Steps to a Successful Long-Term Remote Work Routine
When you imagined working from home, you likely thought of the many perks that come with it. You wouldn’t have to commute anymore, risk catching the seasonal office flu or spend your time packing lunches at night. It’s comfortable and exciting to work from home, but eventually, everyone needs some structure.
If you feel like your work-life balance needs a little help or you want to prep before starting a new role, check out these steps to a successful long-term remote work routine. With a few quick changes to your day, you’ll see positive results in your productivity and overall happiness:
Find Your Motivation
Think about why you want to make a work-from-home routine. What’s the motivation behind your determination? Finding this motivation will help you stick to your schedule once the newness wears off. After you figure out what drives you, write it down where you can see it every day. You’ll always remind yourself why you initially wanted this routine and value the changes you’ve made.
Add Frequent Breaks
Structure can result in improved productivity, but not if you push yourself too hard. Workplace burnout can result in adverse physical and mental symptoms, even if you work at home.
Studies have shown that taking frequent breaks increases your daily productivity because they energize and refocus you. Find a few minutes in the morning and afternoon to walk away from your computer, stretch and even breathe fresh air. You’ll return to your desk ready to work and conquer your to-do list.
Create an Office Space
Sometimes it’s a struggle to maintain a long-term work-from-home job if the environment isn’t right. Sitting in front of the TV doesn’t motivate you the same way as sitting at a desk does.
Find an area of your home and create an office space. It’s one of the best work-from-home routine tips you can use to improve your daily life. Set up a desk, chair and some decor to make a place that hones your focus and keys you into your job. Your workspace should have a clear purpose so it doesn’t feel like you’re hanging out at home whenever you enter your office.
Limit Your Distractions
If you find yourself browsing through social media feeds instead of completing your work, you should limit your daily distractions. Turn on the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone to limit who can call you while you’re on the clock.
You can also look into social media blockers for your computer and phone. They’ll allow you to set time limits during work hours so you can only access the sites while you’re on your breaks. Even if you’re only on them for a minute or two at a time, those minutes add up to wasted hours of potential every week.
Fuel Yourself With Healthy Food
You might not feel productive while working from home because you have constant access to all the junk food in your house. Instead of filling your cabinets with chips, candy and processed food, eat a healthy diet instead. Nutritious meals and snacks will give you the energy you need to keep up with your work demands and stay focused on sticking with your routine.
Remember Your Mental Health
It’s easy to make excuses for heightened stress and anxiety while you work from home. After all, you’re always in your living space, so life can’t be that hard. In reality, you shouldn’t neglect your mental health no matter where you work, so consider your daily struggles to figure out where to start.
When you know what you’re dealing with, you can maintain your mental health by adding moderate exercises to your week or getting more sleep. When your mind is engaged, fueled and recharged every morning, your thriving mental health will become part of your remote work routine.
Separate Your Personal Life
It’s tempting to work in bed while you lounge in your pajamas every day, but you should keep your work and personal life separate. Your brain will more easily dive into your tasks when you enter your office or boot up your laptop on the porch because it’s where you always clock in. When you work in one or two places around your home, it’s easier to relax everywhere else after hours.
Stick to Your Schedule
After you figure out the specifics of your remote work routine, sticking to your schedule might be the most challenging adjustment you’ll make. It will take time to create new habits. Psychologists found that it takes 66 days to form habits, so it could take you more than a few weeks to solidify your routine.
Give Yourself Time
The most important way to make a successful long-term work-from-home routine is to give yourself time. Stay motivated to use whichever tips that will help you form a daily structure. After a few days or weeks, working from home will feel like a natural part of your life.
This guest post was authored by Alyssa Abel
Alyssa Abel is a college and career writer who offers advice on strategies to success. Read more of her work on her blog, Syllabusy.