Even if you don’t typically thrive on a strict schedule, having a routine can be helpful in times of unpredictability, uncertainty, and stress. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically altered many people’s normal routines, which makes it that much harder to cope with the stress that people are feeling. Those working at home may quickly discover that the constant isolation and lack of a normal schedule can be mentally taxing.
One way to get out of this cycle is to maintain some structure and routine throughout your day.
When working from home without structure, it’s easy to fall into a trap of becoming lackadaisical. Use a planner, invest in apps that help with productivity. Use your planner to organize an overarching schedule for your day or plan tasks out hour-by-hour. Planners are also helpful in keeping track of your to-do lists, along with your schedule, in one location.
Don’t just roll out of bed and hop on a Zoom call, try to establish a morning routine to help kick off your day. Try dressing in real clothes, get up at the same time every day, try to begin the day with self-care and mindfulness. You can also create an evening routine by implementing similar processes.
Not only do consistent wake-up and bedtimes add stability to your life, but you are more likely to sleep better, which leads to many health benefits. If you find implementing a consistent sleep schedule into your routine difficult, try:
Implement breaks into your work-from-home ritual—and make them consistent. Eating lunch around the same time every day helps with sticking with a routine, along with implementing a break into the afternoon.
Part of creating a healthy work-from-home routine is finding a healthy work-life balance. Set “work hours” for your daily tasks and meetings; when those hours are up, stop yourself from working through your office to-do list or checking work emails. As you build your work-from-home routine, make sure it isn’t just work; you need time for the things and people you love.
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