The pandemic has changed the face of work as we know it. Did you know that HALF of Americans work at least one day a week from home?
When you’re working from home with its distractions and struggling to keep the professional and personal parts of your life separate, it’s common to feel like your days keep getting away from you. Mixing a few hacks and habits into your schedule can help you take back some control of your time and meet your personal and professional responsibilities with more energy and purpose.
1. Make the most of your mornings
Several studies have found that “morning people” are less likely to feel depressed than “night owls.” Even if our sleep patterns and preferences are partially genetic, there are things you can do to feel more energized when your feet hit the floor.
Try waking up an hour early and filling that time with some physical, mental, or spiritual exercise. Work on your painting or hammer away at that novel. Brightening the mornings by throwing open the shades or eating your breakfast outside can also tell your body that it’s time to get going.
Once you’ve found a morning routine that energizes you, stick to it. You may never become a morning person, but you’ll enjoy your mornings a lot more and feel more prepared for the rest of your day.
2. Take a break – and not just at lunch
Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many of us secretly place a bigger emphasis on lunch. We need that midday break to unplug from work and enjoy a long walk or a favorite podcast with our meal.
Adding mini-breaks to your day can give you a more consistent recharge than trying to cram all your rest into your lunch hour. One popular technique, the Pomodoro Timer, suggests taking a five-minute break every twenty-five minutes. If that’s not practical at your job, try something simple like getting up out of your chair every half hour to stretch, walk around, or grab a breath of fresh air.
3. Minimize your multitasking
Do you pride yourself on your ability to juggle multiple projects at once? More and more research suggests that maybe you shouldn’t. Multitasking can overload your brain, raise your stress levels, and result in sloppy work.
The Pareto Principle says that 20% of our efforts yield 80% of our results. Rather than scattering your time across several projects at once, try to organize your to-do list and identify the 20% of tasks that are going to drive your most important results by the end of the day. You’ll feel more accomplished and more confident about where to focus your energy tomorrow.
4. Don’t work after work
The work from home revolution has added some valuable flexibility to how we get things done. When the boundaries between home and work get too blurry, many of us have a tendency to err on the side of work.
- Is all that unpaid overtime helping you get ahead?
- Is your job’s takeover of the kitchen table slimming down family time more than it should?
Multitasking at home is often every bit as inefficient as multitasking at work. When you clock out for the day, toss your laptop in your bag, power down your work phone, and give the most important people and passions in your life the attention that they deserve.