More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are still working from home as a safety precaution. Some companies have even decided to stay remote or modify work hours to allow for more time at home.
Either way, if you are still working from home, remote work can come with its own set of challenges. However, it doesn’t have to be boring! There are activities you can do to stay physically and mentally engaged, as well as motivated, during these crazy times.
How to Stay Engaged While Working from Home
First, Look the Part
What you wear while working from home can have a big impact on your productivity. Wearing your pajamas or sweat pants can make it more tempting for you to lie in bed, work on the couch or procrastinate. Try to wake up early and put on business-appropriate clothing – weather it is jeans and a t-shirt or a pair of chinos and a button-down shirt. Dressing the part can help you feel more motivated to get stuff done.
Take Regular Breaks
While working from home, don’t forget to give yourself “coffee breaks.” Get up from your computer, walk around, and chat with a friend, co-worker or loved one. Engaging in conversation with people may help you feel less isolated.
It’s also a good idea to use these breaks to stretch. Getting up and stretching your body may help you feel less chained to your desk and computer. Regular breaks are good for boosting productivity, renewing your energy, and refocusing your mind.
Schedule Time for Movement
Being too sedentary isn’t just harmful for your health; it’s also not good for your motivation and discipline. Exercising gives you a boost of energy that is helpful for your mood and productivity. Take walks on your lunch break, stretch while listening to a webinar or podcast, or look up at-home workout videos on YouTube for inspiration. Even carving out 10-15 minutes at a time dedicated to movement will help you stay active.
Channeling your creative juices is great for your mental health and maintaining a work-life balance. Now is as good a time as any to learn something new, start a new hobby, or become an expert on one you already have. Here are some ideas:
- Learn a new language
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Read or write
- Get lost in a word search, puzzle, or game
- Try making art (ex: drawing, painting)
- Do a craft (ex: knitting, woodworking)
Keep a Schedule
Working from home offers scheduling flexibility, but keeping a regular schedule is still important for your productivity. Try to stay on a schedule that has set wake up times, bedtimes, meal times and workout times.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to stay inside 24/7. Take advantage of your lunch breaks, mornings, evenings, and weekends! Remember to get outdoors and feel the sun on your face. Take a nature stroll, leash up your dog and go for a walk, or go on a bike ride with some headphones in. Visit a local park, go hiking with a group of friends, or simply visit a downtown area and walk around. With the weather outside getting warmer, it’s the perfect excuse to take a break and go connect with nature. Click here for some outdoor exercise ideas to help you active at the same time!
Working from home doesn’t have to be boring or draining. While challenging, you can still find lots of ways to stay connected, engaged, and motivated. Now is the time to get creative and put your best foot forward in taking the steps you need to stay healthy. You have the freedom to make your own schedule, work at your own pace, and create the space you need to stay engaged. So, take the time to make yourself a priority.