Working from home IS challenging but can benefit both you and the organization when done the right way. Here are five tips that have helped me acclimate to WFH to be happier and more productive.
1. Get Dressed
Get ready every day! Getting ready as if you are going into the office helps get you in ‘work-mode!’
Studies prove it: One paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science asked subjects to change into formal or casual clothing before cognitive tests. Wearing formal business attire increased abstract thinking—an important aspect of creativity and long-term strategizing. The experiments suggest the effect is related to feelings of power. (Scientific American)
2. Make a To-Do List
Making a daily to-do list keeps you on task and accountable for the things you need to accomplish that day. Even the act of writing out your tasks clears your head in the morning and brings anchoring and intention to your day. Plus, there’s nothing I find more satisfying than crossing things off my list!
Be kind to yourself and to your body and mind. Take time off when needed.
3. Schedule Breaks
Block time off on your calendar for lunch and short breaks. In fact, the most productive people schedule breaks. Studies have shown that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break (similar to the Pomodoro Method). So shut that laptop off for a lunch break or walk around the block and get some Vitamin D! It’s easier to treat your work time like “a sprint” or with intense purpose when it will be broken up with a break, rather than a long unending “work time” with little definition or purpose.
4. Schedule Family/Personal Time
Many of us are juggling working from home along with supervising children “schooling” at home or living and taking care of other family members. For those juggling work and family life at home, still make time to spend quality time together. Cook dinner together. Go to that soccer practice or dance recital in the middle of the day. Your work isn’t going anywhere – it will be there when you get back! I find that it’s important to prioritize some of these life events so you don’t feel guilty for missing these important times in your kids’ life, which you will never get back. It also serves as stress-relief, and reminds you to build connections with your loved ones outside of just sitting in the same house or room with them.
5. Be Kind To Yourself
WFH typically means you work more hours: you’re not commuting, there’s no more water-cooler chatter, and you are likely not taking sick days anymore. Be kind to yourself and to your body and mind. Take time off when needed. You will be more productive, happier, and more emotionally balanced to deal with challenging tasks or people in the long run if you do.
We hope these tips make your work from home or “WFH” experience more productive and enjoyable. Like anything, take it one day at a time and look for support from your friends, family, or coworkers when you need it.
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