Working from home can be great, but it also might feel a bit weird and difficult at times. This is especially true when you continue doing home office for an extended period of time.
Luckily, there are solutions to most of the issues you face and feel while working from home. They probably will not work like magic, but still help you make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done and at maintaining your mental well-being.
1. Designate a Work Space
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it does not make it less important.
If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home. You may scoff at the idea of a separate room for a home office if you live in a small apartment, but workspace doesn’t have to be its own room — it could be just a corner of a table for you — it should just feel as separate from the rest of your home as possible.
Entering your workspace will help you switch to a work mood at the beginning of the day and get down to work. On the flipside, leaving your workspace will also help you turn “off” at the end of the day and fully disengage. That’s why it is also vital not to spread yourself across your home — while it might seem nice to be able to move from desk to couch to bed, if you let your laptop creep into your downtime space, it makes it harder to keep your work separate from your home life.
2. Establish a Check In-Check Out Habit
Along with a physical separation between workspace and the rest of your house, make sure you have virtual limits put on your time. You should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not.
The Myers-Brigg Company found that 28% of workers said they find it difficult to mentally switch off from their jobs because of access to work emails and smartphones. Our lives are now constantly bombarded and interrupted by emails, texts and phone calls. Therefore, it’s important to switch off in the evening and get into the habit of checking out.
You can accomplish this easily with Wellwork app — use the check in function every time you start work and check out every time you finish or take a long brake, for instance to have a proper lunch. By doing this on a regular basis, you will help your brain efficiently switch between two moods — work and rest, — which will make you more productive during work time and more relaxed during rest time.
3. Create a "Getting Started" Routine
Is there something in your morning routine that indicates you are about to start your work day?
Consider doing some small thing mindfully every day with a purpose of getting into a work mood. It might be making a cup of coffee and taking the time to actually savor it before you start looking at your to-do list. It might be returning home after a jog or listening to a short podcast. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others).
Whatever you choose, try doing it every day before work. Treat this routine as 100% your time — instead of thinking about the day ahead or the chores you need to do on the weekend, focus on the present moment and your actual feelings as much as possible.
4. Make To-Do Lists and Set Goals
Studies find that setting goals and writing to do items daily is one of the most powerful ways to have a clear focus for the day, feel better in the evening, and accomplish your longer term dreams.
According to a research by Edward Locke and Gary Latham (1990), goals not only affect behavior as well as job performance, but they also help mobilize energy which leads to a higher effort overall. Higher effort leads to an increase in persistent effort. Goals also help motivate us to develop strategies that will enable us to perform at the required goal level.
You can use Wellwork to set goals and create todos for the day. Write a title, choose a topic such as "Work", "Personal Development", "Wellbeing", or "Other". Then, set a level of complexity that you anticipate for the item and start accomplishing the goals one by one!
Also, use these three tips for better goal setting:
- Add 3-4 things that you want to achieve or activities that will make you be proud of yourself by the end of the day, like finishing a report or eating a healthy meal for lunch. This will help you not spread your attention on unnecessary things, make you more productive, and let you enjoy your day more.
- In addition to limiting the number of goals, limit the scale as well. The feeling of achievement in a small but important goal will naturally give you more mental space and motivation to achieve bigger things later.
- When you complete even a small task that makes you closer to achieving your goal, do not just move onto the next thing. Instead, pause for a brief moment, praise yourself, and reflect on how good it feels to cross off a task and how good it will feel to cross off the next one.
5. Discover Your High Productivity Periods
Working more hours does not guarantee having more stuff done. Every person is most productive at different times of the day. For example, some individuals are morning people, and they are most productive and focused during the early hours. For others, their most productive time in the workday is the evenings. In any case — try discovering when you are most productive and build your work schedule around your peak productivity periods.
To do that, you can try keeping a journal where you would realisticly reflect on how productive you felt during the different times of the day. If you accomplished 2 out of 3 of your daily goals before 12 am but then took a nap around 2 pm — you could be a morning person and it would make sense to get up early and make stuff done. In contrast, if you struggled in the morning and only started to complete your goals after lunch — you should use late hours to be productive and use mornings for meetings or slow planning of your day.
Now it is time to put these work from home tips into practice, streamline your routine, and increase your productivity with Wellwork!