With so many people working from home all of a sudden, many of whom have never done that before this week, there is a lot of advice being offered about keeping your "regular routines" and treating your days as if you were just going to work.
As someone who has worked from home successfully for a long time, I would love to offer you a thought that is a bit contrary to that advice (and may rock your world in a good way).
Right now, you have a chance to change up your routine...intentionally.
The key word here is intentionally.
If it helps you to do exactly the same routine you do every single day of your working life, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are doing it because you are simply on auto-pilot, that is an awful reason to keep doing it!
You have an opportunity right now to change it up a bit! You have an opportunity to be less stressed while being more productive, more effective, and more efficient by NOT doing the same things you always do.
One thing that so many people are going to learn over the next several weeks is how much time is wasted within a typical work day.
It is so easy to get into the habit of doing the same thing over and over and over again, that you stop thinking about doing it differently. That auto-pilot is often what leads to frustration, stress, boredom, lack of caring anymore and the inability to be a problem solver in the workplace.
Right now, you don't have to jump out of bed, rush to get yourself ready for the day, get the kids ready for school, pack lunches, run interference with your entire household because you are running late and rush, rush, rush to still be late and stressed once you finally get to work.
Take advantage of that!!!
Give yourself permission to chill out a bit, learn a different rhythm, and find more calm and less stress beginning right now.
Don't take my word for it (and don't say it won't work for you until you DO it); jump in and mix things up just a little bit. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Schedule your social media time (You're going to scroll through it anyway! By scheduling specific times during the day to do just that, you give yourself permission AND make it easier to get back out of it because it has an end time. You take control of it instead of it taking control of you!)
- Get up and meditate for five minutes (Do not knock this! Doing this consistently will not only change your brain and life forever, but you will be amazed at how much better you get at responding instead of reacting throughout your day. There are many free apps you can use.)
- Start your morning with a walk (or at least go outside and breathe in some fresh air for at least a few minutes.)
- Read a book you have been wanting to read for 15 minutes before you jump in to work
- Take time to make yourself breakfast
- Put in a load of laundry before you start a meeting (One of the cool things about working from home is you get to do effective multi-tasking! People say the laundry isn't going to do itself - wrong! Throw a load in while you are working and it's ready to be tossed in the dryer whenever you are done.)
- Anytime you start to feel stressed, sit back, take a breath, and remind yourself how lucky you are to be able to work from home, still get a paycheck, and still make a difference for people. (Gratitude is a great way to calm yourself!)