It’s not true that 24 hours are not enough for us to work, rest, and play. While all feelings regarding the work-from-home setup are valid—it feels hard because it is hard—there are factors within our control to make it a little easier. Here are some tips and pointers for making the most out of your twenty-four hours.
Set your alarm early in the morning, and don’t hit the snooze button.
Experts that waking up early is incredibly beneficial for us mentally, emotionally, and physically. It allows us to spend more time preparing healthier food. It gives us more hours to exercise, enhances our productivity, improves our focus and attention span, and allows us to finish work early. So when you set your alarm, make a resolution to not hit the snooze button and honor your commitment to spending your day early. It will influence your mood and level of accomplishment for the rest of the day.
Plan a healthy morning routine that you know you can commit to.
Set a realistic but still healthy morning routine. The reason so many people fail so quickly is that they make too many changes too soon. Start simple: Wake up, brush your teeth, do some stretching, maybe do some light reading. And once you have gotten that easy routine down pat, you can move on to another level of commitment—adding some strenuous exercise routines, doing deep meditation or a longer prayer time, and cooking healthier meals. Take it one step at a time so that you have more chances of succeeding with the morning goals you set for yourself.
Do some work during your actual work hours or shift.
If your work schedule is 9-5, then make it a point to do your work during those hours. Condition your mind and your body that those are the hours you should be most productive where your work tasks are concerned. Procrastinating and cramming can affect the quality of your output, and at the same time, will wire your brain and body into working hours before you should be sleeping.
Take 5-minute breaks every 25-30 minutes.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed over everything you have to do, focus on your work for 25 to 30 minutes, and take 5-minute breaks in between. Working non-stop for hours may strain our eyes, induce a headache, and drain our energy. Combat this by allowing yourself to stretch a little, walk around the house, and get a healthy snack in between those 25-30 minutes of work.
Make use of productivity apps.
There’s an app called Forest, which allows the user to plant trees if they can work for a set amount of time without tinkering with their phones. When they leave the app, it means they were distracted and used their phones for something else, and the tree dies. It’s a good way to motivate yourself to focus on one task, and here’s a wonderful kicker: Forest has also partnered up with the non-profit Trees For the Future to plant real trees around the world with the credits that the users gain. There are many apps like this in the market to help you fight your short attention span or phone and social media addiction.
Alternate between cooking, meal planning, and having food delivered.
One of the things that add to our work-from-home stress is our meals—a problem that we didn’t really have when we were in the office. Not only is it incredibly stressful to keep thinking about what meals you and your family will consume on a day-to-day basis and actually cooking those meals, but it can also take up so much of our time. Allow yourself some variety by alternating between cooking, meal planning, and delivery. You can cook a simple but nutritious meal set one day and have sumptuous Indian food delivered the next. One weekend, you can also allow yourself some time to plan your meals.
Spread out your non-work errands.
Don’t squeeze in everything you have to do during weekdays. Put first things first—if work responsibilities are your priority during weekdays, do the groceries or clean the house on weekends or during your days off. Don’t pressure yourself into finishing tasks you don’t need to finish just yet—allow yourself some time to finish certain tasks before you move on to the next.
Make Time for Play at the End of Your Day
And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to set aside time for leisure. Set aside time out of your day to catch up with your friends and family via Zoom, or by playing some video and mobile games and bingeing your favorite show on Netflix. Don’t deprive yourself of fun and entertainment—think of it as your reward for working hard.