Working from home has its perks: it's cheap, you're surrounded by all of your favourite things, you can dress business on top, comfy-casual on bottom, and you can work in a setting that's suited to you.
But, it's all too easy to slip into habits that stop you from being your most productive self, and this can take its toll on everything from your posture to your snacking will power and even your levels of concentration. To make sure you are at your optimum, we put together a checklist of small habits to bring into your daily routine.
You may already have your opticals fitted with a prescription but if you don't need a prescription and you're finding your eyes feel tired from all the extra screentime (no judgement here – we've also been surgically attached to our phones these past few weeks), we suggest you get some opticals fitted with a blue light filter. Every screen from your TV to your phone emits rays that are harmful to your eyes and the skin around your eyes. A blue light filter not only reduces the effect of these rays, it also softens the light of the screen meaning you also don't have to squint.
This may not seem like it's a big one, but psychologically, it's important to differentiate between your work and home life when you're doing everything in the same space. Getting dressed looks different to everyone – this could be head-to-toe lycra, your favourite outfit, a blazer on top, leggings on the bottom – there's only one rule: get out of your pyjamas and into something different so that you feel refreshed ahead of a new day!
Set out the tasks you need to achieve for the day – both professional and personal. You'll feel an increased sense of accomplishment when you work through them and will help keep your mind focused.
Light a candle while you work, step outside for some fresh air (if you can), set yourself up for the day with some meditation, do whatever you need to do to make sure you feel your most productive when you finally sit down to your 'desk' – for us, that's any table that's not in reaching distance of snacks.
Unfortunately we don't mean you should work lying down. In the absence of a back-supporting desk chair, you might find your kitchen table chairs or couch less than comfortable after a few hours of typing. We've taken to setting up a makeshift standing desk on our windowsill (hello emails with a view), propping our laptops up on books so we don't have to look down and using chairs that stop us from slouching. No one wants to come out the other side of this with back problems on top of everything else.
Once you're done with work (or before you start), make a mental list of people you want to check in with. It's important to keep up contact with friends and family when the real deal is out of the question. Same applies to colleagues. Get on a weekly catch-up call to make sure you're on the same page with task lists. There's only so much you can communicate via email. And it's ok to admin you're missing your work wife – we all are.
You made it to 6pm! Now it's time to kick back, relax and treat yourself to something, whether that's a bath, a glass of wine, your favourite TV show or a delicious meal. Try and get off your phone and commit 100% of your attention to this moment of indulgence.