Working from home
I don’t know about you but I am finding it increasingly hard to keep a balance going as this global pandemic continues and all types of businesses are forced to continue to adapt their usual and comforting routine for a new way of life; with the vast majority of people still working from home and struggling to juggle home life, children and work.
Now don’t get me wrong the prospect of ‘Working from home’ with no help with the children and the dog one hundred percent fill me with a sense of dread. There is plenty of joy thrown into the mix, we are all loving the extra time that we are getting to spend together and with a lot fewer timelines attached it is without a shadow of a doubt more relaxing. However, to remain at all productive in this situation required a slight change in mindset, an altered work-style and a lot of individual adjustments to the normal weekly structure.
Here are a few tips on how we are managing to cope:
QUIET SPOT AWAY FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE
Try and find your own quiet little spot, preferably with good light and enough space. The bedroom or sofa is not ideal, these are subconsciously known to us as our relaxation spaces and shouldn’t double up as a workspace. This work area can double-up as a sanctuary during out-of-work times, a place for you to relax and soak up a good book or magazine.
EMBARK ON A HOUSE PROJECT
Fill your spare time by embarking on that house project that’s remained on your to-do list for the last gazillion years. Maybe, start with some decluttering, re-arranging some furniture or hanging a few pictures. Or, if you are feeling brave and in the mood for something bolder consider taking a leaf out of Shanade Mc Allister Fishers book and add a defined colour palette to one of your rooms.
TAKE YOUR JIM-JAMS OFF
Now this one may sound a little obvious! However, I am hearing stories on the grapevine that many are finding it hard to peel themselves from their pyjamas any time before lunch. This is a terrible idea! Looking good or a least getting dressed will put you in the right headspace to concentrate and it will help you differentiate between your free-time and time to work.
Who remembers someone telling them that sitting by a fire is good for the soul? In fact, there’s nothing more relaxing, soothing and soul-lifting than chilling in front of a roaring fire. And, I know I have read somewhere that sitting down to relax by a lite fire actually decreases our blood pressure.
9 TO 5
If we can’t all take a cue from Dolly Parton and work 9 to 5, we should at least create a work schedule and stick to the set hours required to maintain our workload. I know from experience that working from home can easily lead to either too much or too little actually getting done. It can be tempting to work through lunch, procrastinate whilst making your tenth cup of tea or even set up camp in bed to quickly finish off a few last tasks. Try hard to pretend you are at work and do your best to stick to your schedule like glue.
CHAT, CHAT AND CHAT
It is imperative that we keep in touch with people via as many different channels as we can. Try to have your morning meeting on zoom, keep in touch clients via the phone and WhatsApp as many different people as you can manage. This may be the only time in our lives that we get these moments to evaluate, we should all be concentrating on nurturing new ideas that will have us at the forefront of our field when we return. Feeling isolated is going to make you feel low and as a result, your mind will not be as dynamic. Try partnering up with a friend: chat about what you are planning for your day, discuss ideas or even do a few brainstorming activities together; and most importantly try and laugh about some of the things that are not going the way you had planned.
Perhaps an obvious start, but one that can make a real impact when you are spending a lot more time at home. Clearing surfaces is a great way to take a room back to basics and help decide what will dress the space to its full potential
GET YOUR BODY MOVING
Whatever takes your fancy, just get moving! Go out for a walk with the dog, start some morning yoga or utilise things around your home to create your own HIT class. Anything at all that will get your blood pumping and your endorphins flowing. Trust me you will feel better for it!
GET SOME QUIET
It is important that you have some quiet time to think, the noise will only cloud your judgement, shatter your attention span and make you less productive. If you are on your own it may feel lonely to sit in complete silence, a non-invasive radio station on low should still allow your work-time to remain constructive.
FLICKER OF CANDLELIGHT
Candles are not only known for their soothing and healing properties, the flicker of candlelight creates an ambience that cannot be replicated by any other artificial light. Aromatherapy candles can aid you in relaxing, feeling calm, relieving stress or becoming more energized and help you become more productive and focused.
Try your best to eat well and be strict with your temptations to graze your way through the day. Commit to having a substantial and nutritious breakfast and a well-portioned lunch to give you enough energy to stop you diving into the fridge every few hours.
RESTRICT THE NEWS
It can be tempting to keep looking for an update. However, if you are following the rules then scaring yourself on the hour with worrying headlines is not going to do you any good or change your destiny. Take care, be safe and try to only have one daily update.
SOAK AND RELAX
Last but not least – take time for yourself. If you can get a carefully curated schedule in place, then you should have more ‘me’ time than ever. Use the time you are normally driving the kids to school to have an extra 30 minutes in bed, utilise the afternoons you would usually be at an after school club to fit in a meditation session and just try and embrace this situation as opposed to wishing it away. Or, what better way to relax than soaking in a hot tub? I’m imaging a heritage freestanding bath, my favourite magazine and a few essential oils.
BE SOCIAL, BUT NOT TOO SOCIAL!
The high levels of activity on all social media platforms at the moment can lead us to spend hours upon hours staring at our phones. Consider using a social media management tool so that you can set aside time just once a week to keep socially up-to-date instead of spending every waking moment online.