This has been a particularly difficult year for employees having to shuffle between working from home and in the office, being overworked and even laid off. There can be several factors that make it difficult to work with full motivation; while some are harder to control, here are some useful tips to improve your own lifestyle and maintain a healthy-work life.
- Own your office space.Your office space is where you spend a large portion of the day – whether you are still working from home or have a designated office space; you will begin to notice that the more you maintain it & keep it organized the more you will feel motivated to work. Apparently, “people who work at a clean desk are able to work for 7.5 minutes longer without losing focus.”1 An added effort that could further elevate your mood is to even decorate your space. If you are still working from home, you can use candles, lights, and any décor that compliments your workspace (without getting too distracting, ofcourse); and if you have a cubicle or a desk at work, you can always put picture-frames, or organize your stationary in a pleasant manner.
- Make detailed checklists instead of shorter ones.This is a practice that helps me when I feel low and de-motivated. There will often come days where you do not feel that you are doing your best. In such instances, make detailed checklists, which may even be exaggerated if necessary. For example, instead of one task that says “Complete Task A”, you can add 2 tasks that say, “Start Task A”, and “Complete Task A”. With more tasks, you feel more accomplished, eventually boosting your morale!
- Remember to take breaks!While some have a workload that requires constant meetings, and for others who work as developers/editors who are often sitting in the same position for hours to finish their project – once office hours are over a gradual feeling of not just mental, but also physical exhaustion takes over. This is due to the extra mental strain put to work without giving your mind and body a rest. Let us set examples of de-normalizing being overworked and take occasional breaks (especially if you have a job that requires you to sit for too long), and stretch or hydrate!
- Breaks = health checkups!Always remember – each time you postpone going to the doctor’s even if it is for a routine checkup, you could always miss out on crucial information about the current state of your body. Do your best to not neglect your health because of your work. This can be managed by ensuring you get your regular checkups at the doctor and are aware of how to answer to your body’s needs. Lack of vitamin D, for instance causes extreme lethargy which could greatly affect your productivity. Make sure you know which vitamins and supplements to take to ensure good health and eventually, good productivity.
- Know what helps you de-stressThere could be situations where there is instant tension or a high-pressure situation that could make one anxious or stressed – and that is fine. Just know what tools work for you to help ease the stress. For those who get nervous and fidget (bite their nails, feel nauseous etc), there are always de-stress balls and objects that you can squeeze or play with to calm yourself down. For others, temporarily relieving yourself from stress could be having a refreshing drink, talking to a friend or a loved one for a quick pick-me-up session. While stress is a part of life – too much of it makes it hard to think and function properly so knowing how to relieve some if not most can really help calm one down.
- Ambience & Music – A concentration booster (for some)!This tip may not be useful for those who prefer to work in silence, but helpful for those who prefer some kind of music or distraction from any outside noise. I often make a work playlist with music suited to what I would want to listen to while working – mostly motivational and upbeat, but to each their own. If it however feels distracting, then you may not be the audience this tip is for- and that is totally alright! A secondary tip for those who may not particularly want music could even be ambient sound – download & listen to the sound of rainfall, the ocean, birds, or even binaural audio to help relax you or boost your concentration.
- The Routine Blues (Quarantine Special Tip)If you are one of those who still have to work from home due to quarantine, then it is natural if you miss the old routine, and working from the office. What can help get some of that routine back is to plan your home routine as if you are actually going to work. Keep a spot where you work which feels away from home, dress up the same as you would for work, and switch to video calls with coworkers rather than audio for a more realistic experience. It may not feel the exact same as working from the office, but is the next best thing!