We all know working from home can be both a blessing and a curse.
Gone are the days of commuting to the office, and in are the days where you roll out of bed and hop onto the computer, right?!
For the majority of us, working from home requires a lot of willpower and developing loads of healthy habits to stay on top of work and home life together.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by household chores, friends and family and find the motivation to get on with the hard work tasks that simply need to get done.
So to help, I’ve put together 5 work from home tips and healthy habits that you can start implementing in your working life.
Develop a morning routine
I’ve heard it a million times, to get the most of your work from home life, a little discipline goes a long way.
However, where I differ is I’m not encouraging you to get up at 4 am, do some yoga, make a smoothie, journal, and meditate.
Instead, I believe in a simple and tailored approach that’s tailored to you.
A routine is simply something you do over and over again to flip the switch in your brain to tell you it’s time to get into ‘work mode’.
For you that might mean waking at 7 am, making a cup of coffee and reading.
For someone else, it might mean waking at 6 am, getting your kids ready for school, dropping them off, and then unwinding before work with a hot drink and a book.
Experiment and find a routine that works for your unique situation.
Need a few extra tips?
These articles should give you some morning routine inspiration:
- How to Create a Slow Morning Routine for Quiet Days
- How to Use Meditation in Your Self-Care Morning Routine
Open windows even in the winter
We’re spending more and more time indoors and because of this, our indoor air quality is suffering.
“Indoor air pollution is dust, dirt or gases in the air inside a building such as your home or workplace that harms us if we breathe it in.”British Lung Foundation
What’s more, if you have any kind of lung disease such as asthma, then you’re indoor air quality should be something to take seriously.
“Indoor air is often 10 times more polluted than outdoor air and as people spend 90% of their time indoors the importance of indoor air quality is critical to health and wellbeing.”Air Quality News
One of the simplest things you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to open your windows.
Even in the cold months, for just a few hours a day, you could vastly improve the air quality in your home.
Once you do it, you’ll realise how heavy your air was and as a bonus, the new fresh air will give you a boost, trust me.
Although if you struggle to get this done, an easy alternative is to buy an air purifier. These make a massive difference to the air quality in your home and don’t have to cost your life savings.
I have this very air purifier in my bedroom and it does a wonderful job (this is coming from someone who has asthma):
Move your body
I like to keep things simple, so the next healthy habit is determined by you.
If you’re working from home, chances are you’re not moving from your desk very often.
The fact is, the human body was not built to withstand this much sitting.
Depending on your ability and desire, anything from a few desk stretches, to a lunchtime walk would give your body and your brain the boost it needs to keep those creative juices flowing.
Because let’s be real, the last thing we’re all thinking about when working is doing 50 lunges or rolling out a dusty yoga mat.
When you’re working on a project, writing, or generally doing any kind of absorbing task, it’s easy to lose track of time.
The last thing you want is to be working so hard that you miss a valuable snack or coffee break.
Set a rough schedule for yourself and stick notifications on your phone to remind you.
Or if you’re a bit more analogue, write it in your to-do list to take breaks at certain times of the day.
Here’s mine as an example:
- 11 am – coffee break (snack if required)
- 12 noon – lunch
- 3 pm – snack break or simply walk around a bit
“Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative.”Psychology Today
Even if you’re not hungry or would rather keep working, these breaks act as a switch in your mind to take a break.
Your brain simply can’t keep working for hours straight, give it a rest and give your body some fuel.
Remove your distractions
It’s no surprise that when we’re working from home it’s almost impossible not to get distracted.
In fact, it’s the reason why we’re developing these healthy habits in the first place.
Raise your hand if any of these distractions apply to you:
- Social media
- Friends messaging you
- Family ringing you
- Family in the room with you (I’m talking about you, kids)
- Unwashed dishes
- Other people’s clutter
- Your own clutter
- Anything and everything that isn’t your work
Yeah, I raised my hand multiple times too!
The fact is, we can never remove 100% of our work from home distractions.
After all, we are working from home, not a remote cabin in the woods. But we can reduce that list significantly.
If social media is your problem, remove the apps from your phone.
Is it email?
Schedule to read at only certain times of the day.
If it’s friends and family, start setting boundaries with them.
If it’s household mess and chores, ask your family to help, or schedule in time to clear your space.
After all, your home is your office, it needs to be treated as one.
Your turn: what habits will you develop while working from home?
Creating healthy habits for your work from home life can be difficult, especially if you’re just starting out, or things have gotten out of hand.
If this is the case, I recommend starting with just one of these and implementing the changes over the course of a few weeks. Then add another.
Be patient, your ideal work from home life will take time to happen.
If you have any healthy habits you think make your working life easier, leave them in the comments and let’s chat.
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Lori @ CircleSquareOval11th October 2019 at 4:31 PM
Excellent, excellent information! People too often forget that working at home is *still* working! I am fortunate that my dog is very good about letting me know when it’s time to take a break, either for walks or just a few minutes of playtime. I do have to watch for “avoiding” behaviors – either finding chores to do to avoid “work”, or working too much to avoid household responsibilities! I like your suggestions, particularly in relations to removing distractions.
Gina Lucia12th October 2019 at 4:39 PM
Yes exactly, I have cats and they’re exactly the same. Although sometimes they push their luck ?
MJ | Barbed Wire & Lace11th October 2019 at 7:09 PM
Gina, these are all things I’ve struggled with since working from home.
I have very little discipline as far as habit go and my ‘personal boundaries’ are what I would describe as ‘weak’ (at best).
I’ve recently had to tell friends & family that I work from 9-5, so if it’s an emergency, they can call me twice and get through my call blocker (I don’t have one… I just made it up).
I even started setting alarms like “It’s 10am, time to get ready to meditate’ and “It’s 12, if you haven’t peed yet, go pee”
I feel silly doing it, but it’s a necessity. If I don’t do it, I don’t get anything done.
Never thought about opening the windows, though! I LOVE that idea! It’s Fall here in Georgia, so I am gonna open em all up and let my lungs and brain enjoy the breeze!!
Thank you for this! It got my gears turning! <3
Gina Lucia12th October 2019 at 4:38 PM
Sometimes I write some really silly things on my to-do list like ‘shower’ or ‘move around’ I think we all do it honestly!
Ana3rd April 2020 at 10:15 PM
I loved your blog! I got here by Pinterest.
Gina Lucia4th April 2020 at 7:42 PM
That’s brilliant, thanks so much!
pdw5th April 2020 at 8:23 PM
Stalking you, I see you are in Bristol, where “cold days” are 8-9C. That’s lovely fall/spring weather. Where I live, “cold days” are -35C. Leaving my window open on a day like that will freeze my pipes. Even without opening it, I sometimes still need gloves on inside the house to type on a day like that.
Gina Lucia6th April 2020 at 10:14 AM
Aha, well in that case, maybe an air purifier would suit you well?
Karen Baradas14th April 2020 at 6:29 PM
Develop a morning routine. It took me time to adjust. Great article!
Gina Lucia14th April 2020 at 7:14 PM
Thank you! So glad you found it useful.
Nik18th April 2020 at 10:53 AM
Nice post, very well written. It’s helpful and informative. I have also been writing posts about work from home life balance. Since I have developed a perfect work from home routine, I want to encourage others too. I am happy I came across your post. Thanks for sharing!
Rippy27th May 2020 at 7:12 AM
I loved your blog and I can relate to many things you mentioned.
Gina Lucia27th May 2020 at 11:45 AM
Mary Jane Estacio19th June 2020 at 5:05 PM
Wow! This is really helpful as a newbie for work from home. I also started writing on my website, maybe I’ll continue it and will base it on my journey as WFH Mom.
Gina Lucia20th June 2020 at 4:09 PM
That sounds wonderful Mary!
Loi23rd January 2021 at 12:04 PM
I love this blog post so much! For some reason, even if I have been doing this work-from-home thing, I still cannot seem to balance work and life! But articles like this help me so much and it reminds me of what I should do and start doing. I know that it takes 21 days before you can create a habit but just like you said, I can always start little steps at a time. I am your avid reader from now on! Keep posting! ? ?
Gina Lucia25th January 2021 at 9:05 AM
Ah I’m so glad you’re enjoying the articles. You’re right, little steps will get you there!
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