If you work from home, getting your morning routine down to a tee will have a huge impact on how you work — and feel — for the rest of the day.
Ultimately, it’s about doing what works for you, but here are a few pointers that will hopefully help you start your day right.
Wake up at the same time
When you work from home, it can be tempting to stay in bed until the very last minute possible.
While it’s OK to treat yourself and do this on the odd occasion, I would advise you to be more disciplined and wake up at the same time every day.
You don’t have to wake up ridiculously early, just set your alarm for whatever time is realistic and works for you.
It sounds preachy but routine really is your best friend.
Avoid going online first-thing
You need to set boundaries between your life and your work.
Avoid logging on as soon as you wake up — unless it’s urgent, your inbox and Slack messages can wait until you’re ready to start working.
If you can, try not to waste too much time mindlessly scrolling on social media.
Cut your screen time as much as you can and remember you’ll get plenty of it while you’re working.
Nothing new here. We all know how important it is to exercise on a daily basis. So, get moving and get those endorphins going!
Go for a walk, do some light yoga, go to the gym, or sign up for an online class.
It’s really down to individual choice, but if you can, mix things up so that you don’t become easily bored or complacent.
Shower and get dressed
Once you’ve exercised, it’s time to actually get ready for the day.
Showering and getting dressed before you start working is key. You’ll feel more confident and focused.
It’s tempting to roll out of bed and sit at your desk, but before you know it, it’ll be 2pm and you’ll have to dash off to get ready for your video call. Don’t do this, save yourself the stress!
Once you’ve exercised and showered, it’s time to have breakfast.
Have your coffee, tea, or whatever but make sure you hydrate yourself both at breakfast and during the rest of your day.
Consider getting organized and preparing your breakfast the night before. Overnight oats are a deliciously healthy option.
It’s easy to stuff yourself with chocolate biscuits and crisps when you’re working from home but try and keep a balanced diet. Your mind and body will thank you.
Set some time aside every morning to do some household chores.
This will help you feel more productive before you start working and you’ll be less distracted by the possibility of tidying or cleaning while you’re sitting at your desk.
Be time-efficient and set an alarm on your phone to avoid getting carried away. Do whatever you have time for and then stop. Good time keeping is important.
Listen to music or a podcast
Start your day with something that makes you happy.
You could, for example, listen to music while you’re doing some housework.
Catch up with your favorite podcast and get yourself into the zone.
Enjoying some time to yourself before the madness begins will make you feel more at ease.
Set your goals for the day
Once you’ve finished your house-related tasks, start thinking about what you want to achieve at work.
Go through your to-do list and set realistic goals for the day.
Think about what needs to happen for you to achieve your goals and set yourself a clear strategy.
Try and keep the list short, though, otherwise, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed. Try and stick to a maximum of five goals.
If you have a whiteboard, make sure your list is on there so you can keep tabs on it throughout the day.
Limit your screentime and distractions
In order to meet those realistic goals you set for the day, make sure distractions like social media and push notifications don’t get a hold of you.
Block incoming messages and notifications during your productive time, or use an app like Opal to completely block your phone’s access to apps.
When it comes to limiting screentime, you can follow the ‘SMART’ method. That means your screen goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
So, for example, don’t set a vague goal like “I will drastically cut my screen time.”
Instead, focus on things like “I will watch one episode of Succession per day,” or ‘I will scroll through Instagram for 15 minutes before I start my work.”
Last but not least, limit the number of decisions you have to make in the morning.
Prepare as much as you can the night before: set out your clothes, think about what you want to have for breakfast, or lunch. Batch cook if you can.
The less time you spend on making trivial decisions, the more time you’ll have to spend on things that matter to you and make you happy.