginning it was all fun and games, but after a while it gets tiring and it takes a toll on you mentally and physically. You start to miss social contact and not being able to hang out with family/friends, your daily routine isn’t so daily anymore and it seems like all you do all day is sit behind your computer and work. That’s why we came up with 10 tips to make working from home a bit easier and more fun.
Get up, get up, get up (on time)
You know what they say ‘the early bird catches the worm’. If you’re not an early riser, getting up on time every day may seem like mission impossible, but getting up on time really has its benefits. Routine is extremely important for your productivity and energy levels when working from home, so set that alarm and get out of bed around the same time every day.
If you’re having trouble sticking to getting up early, these tips & tricks might come in handy:
Just do it; instead of taking your phone and scrolling through Twitter like it’s the morning paper, get up from the moment your alarm goes off.
Don’t make drastic changes; start by getting up 15 minutes earlier and work your way up to the hour you ideally want to get up.
Put your alarm clock (or phone) far from your bed; that way to actually have to get up to turn it off.
Don’t reationalise; if you give your brain the time to talk you into staying in bed a little longer, you’ll never get up on time.
Reward yourself; treat yourself to something you like for getting up early, like a yummy breakfast or a hot cup of coffee.
Can’t work on an empty stomach
A delicious and filling breakfast gives you the necessary energy to concentrate and work well at home. So, take the time to make a delicious (and nutritious) breakfast. And if you’re not a breakfast kinda person, fill that time with some other thing you like to do, like work out or read a little with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Develop a routine ( and stick to it )
How you structure your day has a big influence on your productivity. Make a habit of starting each day the same way. The key to developing a routine is starting out small, don’t overdo it. This also makes it a lot easier to stick to the routine, old habits die hard.
Use your first hours of work to tick off the most important to-do's: writing, creative thinking, designing or problem solving. Your concentration will slip during the day, so it is a good idea to do the less time sensitive tasks, or the ones you can do on autopilot, later in the day.
Everyone is productive at different times of the day. It’s important that you figure out at what time you get the most stuff done. If you’re not sure how to do so, check out our blog about structuring your workday https://www.deeja.be/post/business-101-structure-your-workday.
Work in blocks of 1 to 2 hours maximum
It is unrealistic to think that you can maintain your concentration throughout the day. Especially in creative professions. So organize your day and plan in blocks of 1 or 2 hours. Between the blocks, take a short break. Set some SMART-goals for each block and try your best to achieve as many as possible.
If working in blocks of 1 or 2 hours isn’t working for you, try the Pomodoro Technique. This is basically when you work hard for 25 minutes straight without interruptions or distractions. Then you take a quick 5 minute break and begin your next Pomodoro. After 4 Pomodoro’s you take a bigger break of 15 - 20 minutes. Then you repeat.
In between working hours, you can check your social media, watch some Youtube videos or do some house chores. In some companies, they also call this moment 'Google time'. So there are no excuses to interrupt your concentration during 'working time'. After all, that's what breaks are for. If you schedule your breaks beforehand you won’t be tempted to check your social media when you’re working, because you know your break is coming up soon.
Ready, set, work out
Exercising is great for your mind and body. It clears your head and boosts your energy levels. Pick a time throughout your day (or week if you’re more of a weekly workout kinda person) to work out. It doesn’t always have to be super intense, a quick walk does the trick just fine.
Mental meal prepping
It’s lunchtime, but your fridge is empty? Still have to decide what you want to eat?
No time to go to the grocery store to get some goodies? And when you’ve finally decided what you’re going to eat and made it, your break is over. We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. Think about what you’re going to eat and get all the supplies you need to actually make the food beforehand. That way you save time and can use your lunch break to actually eat your lunch.
Change your environment
Working in the same spot day after day can get tiring after a while. Switching positions or environments is great for your creativity. Switch out your home office (no matter how comfortable it is) for the kitchen table or the garden once in a while. We promise it’s worth it.
Stop on time
When working from home you often get tempted to work overtime. I mean, it’s just one email, right? It’s just that one client call, right? Before you know it an hour has passed and you’re still working. By stopping on time you keep your work-life balance in tact and still have plenty of time to relax before another working day starts.
Working from home should not be underestimated in any way, shape or form.
It really is the hard knock life. We hope these 10 tips will make your working-from-home-days a bit more bearable. Take care of yourself, your mind and your body.