Posted By: Stella Pike | August 5, 2020
The first one or two weeks into your working from home might have seemed wonderful right? You were working while lying on your bed or slouching on the couch, eating whenever and whatever you want. But soon after that, you got a bad backache, you felt more tired and lazy to get on with your day.
Apart from these visible changes in your body and mood, there’s also your deteriorating mental health. Isolation for over a long period can cause loneliness, anxiety, and even depression. Burnout is another problem because whether you like it or not, while you’re working remotely, you’re always working. Or you have to always be available.
A tired body and mind will never be able to reach its true potential. You might have access to all the materials and tools required for working from home, but if your body and mind are not in sync, you will barely get any work done.
An extremely productive approach, you need to start your day just like you would when going to work. So, stop the habit of waking up and working with your laptop on your bed.
Get up, make your bed, take a bath, eat breakfast, and wear some pants. Dress in a way that makes you feel like you are starting a fresh, new day. You need not dress up in formal dresses and shirts, but wearing a clean t-shirt and some pants will make you feel better.
Repeating this process over a period of time will train your brain to remember this cycle and nudge you to follow it. This will also give you a sense of direction and drive towards starting your day.
Remote working, if not conducted properly, can make your life go haywire. Burnout is a very common problem when people start working from home. Your routine gets out of order, you have to be available 24/7, there are no weekends, and so on.
In a poll that Blind recently conducted asking technologists about their experience, 73% of the respondents reported feeling burnout by the end of April. Some 19% said that the cause was fear over job security, 20.5% said that they had an unmanageable workload and another 10% said that they had no control over their work.
To combat this, you need to fix and maintain a schedule of when you will clock in and out of work. If you’re an employer, you should make the rules beforehand in a way that people have the flexibility to choose when they work but teams also must work in a way that suits each other’s needs.
Moreover, when you maintain a fixed schedule, you will work better in the sense that your mind will train itself to work in these fixed hours and stay alert during these hours.
You can either do this after you wake up in the morning or in between your work breaks. But you must stay active throughout the day. You can either do some light stretching or some power yoga or a 7-minute workout to relax your limbs and muscles.
Sitting in a fixed position over a long period can tighten your muscles and make them sore. This is what causes back or neck pain after a long day at work. Therefore, it is recommended that you engage your body in some kind of physical activity and workout.
Some other things that you can do are standing up while working and working in that way for some time. A sedentary lifestyle is also responsible for weight gain and indigestion. Apart from this, if you have space, make sure to walk around your house at least twice a day.
The importance of a correct posture on your mind and body are immense. Correct balance can help you in a big way to achieve the balance between a sound mind and body.
So, what happens when you don’t sit straight, with your shoulders and head slouched over? For starters, you are open to a lot of musculoskeletal disorders like tension in the neck, backaches, etc. The correct posture will improve blood circulation in your body, decrease back and body pains, makes your back muscles stronger, and allows you to burn more calories.
Mentally, a correct posture leads to improved productivity, enhances mental alertness, improves breathing, and reduces mental fatigue.
Just like Jack, all work and no play will make you dull too. Don’t make your to-do list in such a way that it’s too rigid and leaves no room for any new activities.
Plan your day in such a way which allows you to fulfil tasks when your productivity is at peak while also making room for new tasks and projects that might come your way. But, know when to take a break and do something else like playing a game or watching some youtube videos for some time. Keep the breaks short but consistent throughout the day.
It is unimaginable how much and how often we snack when at home. And especially, when you’re doing something you’re focused in, you don’t even realise how many packets of chips you might munch on.
Therefore, make sure that you don’t work in or near the kitchen. When the fridge is far away from you, the temptation to get up and take another bite of the cake might be less. Next, plan your meals and pack them up with nutritious food. Nutritious food makes you stay fuller longer, increase your alertness, and therefore, make you more productive. Balance your food with protein, fibre, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.
Just like you plan your day in the morning (wake up, take shower), place equal importance to your eating and sleeping habits too. Schedule when you’ll take your meals and also when you’ll snack. This will create a cycle in your body and you will be conditioned to feel hungry during those hours every day. In case you forget, set up reminders on your phone that remind you to take your lunch.
Sleep is another factor that influences productivity. When your brain is tired and fatigued, no new information will register or processed in your brain. In addition to this, you will lack the motivation to go on with your daily activities too. So, make sure that you get a solid 6 hours of sleep and some power naps in between throughout the day.
This is probably the most easily forgotten activity in our everyday.
You have a water bottle on your desk at work right? Do the same at home. Keep a bottle filled with water on your work desk at home. Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue, so make sure you drink plenty of water. If you forget, you can add it to your calendar, install water drinking reminder apps, and so on.
When you meditate daily, you become more mindful of yourself and your surroundings. Mindfulness “slows down the heart rate and brain-wave patterns, boosts the immune system and cardiac functioning and that people who meditate have less stressful lives, fewer health problems, improved relationships and longer lives.”
It has also been found that mindfulness sharpens focus, reduces stress, and raises clarity and better decision-making.
We often complain that due to workload or long commutes to and from work have made us so busy that we don’t get the time to do the things we actually love. Well, now you have time.
You can make a list of all the things that you always promised yourself you would do if only you had more time. Although you might not be able to do it all due to the ongoing global pandemic crisis. But make time for the things you can do inside your home. Whether it be painting graffiti on a wall, reading a chapter of a book every day, practising your violin, finally taking up cooking, or even starting your side business (online of course).