7 Ways to Create a Healthy Work-From-Home Daily Routine
You suddenly found yourself telecommuting. That means it’s time to work in your PJ’s while munching on cheese puffs in front of the television, right?
Only if you want to harm your health — and your productivity. It’s natural to slip into negative habits when your colleagues don’t comment on your unkempt hair, and your refrigerator beacons you like a lighthouse. Here are a few tips for not falling victim to unhealthy remote work habits.
1. Get a Planner
Your first day of working from home can leave you feeling like, “now what?” Reporting to an office gives you a sense of what you should do — and you can count on your boss to prod you if you don’t perform. Get a planner. It doesn’t matter if you use an app or a paper version. Write down everything, from your start time to your tasks to food and exercise breaks. This process not only adds structure to your day, but it also helps you ward off the decision fatigue you might experience when you take charge of your schedule.
2. Start Your Day with Positivity
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic conditions like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. However, you can prevent seven out of 10 deaths from these disorders by making intentional healthy lifestyle choices — and that goes for both your body and your mind. One of these decisions involves how you start your day.
Instead of reaching for your phone and surfing social media, tune into a 10-minute positivity meditation. You can find these for free on YouTube. Spend five minutes doing some gentle stretching before rising from bed. Pour yourself a glass of herbal tea or lemon water to kickstart your day with healthy antioxidants.
3. Prep Healthy Meals and Snacks
A funny thing happens when you sit down to work with a big bag of chips next to you. Before you know it, you empty the container and feel yucky. Avoid the urge to eat mindlessly by prepping healthy meals and snacks and scheduling times to consume them. Pass on snacking at your desk.
4. Schedule Regular Breaks
Sometimes, you have to walk away and let the imaginary workers in your subconscious do their jobs. When you struggle too hard over a pressing problem, the most straightforward answers can elude you. However, research indicates that taking regular breaks helps boost your productivity and creativity.
Get up from your desk every hour and take a brisk, two-minute walk. If you work on a computer, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 yards away for 20 seconds.
5. Stay in Touch with Colleagues
When you work in an office, everyone can see what you are producing. When you work remotely, you need to prove yourself with results. However, you might miss the socialization and camaraderie. If your workplace uses software like Slack to communicate, learn the platform early so you can stay in touch. Also, correspond regularly with your supervisor. Ask about your performance and how you can improve. This communication shows them you haven’t lost interest in your career growth just because you are at home.
6. Create a Distraction-Free Zone
While the office Chatty Cathy can’t hijack a half-hour of your time with idle chit-chat while you telecommute, that doesn’t mean you won’t face distractions. If your children are at home, they may struggle to understand your need to concentrate, particularly if they’re young. You may desperately miss your friends, and social media notifications can vampirize your time before you know it.
If you have a home office, shut the door when you go into work and leave your phone elsewhere. If you don’t have a dedicated space, create one. You can always use a set of noise-canceling headphones to signal to family members that you are working and need to concentrate.
7. Develop an End-of-Day Wind-Down Routine
When you work in an office, you know when the day ends. Your commute provides a break between your work and home life. When you work from home, you might keep going or feel lost when you complete your shift. Establish a wind-down routine that acts as a divider between your career and personal time. Perhaps you take 20 minutes to clean up your apartment. Maybe you do a 15-minute yoga video or take a walk. Setting boundaries with your time will help protect your mental well-being.
Protect Your Health While Working Remotely
Working from home offers a ton of advantages, but you can slip into negative habits when surrounded by creature comforts. Use a few simple tips to keep yourself healthy and productive while telecommuting!