Not sure how to stay productive at home? You’re not alone, and the issue can be a real doozie. But if you find yourself spending more of your workday staring into the fridge than at your computer, ask yourself these 6 questions.
1. Have you created a designated workspace?
You don’t need an office with a giant mahogany desk, but you do need clear space with a comfortable chair at the very least.
Humans are creatures of habit, so creating a physical space that you use specifically to do your work in will help your brain to click into gear.
Bonus: tidy up your space at the end of the working day. Decluttering your space can also help to declutter your mind.
Humans are creatures of habit, so creating a physical space to do your work in will help your brain click into gear.
2. Are you getting dressed?
One of the great bonuses of working from home is the ability to work all day in your PJs. But for many people, slothing around in a fluffy robe isn’t conducive to productivity. If this is you, getting dressed into actual clothes is a good idea.
Bonus: add some extra grooming to the ‘getting dressed’ process - do your hair, wear a splash of your favourite scent, and any other touches you would normally do when you head into the workplace.
Without a clear schedule, you may find yourself in a fuzz of always at work and never at work.
3. Are you following a schedule?
Without a clear schedule, you may find yourself in a fuzz of always being at work while never actually being at work. So, grab your device or notepad and plan out your day. Then follow it as best you can throughout the day. Aim for ‘good’, not ‘perfect’ though.
Bonus: read our tips on scheduling your day with a work-life planner.
4. Are you eating healthy food?
If your snack-from-home days (sorry, we mean work-from-home days) feel a little unstructured on the food front, you’re not alone. But eating good food at the right times can be both physically and mentally beneficial. So put down the pizza pockets and make yourself a real lunch. (Of course, you can always have some pizza pockets if you really feel like it - it’s all about balance!)
Bonus: pack your meals with brain-healthy foods to give yourself the best chance of success.
Sunlight helps your brain to produce melatonin, improve your mood and produce vitamin D.
5. Are you getting any sunlight?
Think of yourself as an incredibly complex plant: one that needs sunlight to thrive. Whenever you have a chance, get outside and soak up some rays!
Sunlight triggers your body to produce vitamin D and may help to improve your mood by increasing serotonin production. Disclaimer: we’re not encouraging you to sunbake without SPF and good sun protection - Slip, Slop, Slap, be responsible and make good decisions!
Bonus: read our how to be happy in life tips for more info on the science of sunlight.
6. Are you clocking off?
Clocking off work when your day is done is a great feeling. You shouldn’t miss out on it just because you’re working from home. So, finish up, switch off your computer and turn off any notifications that may lure you back to the screen.
Bonus: take this moment as an opportunity to move your body a bit - just like walking to the train station or your car would.
Boundaries are fun
If you answered yes to all of these questions, congratulations! Your prize is a brain that’s far more likely to be productive. If you didn’t, get started now. Chances are that you’ll feel far better for it.
For more information, read our deep dive on how to be more productive. Enjoy!
Reviewed by healthylife Advisory Board July 21, 2021.