Whether you have recently started working from home or transitioned into taking online classes, there’s undoubtedly been a shift in your everyday routine. Thankfully, you no longer have to sit in traffic, but are you using that extra time wisely? Here are some tips for those of us who are struggling to adjust to the changes.
1. Start your day by taking some time for yourself.
Use the time you would normally spend driving to work or school to prepare yourself for the day ahead. While some people need the normalcy of getting dressed in a nice outfit and doing their makeup, others may just need some quiet time to drink their coffee on the porch. Choose whatever suits you best to make sure you are mentally prepared for the day ahead. I promise that waking up at 7:55 a.m. to join your virtual 8:00 a.m. meeting while you’re still in your bed isn’t the best way to start your day.
2. Remove distractions.
Figure out how and where you work best. Are you the type of person who needs a quiet workspace, or are you the type of person who needs background noise? Are you tempted to turn on the TV if you sit in the living room? Does your phone need to be turned off so you’re not tempted to scroll on social media? Whatever the distraction may be, take note of it and know that it will still be there after you are finished with your work for the day.
3. Take breaks to avoid job burnout.
Nobody is productive if they try to sit and work for hours and hours on end with no breaks. There’s a reason office buildings have a break room. Go pour yourself another cup of coffee. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to spend more time outside. Grab an afternoon snack. Stand up and stretch every once in a while. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Give yourself things to look forward to at the end of the workday.
The sooner you finish the conference call, the sooner you get to watch your favorite TV show. The sooner you write your English paper, the sooner you can FaceTime your best friend. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate if you have something exciting to look forward to later in the day.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
These are strange and uncertain times for everyone. It’s okay if you don’t check all 20 things off of your to-do list today. Set realistic daily goals, and celebrate the things you did accomplish! Trying your best can look different on different days. Give yourself room to fail and encouragement to try again tomorrow.