This is an unprecedented time for all of us, all over the world.
Every day we are navigating uncharted territory, gluing ourselves to TV and social media for updates, and trying to find new ways to challenge ourselves.
With most offices closed, we are all adapting and adjusting to this new “work from home” reality that may last weeks or even months.
Luckily, working from home can be an opportunity to boost your productivity and wellbeing if done right.
In fact, you can become a high-level producer in the very same space you sleep, eat, ‘Netflix and chill’, and video chat with your family and friends.
Of course, we need to get creative, as working from home comes with flexibility and its own set of challenges.
I’m sharing with you seven ways that you can leverage your at-home ‘office’ for maximum productivity and wellbeing because we all must take accountability right now and #StayHome.
I am practicing these tips as well while I run our Mindvalley business from the comfort of my home.
1. Define Your Business Hour Boundaries
The first thing you need to determine is when you’re really going to be working, so you can create a healthy clear divide between work time and non-work time.
We are prone to get distracted from the main focus of the day and are equally likely to work beyond our hours and sacrifice sleep.
Make sure to communicate your hours clearly to work stakeholders so they know when you’re available.
The same goes for the family at home who may not be aware of your schedule, so as not to be disturbed when you’re in the zone, and not have to send an email over dinner.
Be present, stay accountable, and stay focused.
2. Get Your Remote Office Setup Right
To stay focused and productive, you need to allocate a specific place at home where you can do your work.
Create a clear division between your at-home workspace, and the rest of your home. As soon as you step into your workspace, it should mean one thing: work.
Our brains tend to build strong mental associations with places and feelings. The fact that you can work from bed doesn’t mean that you should.
Ensure that you have everything to stay inflow. All you need beyond that is your personal computer, access to your files, good wifi, and a secluded place for online meetings, preferably with a backdrop.
You can learn how to Feng Shui your workspace to make it more productive and even a little zen by listening to this podcast episode with Marie Diamond.
3. Get In the Habit of Over-Communicating
In the absence of traditional face-to-face meetings, there is no free flow of information. If we practice over-communicating in our emails, reports, and updates, we aid in the flow of information, reduce ambiguity, and ensure alignment with organizational goals.
Show your stakeholders that you’re capable of getting things done, even without supervision. They’ll trust you and be more confident in your ability.
From a bigger picture perspective, technology solves everything else.
There are many free instant messaging services, project management tools, and webinar platforms that can help fill the gap in communication, and gather all team members and stakeholders in one place to align everybody, address roadblocks, and help the flow of information at a rapid pace. At Mindvalley, we use Slack, Whatsapp, and Zoom every day.
Team leaders and team members should be in the habit of contributing to a company-wide weekly digest that keeps everyone on the same page with progress, wins, and goals.
4. Maintain Daily Routines
In the absence of a pre-set schedule to organize your time, it rests upon you to define it. Daily routines and habits we have built over time are a good place to start.
A helpful hack is to block daily time slots on your phone’s calendar to create recurring events (repetition). This is especially useful for days when you feel less motivated, or have a lot on your plate.
Maintaining daily routines has been shown to improve brain health, and it also reduces the number of decisions you have to make throughout the day.
What truly matters is knowing when YOU are productive, and planning your day around it. Doing this ensures you are your most productive self when you are tackling the biggest tasks of the day.
Not a morning person? My friend, Dr. Breus (you may know him as The Sleep Doctor) has this excellent quiz to determine your sleep chronotype to know when you’re most productive, and what it means for your daily schedule.
Find out when you’re most productive and learn your sleep chronotype here.
5. Social Interaction
Let’s set the record straight on this one: we’re all in this together, and being an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert doesn’t really change that much. We should not be going through tough times alone.
Humans are social creatures by nature. Early civilizations started when humans would gather together and form tribes.
Right now, we won’t have opportunities to meet new people and interact socially with movement restriction orders, lockdowns, and social distancing taking effect globally.
And self-isolation for extended periods of time has been shown to increase depression and anxiety even in healthy people. This can also decrease your immune system’s health.
This doesn’t mean you can’t make connections with people or interact socially during the workday. We just have to get more resourceful (luckily we have social media and lots of advancements in video capabilities).
Many companies have actually found ways to combat this and make sure team members are staying connected and socializing.
At Mindvalley, some of our team members are leading weekly virtual events, including campfires, group intention and tapping sessions, and 1-on-1 coaching sessions. We are even starting a 6-week Lifebook program for our employees to find their own life vision.
The most important thing when you feel alone is to reach out. Even a simple message to a friend can make you feel a whole lot better. Check out who Ellen calls while she’s sitting at home, unable to film The Ellen Show.
6. Stay Active
Do you spend most of your time sitting in a chair with minimal movements? You may want to change that around.
Make sure that you are not sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time, stretching, and getting some form of activity or movement before getting back to work.
Another easy way to integrate this into your work productivity is to do some light walking back and forth, or some crunches/pushups whenever you can’t solve a problem.
Some fitness trackers and smartwatches already come with features built in to keep you active.
Don’t neglect your body’s early warning signs – cramps or aches mean that you’ve been focusing for far too long and your body and mind could both use a mini-break.
7. Never Forget Self-Care
You’re going to find some free time on your hands that you didn’t have before.
You can now invest that free time in a way that will pay off in dividends.
But first, answer these three questions honestly:
- What are the skills that you’ve always wanted to learn?
- How close are you to your goals?
- What are the things in your life that you wished were different?
These are the three most important questions everyone should ask themselves as they start their journey of personal growth.
From there, it’s a simple matter of building bridges to your goals.
For many people, this can mean taking up a new hobby or learning a new language or work skills.
Learning about something new can be fun when you’re passionate about it, and you get the added benefit of giving your brain a workout, which keeps it younger and healthier for longer.
If you want more tips and ideas, please follow @vishen on Instagram.
(This article was first published on Thrive Global.)