It’s been about one year since live has shifted more and more into our own four walls due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Our private lives are now mostly happening at home and within many countries we have a home office obligation, that requires us to work from home.
The dream of many about not having to go to the office came true, to save time commuting, to have more freedom with our daily planning, and maybe even get more time to spend with partner, family, and kids.
What sounds tempting at first, turns out to be a real challenge, to bring more obstacles than expected, and only after a few weeks, we wish to just be able to go back to the usual work environment.
Our homes are not set up to bring private life and work under one roof, if we are used to leave the house in the morning to go to work and come back to relax and be.
Here are six ways on how you can make your home a bit more home office friendly,
so you can feel more energized, have more focus and joy while working.
1. Set the tone of the day
Start your morning right. Research shows that how we spend the first 30 minutes of the day is how we set the tone for the rest of the day – so better make it mindful ones.
Your morning has probably shifted quite a bit not having to leave the house to a specific time. Whatever your morning routine used to be, make sure that you build even more energizing habits:
- Prepare the upcoming day the evening before
- Get up at least one hour before you start working
- Get dressed for the day
- Enjoy a nourishing breakfast
- Meditate, read, sweat, journal or go for a quick walk
2. Set workspace boundaries
- Establish a workspace that differentiates from the off-the-clock space. If you have a separate room, then work from there rather than sitting on the sofa. If you don’t, buy a desk that is dedicated for working. If you don’t have space for an extra desk, make a space on your table that is only for working.
- No matter where you choose to work from, make sure that whenever you sit down, your body and mind knows that it’s work time.
- Take breaks away from this space and hold very clear boundaries of when you are working and when not.
3. Your power space
- Make sure that there is no clutter distracting you. Clean up the room you are working in. Remove what needs to be removed. Get rid of paper piles that can be cleaned. A clear space creates a clear mind.
- Float the room with light. Open blinds and curtains, and maybe even rearrange your room and move your desk to the window. Good light is one of the most effective boosts for the brain and a productive mood.
- Once your space is clear and set into the right light, add some things to it that boost your inspiration and creativity, such as motivational quotes, pictures, plants, artwork, etc.
- When you are done with your working day, make sure to tidy it all up, tidy away anything you don’t need anymore, so you encounter a friendly looking desk the next morning.
4. Minimize distraction
Don’t even try to multitask. There is a myth in our heads that makes us think that when we multitask that we are being more efficient but that is not true at all. Research has shown that multitaskers actually take more time to get things done and make more mistakes compared to “single taskers” keeping focus on one task at the time only.
It might be tempting to get the dirty dishes out of the way when they catch your attention, but if that triggers you, just get them done before you start working.
Just quickly folding that annoying laundry when you are waiting for that phone call is distracting.
Instead, rather be fully where you should be.
- Turn off the radio in the background
- Don’t one-eye-binge on your fav Netflix series
- Put your phone out of sight, turn it on silent or “do not disturb” for only your boss to be able to call
- Don’t have social media opened on your desktop.
It is hard enough to concentrate on work in your private space so be kind to yourself, don’t make it even harder and remove any potential distraction.
5. Build a schedule that works for you
We all have a different biological rhythm just like nature has its rhythms, the seasons, the moon, and the sun. We have our times where we can easily have more focus, where we are alert, and where we can’t seem to stop yawning into the screen.
Try to find out when your best time are to be creative, when to have meetings, when to get work things off and build your schedule around this.
6. The power of the focus hour
It is hard to set timely boundaries when working from home. Instead of working eight hours in one piece to get things done, and then feel completely burned out after this, try to work with breaks.
Studies have shown that we are very productive when we work for 50 minutes and then add a 10-minute break before continuing. Within those 50 minutes we dedicate our attention to one thing only, no phone, no toilet break, no having to get up to make a coffee, no fidgeting around – simply just work, everything else goes into the break. In those 10 minutes open the windows, stretch your body, listen to music, check your phone, hydrate, and then go back to work.
Repeat this including a lunch break a few times and you will find yourself having a very productive and energetic work mood.
Now, enjoy working!