With the days of a “new normal” afoot, our daily lives are quickly changing. We’ve had to adjust from office life and conference room meetings to keeping your cats off the keyboard when you’re on a video call. Let’s face it, you’ve been looking at the same four walls for the past six months now…and you’re starting to lose it! Here are FIVE things that I have done to keep level headed and stay productive.
Make Sure to Take Breaks
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in work when you wake up and roll out of bed straight to your laptop. Another factor is that you may feel that taking a break shows that you’re not hardworking while remote. Alan Kohll put it well in saying “Chaining yourself to a desk or scarfing down your lunch in your cubicle isn’t a recipe for success – it’s a recipe for disaster.” Every hour or so take a short break, go outside, stretch, watch that funny video you’ve been dying to watch, anything but work.
Stop Working At a Set Time
Just like rolling out of bed straight to the laptop, its just as easy to stay on your laptop until the wee hours of the night. Set a time every day where the laptop closes, work stops, and the fun begins! Don’t neglect yourself, you need time to wind down and re-energize for the next day. Make plans and set appointments that will make you close down your workstation and head out the door.
Keep It Moving
There they are, the same walls you’ve been looking at day and night. Nothing says stuck in a loop like having the same day over and over again. Its time to change things up, now pick up that laptop and bring it into a different room! Changing my scenery helps me keep things fresh, I’ll grab my laptop and work in the basement, living room, or even outside. Another way to keep it moving would be to invest in a standing desk. Now if you’re like me and consider yourself a DIY’er, I would recommend this video from LRN2DIY on YouTube
Optimize Your Internet Connection
Nothing makes you want to throw your laptop out of the window more than a poor internet connection. Whether if its that your WiFi doesn’t reach a certain area or your connection is lost, make sure your equipment is up to date. I’d personally recommend the Unifi Amplifi line. You can have anything from a simple router to an at-home mesh WiFi network. If you have some gamers at home as well, the Netgear Nighthawk line is a fantastic option to ensure a strong WiFi connection.
Add Entertainment to the Day
As we’re working remote, the social water cooler chitchat is disappearing. You don’t realize how important your social interactions with your coworkers were until they have come to a halt. Even though we’re not in the same building anymore, try to set up calls to collaborate with team members, get their input, or even set up a happy hour call at the end of the day! As most companies are using messaging software, start up a channel for fun topics. As an idea, a pets chat….who doesn’t want to see everyone’s pets during a stressful day!?