Due to current events, many people are now working from home. While many of us have dreamed of the idea of working from home, now that it’s a reality, we realize the many challenges of this lifestyle. That is why this month we are going to be highlighting some important strategies to reduce your stress and overwhelm and make you more productive.
The most important strategy is to create a routine and stick to it. Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When you wake up, resist the urge to stay in your pajamas. Wear what you would wear to work, it will help prime your brain for when you start working. Building a solid routine allows you to get into work mode much more easily.
As you go through your day, try to make a win out of everything you do. Make your bed right after you get up, change out of your pajamas quickly, etc. Connect these wins into a winning streak. Start small and build as you go through your day. This helps you create momentum. Feeling productive will make you want to stay productive, while feeling lazy makes it hard to get things done.
Don’t forget to exercise. Although it may seem hard to exercise indoors, you can get a great workout with no equipment. Jumping jacks, pushups, core exercises, and other calisthenics can get your blood flowing and build muscle from the comfort of your home. If you have others at home with you, such as kids or parents, get them involved and make a game out of it.
Create a to-do list. There are countless ways you can do this from writing a list with pen and paper, to a notes app, or an app specifically for task management. Choose what works best for you and stick to it. Try to keep all tasks in one place so nothing slips through the cracks. Create a new list every morning and at the end of the day review your progress. You can move unfinished tasks to the next day. This allows you to evaluate how much you accomplished and compare that day to day. You can also use checklists to set larger goals for the week and review them every Sunday. This allows you to evaluate your week in a more detailed way. If you don’t get everything done, be flexible and kind to yourself. This is a new work environment for everyone.
The above strategies give you energy, help you track your progress and keep you productive throughout the week. While it is important to focus on your work while staying at home, it is also important to allow your breaks to truly be breaks.
That’s why our final strategies are to disconnect and change your mindset. Although it might be tempting, because your work is so close, allow yourself to disconnect at the end of the day. Stop what has been deemed “Work Creep” because it wants to ‘creep’ into other parts of your life. Once you finish the workday, close your computer, turn off your notifications, and choose a relaxing activity to take your mind off work.
Plan fun into your day or short breaks to sit in the garden, open the doors, and get some fresh air. Play with your pets, which are a wonderful source of comfort for so many during this stressful time.
Finally, focus on the positive. Many of us have been through many ups and downs and we know that things will get better. Changing our frame of reference can help lower stress levels. Watch less TV and keep a gratitude journal instead, because even in hard times, there is always so much to be grateful for. Just put your focus on those areas.
When we feel stressed, it is because we feel out of control so take back control with some of the strategies offered, and look for ways to help others such as calling neighbors, checking on friends and family, or offering to do shopping or make meals for seniors. In the most difficult of times, it is always the good that comes out of it that is inspiring.
Be kind to yourself, show patience, and give yourself permission to just do your best under these new circumstances. Tomorrow is another day, and we get to start over fresh.
I hope that we will look back on this time with humor, good memories of having dinner together as a family, setting up forts in the living room, and taking a time out from the stress of the outside world. This too will pass but let’s take the lessons learned with us moving forward.
I hope these strategies make your time indoors more productive and enjoyable.
Please be reassured that, even if we are working from home, we are still on the job managing your property, reassuring tenants, and communicating with everyone in this ever-changing environment. We are here to support you during this difficult time.