While working from home it’s easy to let work pile up on top of you, and allow your day-to-day life to be dictated by endless tasks.
But overloading on work isn’t the key to successfully balancing your professional and personal life (surprise, surprise). Instead, you need to establish a harmonious routine that promotes healthy living and drives your motivation.
Read on to discover how adding certain elements to your home working routine can help you live a healthier lifestyle. (Plus, you might pick up some insightful remote working tips along the way.)
Take regular breaks away from work
When working remotely, your personal and professional lives become one in the same thing, tangling with each other like vines in a rosebush.
As these usually clear boundaries blur, it’s often hard to tell when the workday begins and ends — so when your work computer is lying next to you, it can be tempting to pick it up and complete one last task.
By falling into this trap, the day loops, turning into a vicious cycle of constant work. Soon, you’ll find yourself burnt out from worrying about what you have left to finish or haven’t started.
Set yourself a clear start and finish point for your working day. You should also aim to get up for five minutes or so every hour to break up the day.
The house is still your home and shouldn’t be engulfed by work, even if you’re working remotely. It’s okay to finish off a task tomorrow, as long as you aren’t scrambling to meet a deadline. If anything, you should be making a greater effort to value your personal time.
Create a workout schedule
When working at home, it can be hard to set time aside for yourself. But getting into a healthy schedule extends further than getting through the working day.
As well as helping you to stay fit and healthy, the gym is a wonderful way to reset and set yourself up for success. Plus, establishing a regular workout schedule segments the day and gives your mind something to focus on other than work.
For many people across the country, various lockdown restrictions mean a visit to the gym isn’t an option right now. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on exercise completely — think what your inner personal trainer would do. (Answer: they’d tell you to double down with home workouts instead.)
Home workouts are a great confidence booster, especially if you don’t feel comfortable in a public gym setting — and there’s a lot you do at home which will do the trick just as well. Check out this guide to help get you started.
However, turning intention into a habit is hard to do, so you’re going to need to commit. We’ve always bought into the 21/90 rule, meaning if you can create a habit over 21 days you’ll be able to power on through ninety days and beyond.
Make a meal plan and eat healthy snacks
The scene is set: you’re on a conference call with an important client and you run over lunch. Suddenly, the cookie jar in the corner of your eye is looking tantalising, or maybe that open box of Frosties are looking too gr-r-reat to resist…
Of all the challenges working from home hits us with, being a stone’s throw away from the kitchen is one of the toughest obstacles to overcome. For many people, snacking is the ultimate downfall when it comes to trying to eat healthily — and working from home means we aren’t able to move about as much as we would normally.
So keeping your nutrition in check isn’t an easy task at home. But what can you do to change that?
Firstly, it’s all about sticking to a routine. Winging a healthy diet is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, consider meal prepping your lunches the evening before. This way you have a meal ready to eat when lunch hour rolls around (and you’re saving some money too).
Secondly, there’s no reason to go cold turkey when it comes to snacking. After all, sometimes that something extra is enough to power you through a demanding task. Just try to choose your snacks wisely; pick from a range of nutritious options rather than diving in for that fifth double choc-chip cookie.
Get ready like you’re going to the office
Hands up: over lockdown, have you joined Zoom meetings in your pyjamas, or spoken to your boss while in slippers?
The latter might be drawn from personal experience, but truthfully, working from home has allowed us to slip into bad habits. With the rule book thrown out the window, there feels little reason to get dressed when the workplace consists of you and a computer screen.
However, research exists to suggest dressing for work has symbolic meaning, rather than merely being about authority or convenience. So taking time in the morning to dress as you would for a normal workday could help to bold those blurry lines between your professional and personal life.
This doesn’t have to be a big lifestyle change — nor do you need to impress your cat with a new tailored suit. Simply by swapping slippers for shoes and pyjamas for a shirt, you could be more focused and happy when working from home.
Remote working is tough, especially if it’s something you’ve had to adopt out of necessity.
But finding a good, healthy routine is the key to making a success out of the situation you find yourself in. We’re creatures of habit — and the healthier that habit, the better we’ll feel on a daily basis.
Try incorporating these suggestions into your working from home. And don’t forget to take a break. You deserve one.