I’m not going to lie, this has been a week. I truly never thought I’d be missing my little cubicle but here I am. I’ve been day dreaming about my commute on the B train, and my short lil walk on 40th from the train to my office. In all honesty, I’ve found it quite hard to adjust to being home all day, and doing all my work on my laptop. The first day went okay, but a pounding headache after day two made it very clear I needed to change my routine. So after countless hours spent journaling, reading lots of psychology today and Byrdie articles, I’ve tested and found a few ways to make working from home and social distancing a lot more pleasant!
First, jot down your ideal day and the goals you want to achieve, the night before. This may seems obvious but with a seemingly unlimited amount of time, it becomes difficult to have a start and stop to your day. Having a corporate job automatically meant a routine for most of us. For instance for me, it was waking up between 6:45-7am, coffee, shower and getting ready, and then starting my hour long commute (yes one WHOLESOME hour) to head to work. Once there, another routine was already in place which made time fly and before I knew it, it was 6:30pm and I was heading to a ClassPass class or dinner. All of this is to say that mentally and physically, we’re used to moving automatically from the moment we wake up. Cut to: no more commutes, or a timed morning routine, and my motivation goes poof! By making a list of what I want to achieve for the day, I’m motivated to have an early and regular starting point to my day. I would suggest you list out what you want to achieve, making two lists, one for work, and one for your personal goals. Not only does this put me in a very motivated mindset, it also acts as a reminder whenever my mind begins to wander, especially after that fifth Microsoft Teams meeting. 😬
Next, actually put your goals into your calendar. This is a great way to see and focus on what you need to do at a specific time. This has been great for me because I have a short attention span but I’m quite good at focusing on tasks during a certain block of time. This is apparently called Time Blocking and has been proven to vastly improve productivity. Additionally, I find by putting what I need to do in my calendar, it creates micro tasks that feel way easier to take on. Also, 15 min reminders for the win!
Another great thing I’ve found helpful is waking up and getting ready as if I were leaving my apartment. It was very easy for me to stay in bed until 8:30 on that first WFH day because I knew I could log in in 5 mins. This however meant I only had time for the neccesities before I had to log on. By getting ready like I was leaving my apartment, I was able to have some coffee, relax after my shower, and got dressed in something comfy that put me in a headspace that allowed me to focus on work.
Take an actual lunch break and step away from all, yes ALL of your screens. I have been using my breaks to do some Yoga with Adrienne, or to walk around my neighborhood. I personally feel like there’s been a constant barrage of information from CNN press conferences, to my mums multiple WhatsApp messages, and of course all the great comic relief from Twitter. Still, these along with my work laptop are all screens that contribute to the tension and stir crazy headaches I get by 12pm. This is why I find it a necessity to step back, and give my mind a break, from all the input coming in all directions.
The next thing is Water. When I’m at the office, I usally drink two to three tumblers of water before the end of day. However, on day one of WFH where I was much closer to my fridge, I only drank one cup of water! This most definitely contributed to my headache so although it sounds boring AF, please imbibe some H2O. It helps. 💦
Last but most definitely not the least, get those eight hours of sleep. I know it’s hard to disconnect from work when there’s no clear marker to end the work day, but it truly isn’t beneficial for the rest of your week. By ending your workday at a reasonable time, you get time to decompress and get to sleep earlier. So do that ten step skincare routine you’ve been meaning to, or watch the next episode of Love is blind (if that’s your speed) and get into bed! It makes waking up so much easier the next day and I personally always feel calmer whenever I’ve had enough sleep.
What are some ways you’ve made the adjustment to WFH easier?