Working from home is a reality for everyone right now.
In theory, this sounds perfect but if you’re like me and prefer to work away from home, this is going to be a challenge.
One danger is that it feels like a holiday, you enjoy lie-ins, watch Netflix all day while still wearing your pyjamas and get nothing done. Another is that you end up working longer hours than you do at work.
Alternatively, you have the opportunity to create the work/life balance you’ve been searching for.
How would you like to be able to master working from home, produce your best work in less time and feel fitter, stronger and healthier than ever before?
Here are my 5 tips to help you achieve that.
- Break your day into blocks
- Move more
- Stay connected
- Do more
- Be kind
Break your day into blocks
You don’t have to work the same hours as you normally do, you can set your own hours. It’s important though to create a routine AND have a cut-off time. Decide what time you want to get up and when you start work. Allow yourself time either to go for a walk or join in my 7am Wake Up sessions. Make time for breakfast and during this time, plan WHAT your first task is going to be and HOW you’re going to do it.
Sit down with a glass of water and set an alarm for 2 hours time as that’s when you’ll likely begin to lose concentration. Refill your glass, stand outside, get some fresh air and plan what you’re going to do in the next work block, how you’re going to do it and go for it. Repeat these steps throughout the day. You want to be sitting down to work with a purpose than staring at a screen and a long to do list!
One more thing is to have a dedicated finish time and stick to it! You want to focus on delivering your best work and there will come to a point where you find yourself becoming distracted. Ask yourself if you really need to keep doing the thing you’re doing or can it wait until tomorrow when you have more energy.
Being active is important for your mental health as well as your physical health. We’re allowed outside for one period of exercise per day so take advantage of it. Think of going for a walk or run either first thing or later in the day and DO IT. While you’re out, you can either use the time to plan your day, if exercising in the morning, or to reflect on the day and celebrate your achievements if going out in the evenings.
You can also do some mobility exercises, yoga or an indoor workout at the opposite end of the day from when you go out or even during a break for lunch. The workouts don’t have to be long either. My clients have been getting greater results doing shorter workouts that they’re able to do more often. They’ve told me that they’re enjoying these more, and feeling better from them, than longer workouts we’ve done previously. 20-30 minutes is long enough to achieve a lot from a workout.
Again, you can use these sessions to help clear your mind and plan your next work break.
As humans, we thrive when we’re around others. We always feel good when we’re surrounded by friends, family and work colleagues so it can feel harder to work when we don’t have that buzz around us. Why not arrange a regular video call with your family, friends or colleagues for a chat, support each other and perhaps hold each other accountable for doing a certain amount of work?
Seeing friendly faces and hearing their voices can make us feel better than just messages.
Why not use this time to go and do other things like learn to cook or do some of the jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off? Things like gardening or just cutting the grass are great tasks that require you to move your body more.
Cooking can give you a welcome break from working or watching tv. I find it very therapeutic. There are plenty of recipes you can follow and here’s one for my Corona Chicken dish I made recently. This is a great way to learn about progress. You’re not going to make something perfect straight away, you learn from the process and the taste on how you can make it better next time. Creating a dish from scratch can also be very rewarding.
The most important thing you can do throughout this period is be kind to yourself. Create your routine that is built around time for you – exercise, breaks and relaxation doing things like watch tv. Set up your desk so that you’re facing a window and getting natural light rather than sit facing a wall. Take breaks, stand outside and get lots of fresh air. Restricting your use of social media is going to be very powerful here too.
Your demands will be different from others and you’ll likely need a few days to see what works and what doesn’t. Try not to think of days as “good” or “bad”. There will be days where you achieve more than others. Take the days you achieve more and think of what you did to make that happen and aim to repeat it. At the same time, take the days where you don’t get as much done and think about what you need to change. More sleep? Eat better? Learning is all part of the journey.
How can you set a structure to help you do your best work? Let me know, I’m really interested to hear what you do. If you’ve already created a structure that works very well, let me know. It would be great to share tips with each other.
Would you like help to create a better structure for you and receive training plans that will help you feel fitter, stronger and healthier? Email me and let’s have a chat about Online Personal Training.