30 Apr How to Maintain a Routine (and some level of sanity) while Working at Home
For many people and especially business owners, a routine is an anchor. Routine helps to reduce stress, cultivate positive daily habits, and focus our time on areas that are the most important. Without a set routine, working from home can be incredibly disruptive and unproductive. To help alleviate the associated discomforts, here are some ways you can maintain a routine while working at home.
Designate an Office Space and Office Hours
Creating and limiting your work to a space that encourages productivity is always for the best. Otherwise, you may find yourself heading down a slippery slope of inactivity or procrastination due to distraction. Ideally, you want a space where your work can stay. Depending on your living situation this might mean creating an office in the corner of your dining room or setting up a desk in a guest room. A card table & chair in a sunny spot can be a makeshift office – if it works, it works! Areas that should always be avoided include private spaces, such as the bedroom. This is for many reasons, including maintaining separation from work and home, as well the risk of decreasing your quality of sleep. Office hours are also important – with set break times – let your family or partner know what time you are at work and leave personal tasks like household chores for personal time.
Transition Your Commute
If you’re used to having a drive to work every day, you may unknowingly be enjoying a buffer where you can shift your mindset from personal to professional, or vice versa. If this aspect of your routine was important to you, take the time to find a healthy replacement that allows this transition. One tip is to “walk” to work, going for a walk around your neighborhood before and after your workday. Additionally, taking a shower or changing your clothes can help you shift from your workday to personal life.
Take Care of Pressing Personal Needs
You already know how impossible it can be to focus on work when you are stressing. Whether your mind is lingering on the groceries you need to buy, an appointment you need to make, and so on. It might even be a more pressing matter, like feeling unsupported by your partner, leaving your anxiety spinning out of control. This is where set office hours can really help – when you know you have an upcoming lunch break or afternoon coffee break, you know you have time to tackle these stressors while still managing your work responsibilities (similarity to how you might balance personal errands during a day at the office).
Be Realistic (and gentle) With your Productivity Levels
Shifting to work from home is a big transition and requires a lot of change. Change is challenging to humans and until you can adjust to your new routine, you will not be as productive as you used to be. You need to give yourself the time to create new systems for your new way of working. This may include learning new platforms or software and that takes time. Go into this shift knowing that things will be different and that it will be okay.
Trust when you need to Adjust
The best way to maintain a routine is to keep adjusting and tweaking it over time. Your routine needs to adjust with seasonal changes, life changes and work changes. Sometimes things stop working as well as they once did – it’s time to uplevel and try something new or let stuff go. Tap into your self-awareness and instinct to know what right for you. Keep in mind maintaining a routine is most of all about the intention to do and less about the exact actions you take every day.
Trying to maintain a routine during a sudden shift is not only difficult, but it can send you into a total tailspin. Not everyone is equipped to handle these situations, and we want to help. Our Business Coaching and Consulting will assist you in overcoming mindset hurdles to set you on a clear path with prioritized goals. Let’s get started today! Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.