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How to keep both productivity and mental health up while working at home

Woman working from home

Working from home has been increasingly commonplace since COVID-19 lockdowns were put into effect earlier this year. As individuals and companies became more familiar with the nuances of remote work, the new challenge for everyone is to reestablish a healthy work-life balance.

Manage both your productivity and mental well-being by keeping these 10 tips in mind:

  1. Establish a dedicated workspace

    Separate your work and personal life by designating a specific place for all work-related activity. Find an area away from common distractions like the TV, pantry, or a fluffy couch. Equip it with everything you need for work, like a comfortable desk and chair, adequate lighting, and the necessary power outlets and internet connectivity options.

    Make sure that everyone in your household recognizes this as your dedicated workspace, as well. This way, they will know not to bother you when you’re there.

  2. Stick to a schedule

    In the same way that you set physical boundaries for your working space, so too should you set boundaries with your time. This is especially important if your employer allows you to keep a flexible schedule when working from home.

    Keep your working time within the same hours that your colleagues use. This will keep you available for any meetings or collaborative activity, while also freeing up your time later in the day to spend with your family or any other personal activities.

  3. Start every morning right

    Because you are no longer commuting to work, you need an alternative way to “activate” your mind and body for a productive day ahead. Replace your travel time with a meaningful morning routine. In addition to essential habits like showering and having breakfast, squeeze in some time for an exercise routine that you feel comfortable sustaining.

  4. Learn to detach when needed

    When you work in the same place where you live, there is a risk of letting job-related concerns spill into your personal affairs. This is why mental detachment is an essential skill you need to learn when you embrace remote work.

    As soon as your shift ends—or even just during your lunch break—focus your attention on something other than work. This will allow your mind to recharge.

  5. Talk to someone every now and then

    Remember to have brief and casual conversations from time to time, whether it’s a family member you can speak with in person or a colleague you can reach via your office chat app. This is an important way to prevent burnout over the long run, as well as to manage your relationships, especially with officemates you no longer get to see regularly.

  6. Always consider other people’s situations

    Practice plenty of patience and manage your expectations when you collaborate with your colleagues under the new normal. Remember that because you’re all working from your own homes, you are all in very different circumstances. This is a huge difference from having people in the same office, where the space and the events that happen all around it are a shared experience.

  7. Dedicate time for leisure activities

    A proper work schedule is a great way to get the hang of getting things done at home. But when your day is already packed with your professional responsibilities, plus your share of the home chores, you will also need to catch a breather. Plan your personal leisure time and keep your family members informed so they can give you some well-deserved time to unwind.

  8. Squeeze in a few light exercises between tasks

    One potential pitfall of working from home is finding yourself getting too comfortable. It’s your house, after all. But it’s a slippery slope you must avoid in order to stay productive and prevent feeling lethargic.

    Keep yourself from falling in this rut by taking short breaks with some easy physical exercises. A few minutes of stretching and light, low-impact movements will jolt you back into focus.

  9. Discuss your mental health with your boss

    Being able to talk to your boss about your mental health is an essential part of your relationship as coworkers. The more openly you can discuss your disposition as you keep working at home, the better you can find solutions to keep you at your optimal state of productivity and engagement.

  10. Know the warning signs of declining mental health

    Last but not least, learn about the telltale signs of mental fatigue and burnout. If you are beginning to lose motivation, becoming increasingly irritable, or struggling to focus, it’s time to pause and focus on self-care. Be kind to yourself when you get stressed out. Everyone goes through rough patches, so just allow yourself to rest and recover.

Enrich your living experiences in beautiful Pacific Northwest locations like Anacortes and La Conner, WA with more outstanding local lifestyle tips from The Groesbeck Group. Contact us today at 360.941.3734 or Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com to learn more.