Working from home sounds ideal! You can work from your squishy bed, have Netflix streaming, dog by your bedside and one capsule 24/7 wardrobe... and for you hard-core types, even wait until noon to shower or brush your hair (if at all!)
As ideal as those things sound, they are most likely working against you. Working from home can present some significant challenges, especially when it comes to your health, wellness and creativity. As the number of people working from home is rapidly increasing, it’s important to ensure that we are setting ourselves up in an effective way to increase productivity, not head in the opposite direction.
Here are some ways to set yourself up successfully at home, staying both mentally and physically fit and productive.
SET UP A SPACE
Get out of that bed! Setup a work area that can be used solely for work, where you can spread out with your post-its, and recreate as much of a desk feel as possible. Steer clear of places like the kitchen counter or couch as that will only contribute to distractions and cause you to have to constantly move and shift your work materials. Pick a corner, go outside...just try to separate the personal from the professional so you can check in and out. Also, whether sitting or standing, make sure that it’s in a comfortable position and that you aren’t going to need back surgery later from it. A good chair or comfortable stance can make or break the day. Your new home office can also include touches that are personal to you. Whether that’s a diffuser with energizing eucalyptus and mint pumping into your space, a white noise machine to drown out the neighbors, or Alexa playing your favorite country hits, you get to set the mood and environment that works best for you.
SHOW UP FOR YOU
Start with some pants or shorts, with a button. The yoga pant wardrobe is so tempting. That's what working at home is about, right? And who's reallllly going to see you and judge your day to night PJs? You will see you, and it can limit your productivity and mentally, how seriously you are actually taking things too. Put an outfit on that you want to be seen in, brush your hair (and teeth, please) and attack the day just as if you were going to an office or outside setting. It’s good for the psyche and will make you feel even more healthy and creative.
CREATE A ROUTINE
Set a schedule at home like you would in an office. Have a game plan, and stick to it. The daily life checklist around you will inevitably serve as a perfect distraction to the tasks at hand and productivity will waiver. Make a schedule and be your own boss, even when your boss isn't around. Take into account commute and lunch times and reserve chores and tasks for those times But when 6pm rolls around (if that’s your typical office end time), close that computer up and put it away until the morning. It’s easy to continue to pick it up throughout the evening, but just like your work time, respect your personal time, allow your brain to reset and rest so you can feel recharged when you do it all again.
Shake it off! Where a routine is important, time can fly by and before you realize it, it has been several hours and you haven’t moved. Taking a quick break in the action may feel counter-productive, however it's actually the opposite. Getting up to stretch, going for a quick walk, or even a seventh-inning stretch to walk the stairs, or get a glass of water gets the blood pumping, offers a fresh change of perspective when you return and will help the creative juices to flow.
Who says work can only happen in offices? A great way to stay on the good health train is to use some of those otherwise boring boardroom meeting times to give your body and mind a wake-up call. In today's times, just make sure to keep a safe distance from the other person when walking, or conference each other in via phone while you both simultaneously take a walk.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Put the Cheez-its down and walk away slowly……they are not welcome here! Make sure to stock your fridge and kitchen cabinets with healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted by sugar and unhealthy snacks that will actually decrease your energy. Cut up carrots. Keep apples chilled and crisp. Food is fuel and you want your mind and body running on a full (and not sluggish) tank.