If during a normal morning you’d brush your teeth, shower and down a bagel and coffee before heading out the door, then you should do all of those things before you start your day at home. It’s easy to check your email as soon as you roll out of bed, but instead by giving yourself time for a regular morning routine before diving in will give your workday a clearer starting point. Some even advocate for implementing a fake commute into your schedule to further mentally segment your workday from your downtime.
Can’t Work Without a Workspace
In our previous blog we discussed the importance of ergonomics during WFH, but beyond the physical benefits of a comfortable place to work, having a dedicated space is similarly good for creating the mental division between work and home. Letting work intrude on your space too much will make it feel like you can’t get away from it. The best scenario would be a desk in a separate room, but that’s not always possible so you can even use a spot at the kitchen table you don’t normally sit at. Doing this can also help your home life from intruding on your work—it can be distracting when you can see your unfolded laundry and other chores waiting in your eye-line.
Gimme a Break
Be sure to take regular breaks and your full lunch break like you normally would. There are laws in place to make sure employers don’t force their employees to work too long without a break, but when we’re managing ourselves it’s easy to just keep powering through. It somehow feels like you’re breaking the rules by taking a full hour for lunch and relaxing while at home, but lunch breaks are necessary to help you stay productive in the afternoon. Read a book. Go for a walk. Call your mom. And don’t guilt yourself for taking your regular break. Remember: you’re just recharging to be at your best for the rest of your day.
One of the invisible benefits of working at the office is the mental separation it provides from everything else. But with planning and adhering to the structure you create you can recreate that division in a WFH setup.