Separating work from home— from home
As our kitchen tables become our new cubicles home and work loses the barrier of our commute home it becomes harder and harder to determine where your workday ends. It becomes obligational in a sense: ‘If I’m home, and I can’t really go anywhere else, I might as well work.” Although at this point, it might seem natural, this is not a healthy mindset. Here are some tips on how to separate your workday from your downtime.
- Do not bring your laptop to bed
Your bed is a place for sleep, and that’s what your brain and body will recognize. Two things can happen: you can’t get any work done because the urge to pull the covers up is so tempting OR when it’s time for you to go to sleep you can’t. Once you open your email in bed there is truly nothing stopping you from working late into the night. Sleep specialists connect poor sleep quality to low energy levels, productivity and quality of life. It might be comfy, but you will feel so much better to get up, make your bed and begin your day.
- Don’t abandon your schedule
Before the pandemic, I got up, exercised and got a cup of coffee. Starbucks may be closed but that doesn’t mean my morning routine needs to be upended. Get up at the time you normally would, eat breakfast! Keeping your routine continues to separate different parts of your day and makes logging on and off so much easier.
- Set specific work hours
What time did you typically get to the office? What time did you typically leave? Set timers or alarms to keep yourself in the work flow. Even if you have a few more emails in your inbox, once it’s 5p.m. you’re done for the day. It might even help to turn your laptop off- do not feel guilty! Relax, be with your family.
- Get dressed in “real” clothes
Now, I’m not asking you to put on a suit or heels and a dress, but maybe try something that doens’t have an elastic waistband. Taking time to get ready in the morning further creates the experience of beginning a productive day.
It’s easy to slip into the telework slump, but it can also be easy to get out of it. Set a schedule for your day, set intentions to log off at a reasonable hour, and above all stay positive and stick to your familiar.
Alexa Tironi for Braathe Enterprises