In these turbulent times, it is important to take care of our physical and mental health. Staying productive and keeping to a routine can really help with this. If, however, you have recently found yourself in the position of having to work from home, it can be hard to keep yourself motivated day after day. The same can also be said when people enter retirement, going from a full-on work schedule to a more relaxed daily schedule.
To get the most from your time working at home, an important starting point is to treat your day as a ‘normal’ working day – make yourself get washed and dressed! Not only will you feel more refreshed for getting out of your pyjamas but it will also help your brain accept that the working day has begun. Starting by making a to-do list can also help to focus your day.
Try and stick to your established routine – it helps to keep to your original working hours. This will also help to establish boundaries as you don’t want to find yourself checking your emails at all hours of the day and night. If it is possible to make a separate space from which to work where you won’t be disturbed, this will also help. When your working day ends, pack all your things away to allow yourself some separation.
As long as you aren’t self-isolating, it can help to get outside at least once a day. This could be during your lunch break to help refocus you for the afternoon or outside your working hours. Not only will this provide you with some fresh air (and maybe even some sun) but it will also help you exercise, which is so important for your mental health. Try and make the most of the daily exercise time allowance we have and at the very least try to get up and walk around every hour.
If you can, during your day try to spend 30 minutes actually talking to someone. This could be over the phone or by a video call. Not only are these methods of communication more stimulating but they can also help to increase productivity.
Finally, take regular breaks. It is important to keep moving and to have time away from looking at screens.
As we all adapt to a different working life (or, actually, a different life in general) in the interim, make sure you keep in touch with others, reach out and ask for help – or, if you are able to, offer it. Be kind, be responsible and most importantly, keep calm and carry on!