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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many office workers across the globe into pivoting to working from home. While this has been a dream for some and very easy to adapt to, others have really struggled to deal with being away from the office and no longer having their morning routine to stick to.
It’s not easy to motivate yourself to get out of bed every morning if you don’t physically have somewhere to be, especially nowadays when a worker’s commute is typically a few steps rather than a half-hour train or busy morning negotiating traffic. You need to work hard to establish a working from home morning routine.
Fortunately, there is plenty that can be done to help perfect your morning routine whilst working from home. In this article, we outline seven of the best tips that will help you to have a productive and enjoyable day of working from home, five days a week.
1. Stick To A Scheduled Wake Up Time
In the real world, your alarm would sound at the same time every morning, so that shouldn’t change just because you’re now working from home. It’s important to get yourself into a routine when working remotely to ensure that you remain at your most productive and are able to get your work done by 5 o’clock.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work flexible hours too, then getting an early start could also be beneficial, allowing you to get underway earlier than you might typically have done so in the office, enabling you to finish earlier and reclaim more of your afternoon back.
Not much of a morning person? Don’t worry. Simply set your alarm clock and pop it on the other side of your bedroom, then when morning comes, you’ll physically have to get up to turn it off. Problem solved! You can then begin a productive start to the day and get yourself in the right mindset for another day of working from home.
2. Start The Day Right With A Hearty Breakfast
There is nothing worse than rocking up for your first virtual meeting of the day with a rumbling stomach that is almost audible to your laptop’s microphone. Be sure to start the day correctly with a hearty but healthy breakfast that will set you up for what lies ahead.
It’s essential that you get into this sort of habit so that by the time 9 o’clock rolls around – or whenever you start work – you’re fully nourished and ready to go. There’s nothing employers hate more than when employees spend the first half-hour of every day wasting valuable time that they are being paid for spent making or eating breakfast.
Furthermore, working on an empty stomach can prevent you from concentrating properly and significantly sap your energy levels. Therefore, it’s important not to skip breakfast even if you’re not planning on going anywhere or heading into the office while working from home. There’s nothing better than a tasty breakfast like a bacon roll or avocado on toast to boost your mood before a day of home working.
3. Squeeze In Some Physical Activity
If you’re more of an early bird, then this shouldn’t seem like too much of a chore but getting up bright and early means that you should have time to squeeze in some exercise. Physical activity is a great way to get your mind and body going before a day of working from home.
Working out can help sharpen you up and feel more awake, ensuring you’re alert and focused for the day ahead. Plus, with the lack of a commute nowadays, it’s important to get some extra steps in as you would have done on your walk into the office.
Yoga is a fantastic way to start your morning and is proven to improve both your flexibility and mobility – ideal if you’re spending all day sitting at home in the same spot without much consideration for your posture. Yoga has also been proven to reduce stress among people who practice it regularly, allowing them to sleep better and for longer at night as a result. If you’re struggling with burnout while working remotely, then incorporating yoga into your working from home morning routine could help to solve that issue.
4. Get Washed & Dressed As If You Were Leaving The House
There’s no reason for your personal hygiene standards to slip just because you’re now working from home on a semi-permanent basis. One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence while working remotely is to dress for success, as this is what often gets you in the right mindset for a day of remote working.
Make it part of your working from home morning routine to have a shower or bath before the day begins. This is especially pertinent if you have opted to include a workout or any sort of physical exercise as part of your typical morning regime. While no colleagues are going to be able to smell your BO, it’s unhygienic and slovenly to sit around in your gym kit all day and doesn’t put you in the right mindset for a day of productive work.
Once you’re washed and getting dressed, don’t opt for the nearest hoodie or pair of tracksuit bottoms. Dress for work. Remember the old adage, dress for the job you want, not the one that you already have. This way, you’re more likely to be in the right frame of mind to succeed.
5. Get Yourself In The Groove To Work
Once you’re washed and dressed, it’s time to focus on work but often this might require a little stimulus just to get you going. To get yourself into the groove, why not try listening to some of your favourite upbeat music or a thought-provoking podcast to start your day?
Enjoying the period right before work begins is important as it helps you ease into the day. Activities like these are things that make you happy and give you a bit of an uplift, which is something almost everybody could do during these uncertain and unprecedented times.
Without our daily commutes, we don’t get much time to spend to ourselves anymore, so this is actually a rather crucial part of your morning to allocate time for. Try and spend half an hour enjoying some ‘you time’ to get you in the groove for the day of remote working ahead.
6. Prepare A To-Do & Plan The Day Ahead
Once you’re in the right mindset to properly begin your working day, it’s necessary to draw up a to-do list and set yourself some goals and achievable outcomes for the day ahead.
Some people prefer to use their smartphone for this, with a host of checklist apps available on the App Store, whereas others prefer to use virtual sticky notes on their computer, or physically writing out a to-do list on a notepad. Whatever works for you, just be sure to do it as this will allow you to remain productive throughout the day while working from home.
Once you have your list together, it’s important to rank your tasks in order of priority. However, our hot tip is to always start with the most difficult task first. Remember, you’re at your most alert, awake and decisive in the morning, and many of us tend to flag after lunch.
7. Drink A Pint Of Water & Get Started
Now that you’re ready to get going, be sure to pour yourself a big pint of water and drink it before beginning work. This should form a very important part of your working from home morning routine as it’s so easy to get dehydrated when working remotely.
Normally, in the office, we’d typically get up and make a drink to get away from our desks or to enjoy a bit of socialization at the water cooler. With remote working, this tends to be lost and, as a result, our hydration levels suffer.
Generally speaking, to keep your mind fresh, you should really get into the habit of drinking more water throughout the working day – not just as part of your morning routine. Poor hydration can lead to a foggy brain or an irritable mood, and you ideally want to avoid both of these ailments whilst at work.
In summary, it can be rather straightforward to pull together a functioning and healthy working from home morning routine. However, the challenge lies in sticking to it. The way we humans tend to work is that we innately stick to what we know, so when you manage to get yourself into your new routine, it should hopefully naturally develop into a form of habit for you.
If you’re struggling for time, perhaps try to reduce an element or two of the routine to allow you to give each tip your full attention. One of the worst things you can do in the morning is rush around and cause yourself to feel stressed. Nevertheless, hopefully, this guide has helped you to develop some positive morning habits that will increase your productivity and performance while working from home.