Having a well-balanced remote work schedule can be quite challenging. At home, you are not just fulfilling the role of a worker, you are also a family member, a housekeeper, and others, depending on individual circumstances. All of these roles come with a series of attributions that you are expected to fulfill. That is the reason why many remote workers have a hard time managing their time and sticking to a schedule.
Remote work schedule tips and tricks
The purpose of this article is to guide you through the difficult task of creating a remote work schedule that works for you. We put together a brief list of tips that you should include in your schedule to make your days more manageable.
Develop morning rituals
Morning rituals can help you start your day in force, with a positive attitude, and give you the confidence that will help you make it through the day. Some of the most successful people wake up very early in the morning to have time for their morning rituals:
- Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, and Jack Dorsay start their mornings with meditation;
- Barack Obama starts every day with a 45-minute workout;
- Arianna Huffington meditates for 30 minutes, works out on an exercise bike for another 30, then wraps it up with 10 minutes of yoga.
Take their example and come up with your own rituals to power you up, even if that means simply having breakfast with your family.
Schedule according to your energy levels
Are you a night owl on an early bird? Keep track of your energy levels during the day and schedule your activities accordingly.
Use the peak energy times for the toughest tasks and leave the routine and repetitive ones for the moments with the lowest energy. That’s how you make the most of your day!
Schedule your breaks
Breaks are important both for your health, and productivity. Taking short breaks every hour helps you avoid health issues such as back problems, but also helps you focus better on work once you get to it.
Working from home comes with a set of challenges that makes breaks even more important. Use that time to get things done around the house, spend a few minutes with your family, or simply have a snack.
Don’t skip lunch
As stated above, breaks are important for a number of reasons. But the lunch break is crucial.
Many remote workers are tempted to avoid taking a longer break so they can finish their workday earlier. However, that is a mistake that makes you more prone to weight-gaining and burnout. Skipping one of the main meals of the day sets your body in alarm mode, making it store more carbs once it’s given food. Also, working several hours under pressure without a longer break to help you disconnect can take a toll on your mental health in the long run.
Avoid burnout and some of the other risks by taking a full-hour lunch break to eat and relax – maybe even have a power nap!
Keep in touch with your team
Remote work can make you feel isolated, especially during a pandemic that sent millions to work from home overnight. Use a team communication and collaboration app that allows you to stay in touch with your coworkers. Share work documents, plans, and thoughts on a regular basis to keep your team spirit alive!
Prepare for meetings
Be it online or face-to-face, you can’t go into a meeting unprepared. Start your workday by consulting reports, drafting presentations, or studying the notes from your previous meeting. Make a to-do list for the rest of the day and don’t let anything find you unprepared.
Schedule work-out sessions
Unless you already have a workout routine, you should add some exercise time to your daily schedule.
For most people, working from home means that they don’t get much time outside. A sedentary lifestyle poses a great threat to your physical and mental health. For that reason, it’s important to schedule at least 15 minutes of work-out every day. It alleviates back pain and makes your brain release hormones that will keep you happier and healthier.
And what’s more, it’s already a proven fact that regular physical exercise and fitness contribute to better productivity and performance.
Too many remote workers have a hard time keeping their work life and personal life separated when working from home. If you’re not making conscious decisions to separate between the two, the lines will inevitably become blurry. There is a point from where it’s very hard to come back if you allow that to happen.
Treat your job the same way as you did when you were going to the office. Stick to a well-defined schedule, have an adequate workspace, and when the workday is over, let it really be over. Stop checking your work email, or answering work phone calls after hours. Check out and disconnect.
Do social activities
Social interactions are crucial for your mental well being. Use your evenings to catch up with friends and family. Have dinner together, speak over the phone or even do a video call. Give a call to your parents, grandparents, or your BFF. Talk about your day, share your feelings and lighten up your mood.
Take time for yourself
Do stuff that makes you happy every single day. Go for a swim, read a book, water the plants in your garden, or simply lay on the couch and watch TV. Or, even better, get a nice long bubble bath for the ultimate relaxation.
Personal time helps you decompress and relieve the stress gathered during the day. So don’t skip this step, even if you have to switch to mother mode once the workday is over. Your family needs you, but you will all benefit more from a happy *you*.
The key is balance
If you manage to include all of the above in your schedule, your days should be complete and well-balanced. Work, fun, leisure, rest, and social activities are the main points on the agenda.
At the end of the day, you should feel proud and fulfilled, ready to start over and repeat.