Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Way back in March, companies around the globe shifted their employees from the office to the home. Some of us were excited at the prospect of making our lives a bit easier by working from the comfort of our own space, while others were immediately put off by the idea of having to figure out how to do daily tasks without the ease and efficiency of being in the office. Somehow, we have made it all the way to October and many of us are still at home. We’ve practically forgotten what it’s like to suffer through the daily traffic during the commute to work and we’ve become all too familiar with the feeling of being completely unmotivated to sit in our home office- even if we get to do it in sweatpants.
What I have come to realize over the course of this pandemic is that *everything* at home is a distraction. Whether it’s the pile of laundry you need to do or the pup that needs his walk, it feels like there is always something that can grab your attention. These distractions combined with the WFH grogginess can really make for a terrible combo when it comes to staying on top of things and avoiding hitting a wall mid-day.
The fact is, many of us are busier than ever now that we are working from home. Because of layoffs and budget cuts, many employees are now taking on more responsibilities that have actually made their workdays longer and much more stressful- on top of the anxiety-inducing chaos going on in the world right now.
The halo-effect of WFH has certainly faded for many as we enter into... remind me again? Month 7? Month 8 of working from home? That’s an incredibly long time when you think about it. And if you are a parent who is working from home WITH children who are learning online, you are a superhero! We applaud your efforts for being able to juggle so much being thrown at you at once. That being said, I know the lack of motivation and the increased stress can be a huge problem when it comes to feeling productive during the work week. Well, don’t despair! I have acquired a few tips on how to stay motivated and keep stress levels down while you’re WFH.
Whether you’re feeling constantly distracted or simply exhausted from juggling so many responsibilities at once, I hope the following tips can help you beat the slump and power through your WFH days!
1. Start Your Day Earlier & Utilize the Extra Time For Self-Care
Waking up earlier not only gives you extra time to enjoy your morning, but it also allows you to start your workday with a fully refreshed mind- rather than feeling foggy waiting for your morning coffee to kick in. I’m not a morning person by any means but I find that once I get into a routine of waking up early and utilizing that time to do some of the things that really add value to my day such as reading, having a delicious breakfast, meditating, and doing a quick workout or yoga session. Whatever it may be, dedicate some time in your morning routine to doing things that really make you happy and feel energized for your day.
We are often far too tired at the end of the workday (or have other responsibilities) to get a workout in or take time to meditate. By getting these things done early in the day, you get not only the benefits of such activities but also the sense of accomplishment that comes with having made progress to your health and wellness goals.
2. Set Up A Daily Routine
Routines. Routines. Routines! Humans are creatures of habit and keeping a set routine for your day is a great way to form good habits that you won’t even have to think twice about later on. Lay out your daily, weekly, and long-term goals- both personal and work-related- and then think about what kind of routine you can create to accomplish these goals. Once you’ve figured out a routine that truly works for you (trial and error isn’t a bad thing!), then you will see yourself feeling more energized and excited each day because your routine is aligned with your goals. When each day or week feels like progress rather than Groundhog Day, you’ll find that you gain back that pep in your step!
3. Build In Rewards
Even with the perfect routine that includes all of the things you want to accomplish, some days are unpredictable and things can get messy. So, to combat the stress from these overwhelming days where work is hectic, the dog has a vet appointment, and the kids are struggling with logging onto their homework portal, you can build in rewards for yourself throughout the day. This can be anything from taking a quick break to take a walk outside after completing some of your major tasks of the day or even planning to order from your favorite local takeout restaurant after a particularly chaotic day. Whatever works for you, make sure that you are taking the time to give yourself rewards for your dedication. These can be built into your routine for additional structure so as to manage your time even more effectively.
Taking the time to make meals during the day while WFH can be one of the most time-draining tasks, but it doesn’t have to be! The best part of this is that meal-prep doesn’t have to mean planning out your entire week of food down to each ounce of chicken... Instead, just prepare a few staple items at the beginning of the week so that making lunches and dinners is just a matter of grabbing a few things from the fridge and mixing them together in different ways. This can be as simple as washing and chopping vegetables and putting them into containers for a quick salad or stir-fry, baking and shredding chicken for an easy protein to add on top of any salad or bowl, baking some easy granola protein bites to store in the fridge for a quick snack, or making a crockpot stew/soup for an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week. Having just a few staple items and preparing veggies ahead of time can make a huge difference when it comes to making meals throughout the week.
Do you guys have any meal-prep favorites that you love to have around? Let us know in the comments!
5. Stay Hydrated!
Now, this may seem trivial but this is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Even if you have a day of eating not-so-healthy meals, ensuring that you drink enough water helps fight off brain fog. Try getting a large reusable water bottle to have by your desk and you’ll find that upping your water intake will help to keep you focused and engaged throughout the day. Try adding in lemons, cucumbers, or even mint for a delicious infused water that tastes even better!
If you’re trying to curb the WFH slump and haven’t found an effective means yet, try out some of these tips and let us know how they work for you! I have found these tips to be incredibly helpful in making my work day much easier and more enjoyable, especially when utilized in conjunction with each other.
Whether you just need a little pick-me-up or a whole refresh on the way you do WFH, these are all great tips to help you get over that hump. Additionally, keep in mind that this is an incredibly stressful time for everyone and everything you are feeling right now is completely valid. Hopefully soon we will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy, but I hope that for now these tips can help stimulate your productivity and relieve some of the stress.