Our team shares their working-from-home routines and strategies to stay effective while working remotely.March 16, 2021
Whenever my kid was bored, I would tell him: “Being bored is a luxury. We are the most creative when we’re bored. Wait 10 minutes and you will definitely think of something fun to do.”
It’s been a year since we all started social distancing… and I guess that now is the time to start taking my own advice!
Though all of us at The Remote Company have our fair share of experience working from home, it’s not always easy. There are times when we get lonely, unproductive, distracted, or discouraged. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to work remotely, instead, each person has to figure out what works best for them personally.
To help you create a remote routine of your own, I asked the team at The Remote Company to share their best practices on how to stay sane while working from home. Take these tips as inspiration to find the best routine for you!
Technical Content Writer
How I stay sane: Sometimes I don't. It's not always laptop stands and iced lattes in the afternoon sun. But I'm careful to remind myself that it's perfectly normal to fall into a slump sometimes; especially during lockdown.
To keep my energy levels high and optimism intact, I try to start my day with 10-30 minutes of exercise. Whether it be a super intense core workout from Rebecca-Louise or a gentle yoga flow from SaraBethYoga, I always feel better on the days I make time for this.
Then, if I find myself losing focus during the day, instead of forcing my way through the fog I'll take 5 minutes away from my screen to play with the dog or have a quick stretch and reset. My goal is to facilitate my productivity, not force it.
How I stay sane: I like when I’m consistent at what I’m doing, so I consistently follow 4 fairly simple rules to keep myself sane while working from home.
1. Have a routine. The days when I do follow my routine are the most productive working days and days when I feel the best in my own skin. My personal routine includes a morning routine of waking up early, exercising, showering, taking care of my flowers, meditation, preparing breakfast and then starting work. Later in the day, mostly at the same time, I prepare and have lunch, then continue working. I tend not to have highly strict plans for the period after work, so this is when I give myself the freedom to choose what I want to do every day. I sometimes go for a walk, other days I read, paint, watch TV, cook, etc.
2. Keep yourself organized. I do this by having a to-do list and multiple reminders throughout the days.
3. Never work in bed.
4. Never wear pyjamas while working.
The last two are the rules that I follow without any exceptions, because they make me draw the line between relaxing time and working time.
How I stay sane: I normally work from cafes and I love the buzz of having people around me. It helps me concentrate and calms my mind as there’s no room for #fomo (which as an ENFP, I have often).
Now that I’m social distancing and homebound, I get my energy out by starting the day dancing to my favorite jams (like GoldLink’s “U Say”) and doing workout videos with my mom (MadFit on YouTube). Dance breaks are a good way to get out of your head and re-find your motivation and concentration.
Digital Advertising Manager
How I stay sane: I find early mornings and late afternoons to be my most productive moments, so I often allow myself a nap in between.
Whenever I feel stuck, I usually do a small 10-minute task (sorting laundry, doing my dishes or getting an ice-cream) and get back to work straight after. I get instant gratification from doing a little task and it motivates me to start a work-related task. It’s like a Pomodoro timer (which helps a lot too!).
On bad days when my head is refusing to get to work, I practice the 2-minute rule to kick-off my workday. Giving myself a work-related task that takes less than 2 minutes to do puts me in work mode.
How I stay sane: I like to create a daily schedule the day before so I can balance work with life. Productivity usually comes in 90-minute increments, so I plan 30-minute activities after each 90-minute work session.
For me, it works best to do 4-5 pods a day, such as:
Work and coffee break (catch up on the news)
Work and exercise
Work and lunch
Work and personal time (read, meet a friend, listen to a podcast, play a video game or meditate)
Work and plan the next day
How I stay sane: My best workdays are the days where I stick to my routine, which begins with a solid morning routine.
After waking up, I throw my workout clothes on and exercise for about 30-40 minutes. If my sports schedule calls for a rest day, I still wake up early and change into my gym clothes but I meditate instead.
After that, I start getting ready for work. Which means, doing my hair and makeup, and not putting my PJs back on. This whole process not only wakes me up but also puts me in the mindset that I'm "going to work."
To keep myself organized and on track, I also jot down work and personal tasks that I'd like or need to complete that day.
How I stay sane: My advice for working from home is to separate my workstation from other parts of the house. I have a desk in a separate room, and sometimes I even wear different clothes when “going to work.” I try to do anything so that my body and mind feel like they’re in a different state. When my work is done for the day, I switch to my off-mode and get to relax for the rest of the evening.
Have a routine, especially a solid morning routine
Get ready for work as if you’re going to the office (avoid wearing pyjamas!)
Plan breaks after each work session
Add some movement into your schedule so you’re not sitting down all-day
Create a separate space for work
Make sure you plan activities throughout the day when you unplug and enjoy life, whether that’s through dancing, exercising, cooking, reading a book or meditating
What's your strategy for staying sane when working from home? Share below!
We share our real experiences and actionable advice on how to work remotely and grow your remote business. Subscribe with your email.