Working from home has many upsides, including no commuting, greater work-life balance and fewer distractions, but as you settle into the WFH lifestyle you may start to notice a depreciation in mood, energy and productivity. Bad habits can start to creep in and your days can become sloppy and lacking in motivation.
However, there are simple, healthy habits which you can apply to your day to improve consistency and productivity throughout the day.
It Starts in the Morning
Creating a simple yet effective morning routine is one of the most successful ways to kick-start a productive workday.
Mornings don’t have to be complicated, simply making your bed, going for a brisk walk and having a morning coffee can be all it takes to add regular structure into your routine whilst also getting your body moving in a positive way.
Begin by writing down a few things you either do or want to do in the morning, no matter how small. The key to creating a habit and sticking to it is allocating a time AND a location. Maybe you want to start doing a morning yoga session, write down when and where, and link the habit to a subconscious habit you already have, for example, “I will do morning yoga after I brush my teeth, in the kitchen”. Doing this makes you accountable and more likely to complete a new habit in comparison to: “I will do yoga in the morning” this gives you no allocated time or place and you’re more likely to forget or simply put off your new task.
Personally, I find writing down my whole mornings with allotted times to complete tasks makes me most productive and consistent, I know when I need to do something, how long it’s going to take me and where I’m going to do it.
It may look something like this:
6:30 – Wake up + Make Bed – Bedroom
6:40 – Freshen up and Brush Teeth – Bathroom
6:50 – Change into Gym Clothes – Bedroom
7:00 – Drink Water – Kitchen
7:05 – Walk to the Gym
7:15 – Workout – Gym
8:00 – Walk Home
8:10 – Shower + Change – Bathroom
8:30 – Breakfast – Kitchen
8:40 – Make Coffee – Kitchen
8:50 – Set up Laptop and Supplies for the day – Home Office
8:55 – Music Motivation
9:00 – Begin Workday
Using this schedule, I’m able to stick to the same tasks every day, beginning my day motivated and prepared to be productive.
Moving your body for 30 minutes every day is proven to reduce stress, boost your mood, increase productivity and so much more. Working from home you can become inactive and feel like there is simply no time for exercise.
Taking a 20-minute stroll in the morning is a great way to begin your day and get you out of the house before you sit down at your desk. Getting up and taking a 15-minute wander around the house whilst you get your morning coffee. Taking your lunch to go and spending your lunch break at the park, there are so many small ways you can incorporate movement into your workday without thinking too much about it, small changes make big differences. You’ll notice improvements in your mood, energy levels and mental health.
It’s What You Put In
When speaking to most people who work from home, a topic that always seems to arise is food, the snacking and constant temptation of wondering what’s in the fridge can become overbearing at home. Building healthy eating habits is a simple practice that everybody should be doing.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your body, your skin will glow, boredom cravings will be curbed, and your digestion will improve significantly. Add a slice of lemon for added taste and benefits for your gut health.
Swapping snacks that are high in saturated fat and refined sugars for fruit and veg will level blood sugars and keep you fuller for longer.
Following a balanced diet with high protein and healthy fats is crucial for feeling fuelled and energised throughout the day, protein helps build muscle and gives you energy however carbohydrates are your body’s (and brain’s) primary source of energy, cutting carbs out is a fast track to feeling fatigued and weak, your body needs carbohydrates to power through your day!
Ditch Your Phone
It’s no secret that at home there’s a lot more to distract you than your chatty work colleague, it can become easy to pick up your phone and begin scrolling.
Leaving your phone and other distractions in another room completely removes the temptation to message your friend or see who’s liked your dating profile today. Give yourself time where you allow yourself to check your phone but be disciplined and don’t spend hours endlessly scrolling and avoiding the paperwork you need to do. Balance is key to a WFH lifestyle and limiting distractions will help you stay on track.
Take a Break
A common mistake people make whilst working from home is powering through the day only to realise it’s 7 pm and the only break you’ve taken is 30 minutes to get some lunch and you were supposed to finish at 5 pm now you’re overworked, tired and have no energy to enjoy your evening.
Planning breaks into your day can help you get MORE done, when you stand up and go for a 15-minute walk around the block, you come back feeling refreshed and motivated, whereas if you were to work for hours on end you start to lack concentration and things take longer than they did before.
Inserting 3-4 small breaks throughout your day will give you more energy and not leave you exhausted when it’s time to power off.
When you’re at home it is easy to carry on with the proposal, you’re ‘so close to finishing’, but before you know it 3 hours have passed, and you’re not paid overtime… Be firm and allow yourself to put yourself first. Spending one night working late isn’t going to ruin your week but when one night turns into every night and you become both mentally and physically exhausted, it’s then time to set boundaries with yourself and make time to unwind from work.
I hope you find small ways to implement these 5 healthy habits into your WFH lifestyle and that you feel better for it, it is important to remember with any work, that balance is key, set boundaries, be disciplined but most importantly enjoy it.
Don’t wake up at 5 am unless you enjoy the early mornings. Don’t eat salads unless you enjoy them. Find things that work for you and life will feel a lot less like a constant job and a lot more like a constant holiday… well maybe not quite a holiday but you should wake up looking forward to every day ahead.