Working from home (WFH) has certainly become much more “normal” than before.
Even once the pandemic dies down, a lot of companies will still feature WFH days of the week or even go remote full time.
And while it certainly has its perks, WFH can also be rather stressful and unhealthy. Let’s look at five tips that will help you become more productive and stay healthy as you work from the comfort of your own home.
Take Breaks Even When You Don’t Feel You Need Them
One of the downsides of working from home is that you can easily slip into the habit of not taking any breaks and just working through the entire day.
You may feel this is the most productive course of action, but it’s actually quite the opposite.
In order to do your best, your body and mind need to rest and focus on something other than work. The longer you keep doing the same thing, the slower and less creative you will become. Take frequent breaks, even when you are into what you’re working on at the moment.
Your mind may keep working on that idea even while you’re away from your desk. And when you return, you might find yourself performing even better.
Don’t Sit All Day
Sitting is the new smoking, we’re often told. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle can cause all kinds of issues, from weight gain to heart trouble, posture issues, and joint pain.
When you’re taking your breaks, make sure you get up and move around. You can do some light stretching, take a walk around the block, or even do some tidying around your home. Don’t just spend your break looking at your phone.
You can also invest in a standing desk that will significantly reduce your sitting time. It might take some getting used to, but you’ll soon start to wonder how you’ve made it so far without one.
Have a Meal Plan
To quote another very popular saying, you are what you eat. When you pair poor dietary choices with a lot of sitting around, you get a recipe for a bit of a disaster.
As you have the luxury of preparing your own meals at your workplace, don’t make any excuses not to. You don’t have to commute, so you can use those spare 30 minutes to prepare some healthy and tasty meals.
What also helps in making a meal plan for the week is doing your weekly food shop with meals in mind. This tactic can save you not only time but a lot of money as well, as there will be much less food waste.
Focus on making three square meals a day and a couple of snacks. Choose foods you actually love and would enjoy eating. After all, working from home should be quite enjoyable.
Set Clear Boundaries
One of the biggest downsides of working from home are the distractions. There’s the TV, your phone, the fridge, and the fact that no one is actually watching you work.
In order to be as productive as possible, set some clear boundaries. First, set your own working hours. They don’t have to be nine-to-five, but you do need to have a clear start and end time.
Also, make sure you put your phone on airplane mode while working. Your personal calls and texts can wait, or you can check them during a break.
Remove all distractions to the best of your ability. Sure, there will certainly be days when you’re going to procrastinate a bit. But as long as that’s not the norm, you’ll do just fine.
The other bane of working from home is loneliness. In order to stay sane and mentally healthy, make sure you see as much of your friends and family as possible. Even if it’s just a phone call to hear about their day, don’t brush it off for work.
You may need to make more of an effort to get out of the house and see people. Do your best not to fall into the habit of “all work and no play,” as it will effect your productivity. Take a walk, go out to grab a coffee or a healthy snack, and talk to the strangers you meet. Even a five-minute conversation can do a lot to boost your day.
Working from home is equal parts blessing and curse. To make sure it’s actually enjoyable, you need to set your priorities and take some concrete action. You’ll be able to make the most of the experience if you don’t let yourself fall into a dull routine.
What are you doing to ensure you stay healthy and productive while working from home? Have you tried any of our suggestions yet?
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Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.