New year, same pandemic amirite? We are quickly approaching a full year in this not-so “new normal” and I that had me wondering how many of us actually set ourselves up for work from home success? If you’re like me, you threw together a temporary workspace expecting to go back to the office in 2020.
Now that we are “settled” into work from home life and expect to be here for a while, it seems like it’s about time to set up a real workspace and work boundaries too. Since most of us are juggling being parents, teachers and employees all under one roof, it’s important to make sure we are creating sustainable habits that make work/home life happy and healthy (and no, working from your bed is not one of them).
When we are armed with the right habits, we can be prepared for the inevitable challenges that come with working from home. After taking a real look at my not-so-healthy wfh habits, I realized I was creating more anxiety for myself than I would like to admit. So this year I’m setting myself up for real success. Below are four new healthy wfh habits I’m implementing in 2021.
Be Strategic About Your Calendar / Meetings
Prior to the pandemic, I used to front load all my meetings at the beginning of the week. What 2020 taught me is that Zoom / Google Hangout fatigue is real. And it’s a real energy suck. No matter how great the meeting went…when I jump from back to back to back meetings my eyes get tired, my mind gets scattered and I’m not showing up as my best self no matter how hard I try.
Takeaway: Give yourself at least a 15 minute buffer between meetings – this will allow you to rest your eyes and your mind and reset your mindset so you can perform and be present.
Create Multiple Workspaces
This might sound unnecessary, but the truth is when we went to the office, we typically had multiple places to work. Our desk, the lunch room, a conference room and the rooftop were all new environments to spark new ideas. Now that we’re at home there’s a lot more monotony and sitting in one spot all day just isn’t cutting it.
Takeaway: Set up different workspaces throughout the house. We need a change of environment to continue thinking strategically and creatively. So even if one of your workspaces is at the kitchen table – make sure your changing your scene throughout the day.
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This shouldn’t really need much explanation, but breaks are still important. When working from home, I feel like we need to be more productive because I get the “luxury” of being at home, skipping the commute and being around my family and dog.
But the truth is, when you’re in the office you unconsciously take breaks between meetings, when you grab coffee or when you run into a coworker in the hallway. Breaks are almost built-in.
Takeaway: When you’re at home, those built in breaks do not arise, so you have to build breaks into your work from home routine. Burnout is just as real at home, so it’s important to be intentional about actually stepping away.
Start Your Day With Something Else
The hardest thing about working from home is that your home is where you do everything else. It’s easy to get into the routine of waking up, rolling out of bed and jumping into work. We no longer have that morning buffer between getting up and going to work. That means, it’s important to create one.
Takeaway: Starting your day with something outside of work allows you to settle into the day ahead of you. Doing so, will give you the clarity to actually prepare and bring a clear mindset to the tasks you have on your schedule.
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