Since transitioning from office life to home life, you may have noticed some differences in yourself. Are you sleeping as well at night? Do you find yourself getting distracted more easily? Has your productivity taken a nosedive?
There is a reason we can be so productive in an office; because that is what it is designed for. Learning how to separate your work and home life when both occur in the same environment can be frustrating. There are a few simple things you can do to not only improve your at-home workspace but improve your quality of life while working from home.
Your bedroom is not an office
Once you started working from home, did you add a desk to your bedroom? Worse yet, do you sometimes just sit up in bed and go straight to work in the morning while still warm and cozy? If so, STOP!
Attempting to work from your own bedroom’s comfort can have significant consequences on your sleep schedule at night. Just as you associate the dining room table with eating, your subconscious naturally associates your bedroom with sleep. If you are spending all day in your bedroom working, your mind will subconsciously relearn that the bedroom is meant for work and not for sleep. Therefore, when it is time to lay down your head to rest at night, you may have a more challenging time turning off your brain and resting because your mind is still in work mode.
Thankfully this can be easily overcome if you simply transfer your work area from your bedroom to a new location. You can even set up shop in your guest bedroom. As long as you are not working where YOU sleep, you will be fine. Once you transition your workspace away from your bedroom, you will find it easier to relax and sleep at night.
Stability and Flexibility
If you haven’t already, you will want to make a dedicated workspace that you can go to each morning to start off your day. Just like with sleep, when you spend enough time in your dedicated workspace, this will cue in your body and mind that it is time for work while in that environment.
However, the one advantage of being at home means that although you do have a dedicated space, you do not have to grow roots there. If the sun is shining, feel free to set up shop outside for a few hours in the back yard. Kick back in the comfy recliner and answer the 200 unread emails in your inbox. Since you don’t have a supervisor breathing over your shoulder, feel free to move around and find a dedicated workspace that works for you.
When you look good, you feel good-simply put. Now you don’t have to iron a suit every day if you aren’t going to work. Simply think about changing out of those old sweatpants and t-shirt you have been wearing for three days straight now.
There is just something about getting up and putting on nice clothes that makes you feel like you can conquer the day. Even if no one is going to see you, do it for yourself. When you feel good, you produce good quality work.
You don’t even necessarily have to give up those glorious stretchy waist yoga pants, but class it up a little. Start by taking a shower, especially if you haven’t in a few days. Then, put on a fancy shirt, and maybe even put some effort into your hair. I guarantee it will make a difference in how you feel and function throughout the day.
Develop a Schedule
It may be hard to get out of bed every morning when you have nowhere to be, but it is still important to stick to a routine. Getting out of bed at the same time every day helps to improve your sleep schedule. You can also make sure your work is finished on time for you to have the evening to yourself.
If your typical workday was 8-5 at the office, you should still plan to get up and be at your designated workspace by 8:00am sharp. Maybe you can take a break and get some exercise or treat yourself to a homemade gourmet lunch for break time. Keeping a schedule makes it easier for your mind and body to adapt to “work schedule mode.”
Working from home is all about balance. You have to have a set routine and space, but also realize that you can be flexible. Each person will have something different that works for them. You just need to be patient in figuring out your own groove. As long as you develop acceptable work practices and make yourself a comfortable work environment, you can still be productive and happy.