Setting Up for Work-at-Home Success: Start with a Routine

Setting Up for Work-at-Home Success: Start with a Routine

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Believe it or not, when our morning routine is changed even just a little bit, it can throw off our entire day. We never really secure the balance lost by a change in routine.

That’s why, in order to kick off a productive day, we need to keep to our morning habits.

No more has this been true than right now with most of us continuing to work from home during the pandemic. Duplicating as much of your pre-pandemic daily routine as possible will help get you into your work groove at home.

Remember, it’s not just what we do once we get to work. Routine also includes everything done from the time we get up to all the actions taken before arriving at our workplace.

Here are some ideas to help get you back into a routine or create a new one for working at home. Setting a daily routine will create structure, help keep you focused and improve productivity.

Create a daily to-do list. With the new normal of working from home, be sure to include any domestic-related responsibilities on your task list. Knowing what you have to accomplish each day will help you set priorities as well.

Begin your day the same way you did when you were going to the office. In the beginning, this includes getting dressed and making coffee if that is what you did before the pandemic.

Keep a calendar. Includes a time schedule for each task and follow it. For a little extra motivation, set alarms and timers to stay on task.

Create a separate schedule for the family. Plan activities for the children in the household that you are responsible for supervising.

Set office hours and get to work. No excuses. Stick to your schedule and your allocated times for tasks. Segregate work time from personal time.

Take your usual breaks and meals. Make time to prepare and enjoy your breakfast if that was part of your former routine. Take a full lunch and go out to eat if that is what you prefer to cooking at home. Don’t forget to wear your mask!

Wrap it up. End your day the way you did when you were in the office. Or create a new end-of-workday ritual, like completing your tasks, saving your work, planning your to-do list for the next day and unplugging.

Routines are often associated with better work performance, increased productivity and lower stress levels. Having a routine also allows us to build in time for important things in our lives, like relaxing and having fun.

The biggest benefit of sticking to routines during these uncertain times, however, may be that they help us develop resilience. When offices begin to re-open, the most resilient of workers will likely be the ones to bounce back quickly to a normal state of functioning and high levels of productivity.

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Author: Josephine Paige

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