Ezra, one of the leading global providers of digital coaching, has revealed some of their top tips on maintaining and maximising professional and personal wellbeing during December, as the latest tier restrictions keep many working from home with the additional stress of the looming Christmas period.
Working from home can be great but it can also blur the lines between personal and professional life which can impact both negatively. As we enter into a new phase of Covid restrictions, many could find themselves starting to struggling with the ‘new norm’ of working and living in the same space.
According to Ezra, normality is the key despite the far from normal circumstances.
Define your time
It’s as important when working from home to define what part of your day is work and what isn’t. We’re all guilty of working more than we should but be sure to stick to your regimented work hours where possible.
Defining parts of your day as work can help with both productivity and motivation and it also helps to keep you in the rhythm of your usual workday. By doing so, you also have clearly defined times to relax or spend with your family which is essential for positive personal wellbeing.
You may not need to get up as early as you did for your commute to the office but maintain a strict schedule in terms of when you start work, when you take a break, when you have lunch and when you finish. The odd lie-in can be tempting, but it can also cause feelings of unease, panic and stress if you fall behind on your workload.
While working, set clear goals for the day and for the week ahead. Having these goals can help visualise what you need to do, prevent you from getting distracted and also bring a well-needed boost at the end of a long week. Make sure you include personal goals, not just professional ones. Aim to take a walk or exercise at the same time every day so that you have something else to work towards and maintain outside of your job.
Define yourself and your space
It might sound odd, but even when you’re working from home try and dress for the occasion. Not necessarily the clothes you would wear to the office, but try and avoid pyjamas, tracksuits and other loungewear. This will help kick your brain into work mode and help maintain a rhythm to your working day that may otherwise have disappeared since working from home.
Having a dedicated workspace is incredibly important to not only boost productivity but to help switch off when the day ends. If you only have the kitchen table to work with, make a point of clearing it of any other clutter for the day ahead and when work is done, pack away your laptop and any other work materials so that the space returns to its original function.
When you are working, let others in the house know that you don’t want to be disturbed and try to minimise any potential distractions as much as possible.
Always try and avoid working from the sofa and from in front of the TV as these will cause productivity to drop.
If possible, position yourself facing a door or window and work in a room with as much natural light as possible. This will do wonders for your personal wellbeing, particularly now the days are getting shorter.
Focus on feeling good
The key to being happy at work is to be happy at home so focussing on yourself is as important as your day to day workload. Maintain social communication, even if it means an impromptu Zoom call with a colleague to catch up and talk about your lockdown experiences.
Don’t try to overwork, it can be tempting while working from home to let work spill over and take up more of your mornings or evenings. But too much work will cause you to burn out and become less productive in the long run, so it’s important you maintain a balance.
Learn to disconnect from the digital world. While messaging friends or checking social media might seem like a break from work, it’s important to give your body and brain a break from the digital world completely.
Finally, be sure to reward yourself when you do reach your goals. A sweet treat, a glass of wine, whatever it may be, it’s important that you recognise your success.