Working from home has become the new norm for many of us during these very strange times. Adjusting to this new way of life has been challenging and operating in this environment requires a lot of effort to create something that seems kind of normal. If you haven’t figured it out yet or are tweaking the way that you’re approaching this, I’ve put together a list of some of the things I’ve found work for me as I’ve spent many extended periods over the last couple of years working from home. I really hope they’re useful for you too!
Try to put some structure to your work day
This one might seem obvious and I initially found myself promising to do this but then not really following through. Putting the structure in your diary will help remind you of the parameters to separate your work day from your personal time. This means setting yourself a start time and a finish time and trying to adhere to these times. Ensure you book in regular breaks during the day to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. This will help you maintain good energy levels and motivation if you allow yourself the time to rest during the day. What you do not want is for your work time to bleed into your personal time at the end of the day. Also as another tip, don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t maintaining these structure. Like any habit, this will take time to form so make the effort and it will pay off in the end.
Ensure you have nutritious and filling meals to help reduce snacking
Generally, I have never been a breakfast person. If I am at work, I can quite happily go to work and only have a coffee to keep me going until lunch. I think partially because I’m in a lot of meetings and I haven’t had an actual desk so have no where to store food! But when I’m at home, I find that I am more prone to snacking if I haven’t had a filling breakfast/lunch. So my biggest tip related to food is to have filling and nutritious meals to reduce the amount of snacking you do during the day. I feel satisfied after my meal and it’s definitely helped me to reduce the amount of bikkies I consumer at home.
I have been having Table of Plenty’s protein porridge for breakfast which has been super effective in filling me up for a longer period because of its blend of oats, plant based protein and fibre. Even avocado and cheese on a slice of sourdough (and egg if you have time) is a good option. For lunch, I’ve been opting for green salad with some type of protein (chicken, tuna, egg or a combo of all three) or as the weather gets colder, a nice vegetable or minestrone soup filled with veggies.
Keep a bottle of water handy
Keeping yourself hydrated helps me to reduce the amount of snacking I might want to do and also it helps me feel a bit more energised. Also it reduces the possibility of me finding something to eat in the kitchen if I am always filling up a glass. This might be good for the step count but I would rather reduce the temptation of all the delicious things I have in my pantry! So find a good water bottle that will help you do that. I am loving the Frank Green Ceramic reusable water bottle because (a) I bought the BIG one so it holds 1 litre of water and (b) I love that it keeps my water hot/cold. As the weather gets colder, I am sure that I will be filling up my bottle with hot water to keep me warm!
If you really want a snack…
Consider fruit or nuts. Or if you really want chocolate, consider buying the chocolate snack packs and have one to give yourself that sugar hit. That way it’s small and you feel satisfied that you’ve had chocolate!
Keep up the motivation by setting yourself small tasks to achieve
Breaking your day up into small achievable tasks will help to not only be more effective but also help keep your motivation up. There are an abundance of distractions at home and finding the motivation to focus for long periods of time at home can be a challenge. By setting yourself small and achievable tasks that you can tick off will give you satisfaction and a sense of achievement. It also helps to set yourself markers throughout the day for breaks and rest time. I find that setting myself rewards for when I achieve those tasks also helps keep my motivation up e.g. If I finish this section of this report by 11am, my reward will be a cuppa and walk to the mailbox. It might seem trivial but it motivates me to finish my work without getting distracted.
Take some time out for exercise during the day
There is nothing worse than looking at your step count and realising that you’ve done less than 1000 steps in a day. Make the effort to pop some time in the diary for exercise, even if it’s only a walk around the block. The more you get yourself moving throughout the day (walking meetings aren’t a bad thing!) and the more fresh air you get, will do wonders to help reinvigorate yourself through the work day.
I have an Apple Watch which reminds me every hour to standup and have a good walk around which I’ve found very helpful. The activity recording and associated activity circles are also good motivators to ensure I do some exercise during the day (if you have an Apple Watch you can sympathise with the feeling of disappointment when your activity circles aren’t completed in a day!)
Vitamins or supplements
I’m going to preface this tip with the disclaimer that I am not a medical or health practitioner. I wanted to include this tip in this piece because it’s a reminder to those that may be deficient in some vitamins to not forget to include them in your daily routine. Given I’m inside for a good proportion of the day and now that daylight savings has ended, I’m not getting a lot of sun light, and in turn, not getting a lot of Vitamin D. So I make sure I take Vitamin D tablets to help me reduce my deficiency.
I’ve also found adding in a probiotic or dietary supplement has helped in my general wellness. I’ve been taking Grown Alchemist’s Probiotic Nutrient Support to help support my immune system and I have also added Activated Nutrients Women’s Thrive to Shine organic supplement an all-in-one daily supplements & multivitamin powder that I’ve found quite helpful to maintain my energy levels during the day.
Find the time to catch up with work colleagues
One of the things I miss is the social interaction in the office – it gives me good energy and motivation to achieve things during the day. So set up a group chat or video session to catch up with your mates from work to just “shoot the breeze” and catch up.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Might sound simple but finding the time for self care is important. The current situation is stressing us mentally and physically so it’s important to take the time to be ok with where you are and care for yourself.