How to Make Working
From Home, Work!
Yesterday we talked about SPACE, the rules to prepping your mind for working from home. Today I’m highlighting my favourite tips that help me stay “in the zone of focus”.
1. Keep your morning routine. What do you usually do to settle in? Do you make a coffee/tea in the communal kitchen? Pick up breakfast on the go and eat it at work? Keep doing that, the only difference is you’re making it in your kitchen.
2. Background noise. If you are use to working in an open concept office or have the chatter and sounds of just being in an office, background noise can help simulate something similar. The sudden quiet can be a bit unnerving for some so turning on some music or the tv. Spotify has a great selection of “focus” playlists that I love. If you use the tv, avoid the news during this time and put on something that won’t want to make you stop and watch. (Reruns of something you’ve already seen is a great option).
3. Take micro breaks. Without the distractions of coworkers, we actually get deeper focus for longer spurts of time. You’re using a lot of your brain and without anything to distract you it’s easier to keep your head down without a break. This is the fastest way to a daily burnout, so give your brain little resting periods. I use a pomodoro timer that gives me a 5 min break every 30 min and a longer one after 2 hours. (The exact one I use is called Be Focused)
4. Take your full lunch break. It’s easy to sink right back into work once having your lunch but if you usually have an hour, take it. Perhaps now you have time to make lunch from scratch, just remember to keep to the rules! (See Yesterday’s Post)
5. Switch it up. Just as background noise is important, so is matching the mood and tempo you are in. Our bodies have natural highs and lows and without the usual social interactions we get, these swings in tempo can be difficult to manage. So if you feel a bit of a dip in energy, work on a task that doesn’t require your full attention and put on a more upbeat playlist. You’ll continue to be productive while matching your natural rhythm.
If you have flexibility in your schedule, then these dips are when I go out to run a couple errands, have a quick catch up with friends who are available, or if I’m seriously crashing then a 20 min power nap is in order. I make up for the time in the evening after dinner (I have no kids) or on the weekends. Flexibility simply means choice, there’s still structure but you have the option to shift things around to best suit you when you can be more focused and productive.
While these tips are meant for anyone at any time, it’s hard to ignore that at the time of this going live, we’re living through uncertain times. At the moment I’ve adjusted my schedule where I’m no longer running errands or seeing friends during my dips, and instead taking those naps or quiet time/meditation to settle the mind. Admittedly, even for someone use to working from home, self isolation has been challenging. To carry me through I’ve stepped up my mindful practice to keep my grounded amongst the floating anxious energy.
I hope these tips are helping as I truly want to thank you for staying home during this pandemic because we all have a loved one. So while this transition for most happened suddenly, keep to your routines and stay connected (digitally).
Do you already do these? What is your favourite tip? Comment below!
Part 3 tomorrow! Can’t wait to share some of my more silly tips with you!