It’s the rare individual who doesn’t enjoy working from home. Most of us jump at the opportunity to have a hybrid schedule or to work from home as much as possible.
What’s not to love, right? Reduced travelling time, less food and transport expenses, the ability to wear loungewear if there’s no meeting…
Well, it turns out that WFH is great, but we’re all figuring out a balance. Recent reports have shared how remote work has helped some thrive but reduced mental health and fitness levels in others. Some companies, like Meta, have insisted on employees returning to the office at least thrice a week.
Here’re some tips you may find helpful!
1) Beat Sleepiness with a Midday Shower
If the humid weather has really been beating you down lately, a quick shower could be what you need. The change of pace and alone time helps you reset, and you’ll feel refreshed and more alert.
If you find a shower too extravagant or can’t catch a break, a face wash may help! Some individuals I know find this helpful and bring travel-sized facial cleansers to work.
2) Keep Some Water Close By
Staying hydrated helps you maintain your energy levels and boosts your mood. I reach for water less when WFH, because cold and warm water isn’t available at the press of a button. To change this, I top up a flask of hot water every morning for my home workstation. It’s a great reminder to drink up, and I can prepare coffee or tea whenever I want a cup!
If you have a nice mug or flask at home, it’ll make your work environment feel cheerier too.
3) Peak Productive Hours
We all have times of the day when we are more alert, focused, and efficient. It could be at the start of the day or even towards the end of the work day. Find out when those times are for you!
Start by paying attention to when you naturally feel most awake and energized. For some, that’s in the morning. Others are night owls and find their second wind later in the day.
Once you identify your peak productive hours, block them out for your most important tasks. Tackle projects that require the most mental energy, concentration, and efficiency during these times. Save tasks that require less focus, like responding to emails or making calls, for hours when your productivity may be lower.
You may become less distracted by household chores or other interruptions (guilty as charged) after you’re aware of the limited window you have to complete high-priority tasks!
4) Create a Work Playlist
I’ve found that specific genres of music help me get into the flow or obtain inspiration. One of them is jazz.
if I cannot focus and need something to motivate me, a quick-paced pop song does the trick. The fast beats encourage a sense of urgency.
Why not find or assemble a suitable playlist that you can stream as you work? New or changing music can be distracting, pulling your attention away from your work. Sticking to the same playlist means your brain learns to tune out the music, allowing it to fade into the background. This consistent noise becomes less disruptive over time.
Alternatively, you could play the music through the speakers (softly) for some white noise if you work in a busy and bustling office and are unused to the silence at home.
5) Create a designated workspace
This situation may not be ideal!
Even if it’s just a corner of a room, having a dedicated working area can help you focus and switch into “office mode”. Keep it clutter-free and have everything you need within reach. Why not dress the part, too? Don’t work in pyjamas all day! Putting on proper clothes, even if it’s just a T-shirt and sweatpants, can boost your productivity.
6) Take microbreaks
Stand up, stretch, or walk around periodically! Even a short break of a few minutes can refresh your mind and energy so you can get back to work feeling recharged. Set alarms or reminders that’ll encourage this habit.
Microbreaks are no more than 10 minutes long. If you need some ideas for activities, here are some you can explore:
- Sudoku puzzles
- Having a quick snack
- Watching funny videos
- A quick shower
- Texting your loved one(s)
7) To Beat Procrastination, Just Get Started
When I’m in the office, I find myself motivated by the sounds of my colleagues working hard, which encourages me to start working as well. However, when I’m at home, I sometimes struggle with getting started due to a mental block.
The most effective advice for overcoming this inertia is to begin. There is a well-known Chinese saying that loosely translates to “Starting leads you halfway to success. I often find that I hesitate to start because I fear getting stuck or because I lack confidence in my abilities. However, I’ve come to realize that this fear is often exaggerated in my mind due to my own inactivity. In reality, even if the task is challenging, it is something that cannot be avoided.
So, my advice is just to start! Like me, you may discover that things are easier than you initially thought.
Working from home takes discipline and commitment, but with the right tools, tips, and structure, we can thrive and be just as productive outside the traditional office. Remember to be kind to yourself and maintain a good work-life balance!