How to improve work from home routine in lockdown?

November 6, 2020
Improving work from home routine in second lockdown

Having been working from home for the past nine months has been a total eye opener for me. I have to admit the journey wasn’t a smooth one. There were days when I loved working from home and then there were days when I desperately wanted to go back to the office. I’m sure most, if not all, have felt the same.

However, with course time, I adapted my routine and trust me it made a huge difference. I was much calm and relaxed but still very attentive towards my work. Many of my friends asked me how I was coping so well with the huge change in our daily life. So, I am going to share some of the important things that I had done to make sure I don’t end up a lazy-ass and stay in my pyjamas all day.

Having a morning routine

Treat your work from home mornings exactly as your going to the office mornings. Set up your alarm at least an hour, or as needed, before your working hours start. This way you will have enough time to take shower and make yourself breakfast. Having a shower in the morning really wakes up my senses and I completely get rid of the laziness of coming out of that cosy bed. Not just shower, but I pick an outfit for the day and do my hair. Doing so makes me feel good about the day and I eventually am super ready to start work.

Personally, I feel early rise days are my most productive days. I won’t lie, I’ve had some lazy mornings too where I ended up in my PJ’s all day. But having a morning routine helps me avoid diving down the lazy afternoons, sometimes evenings too. Being able to head to my work desk by 9:30am is such a motivation and I make sure I give myself a pat on the back for doing it right, yet another day.

Honestly, I believe I am less distracted in the mornings and I tend to finish most tasks by lunch. This way I have plenty of time to juggle around both my full-time job and my blogs. Thankfully, I have never missed on any of the required work for both, my FT job and PT blogging – maybe thanks to my great multi-tasking skills.

Setting priorities at work

If, like me, you are juggling with two different jobs, setting yourself priorities makes a huge difference. I have set myself a schedule so I know what days/times I need to work on my blog and the FT job. This method is the best as it gives a clear understanding of where your work stands. So, I know in advance what I am going to work on the following day.

Another important thing is to avoid using your phone. Mobile phone for me is the biggest distraction while I am working. With constant notification sounds, one tends to pick it up and then no one realises where two hours would go. 

A very basic thing mostly known by all, is the prioritisation of the tasks. Make a list of all the things you have to do for the day and then rearrange them as per their urgency or importance. Finish the high priority tasks in the morning as this is the most productive time of the day and leave the others for late afternoons or evenings.

Creating an inspiring workspace

Have you ever thought of why working from home can be much of a lazy day? Why you are not able to finish all the tasks that you could have easily managed if you were in the office?

The working environment is the answer! I realised it back in the first lockdown that working from my bed was the problem. One, I started having back and shoulder pains due to bad posture and two, I was sleepy most of the day which led to many tasks delayed. So, I bought myself a table and a comfortable work chair which made a huge difference. I was up and ready to head to my workspace (my mini office) by 9:30. It gave me a rhythm to work on.

Having the workspace set up in a room with natural light, like close to a window or having fresh plants around is great. It boosts your mental energy. If you have a communal space to work in and if it is safe to do so, make use of that as it made a huge difference to my work from home routine.

Read more: How to travel after coronavirus?

Taking regular breaks

Sitting in front of the screen for long consecutive hours is bad for your health. I keep forgetting about it myself even now, but I cannot emphasize more on taking mini breaks every hour or two. Get up from that chair, take a short walk at home, stretch a bit, grab a coffee/tea and talk to people around. This could be your family, friends or flatmates. If you live on your own, make sure you call back home or your friends as this gives a huge mental relief from the work stress.

As mentioned earlier, social media is a distraction; but this distraction can be avoided by setting a time for it. While you take mini tea breaks or the lunch break, take some time to check social media so this gets ticked off and you are no longer distracted to check your mobile phone back and forth.

Having small healthy snacks and staying hydrated

I cannot stress enough on the need for staying well hydrated all day long. As much as the body needs to move around at regular intervals, it needs its food too. Drinking plenty of water should be one of the priorities of your daily tasks. I myself, drink at least 3 litres of water in 24 hours. It’s a target that make sure is completed every day.

Apart from keeping yourself hydrated, you need to fill in your stomach with healthy snacks too. Pick some fruits or a handful of nuts. Make most of the short walks to the kitchen. It is even better if you step outside to take a walk in the fresh air or sun, if you get any. Yeah, we Londoners are not so lucky to have winter sun.

Work meetings over a video call

Not only it is recommended to make calls to your friends and family, why not socialise with your colleagues too? Almost everyone has work meetings at least once a week, if not daily. Utilise this opportunity and do meetings over video calls via Teams or Zoom. This way you can meet up with your colleagues (virtually of course) and is actually a great way to release work stress and also to keep a check on them if they are doing ok.

Remember that working from home in lockdown can be daunting for many and talking to people around both helps you and others. Be the one to encourage others to do the same.

Going to bed early

Heading to bed on time exactly as you would do when you have to go office the next morning is the key to making sure you are ready for next morning. I’m sure most of us get the desire to fall asleep on the couch watching Netflix. However, you should set yourself a target time to go to bed every night. Remember, you have to do it for yourself.

If you follow these simple yet important steps, you will notice that your work from home routine would get far much better and you would also see an improvement in the productivity of your work. Life in general, gets so much better following a healthy routine. In these difficult times, make sure you are doing your bit to make it as simple as possible.

Do you have any tips on improving the working from home routine? Share your tips in the comments below.

Stay home, stay safe! XX

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