Building a work-from-home schedule has endless perks for your physical and mental well-being, productivity, and family. On that note, we'll like to share some tips with you. They'll help you understand why you need a WFH routine and how to get started.
The benefits associated with working from home are not limited to having your kids and loved ones around you. We'll agree that it's one of the good sides but it goes deeper than that. Embracing WHF means opting for a life that gives you the freedom to be flexible with your hours. And the most beautiful part seems to be where you can work from anywhere and have enough time to pursue other goals outside your work-life. But then, you should note that the remote work lifestyle is not always rosy as it looks - it's pretty hectic because the ball is entirely in your court to develop and adhere to a personal WFH routine.
Meanwhile, it won't sound well if you fall into the mistake that you don't need a guide to work from home since you're no longer under the 9-to-5 restraint. Without a guide, you might end up sleeping late, procrastinating on the tasks, or glued to your TV or smartphone when you should be working. Fortunately, WFH allows you to have a customized schedule that helps both your strengths and weaknesses. As you do that, you'll be super-excited to notice a healthier lifestyle for both your private life and work life.
Now that you're ready to proceed, we'll show you the benefits of scheduling your remote work life and take you through some tips to create a personalized WFH plan. Let's kick-off!
Perks of a WFH Routine
There's this saying that "he who fails to plan plans to fail". You've heard it before, right? We believe there's a lot of truth hidden in that statement. And your best bet to make this beneficial is when you practice good time management.
Do you have to do this? Yes, you do and we're glad to inform you there are lots of goodies attached. A well-planned schedule will:
- Build and promote your self-esteem.
- Make you more productive and focused while working.
- Give you enough time to do other things you've got a passion for. Not work-related, of course.
- Create time to relax and have fun.
- Relieve accumulated tension and stress from work.
- Increase your interpersonal relationship skills and positive bonding with others.
Anytime conversations get to remote working, people assume that these perks will be gotten automatically. Well, that's a partial truth. The reality there's that the key that'll unlock all the benefits is the WFH routine. So if you want to enjoy them, let's walk through the tips.
Tips on How to Build a Functional Remote-work Schedule
We live in a digital age, and that means you must have come across some work-from-home routines online. But we've crafted out some tips that'll make the process peachy for you. Use them to develop a plan you can personalize as and when due.
Start With a Dedicated Home Office
Not everyone who dreams of remote working has a space dedicated for work, but that's a major prerequisite worth mentioning. You need to draw a line between your home office from other personal areas you use for any other activity. That's not all, you should try and reduce distractions to the barest minimum. For instance, if your neighbor has a barking dog that loves flocking around your windows, we'll suggest you get noise-canceling headphones.
And if you're a working parent with no babysitter to take care of the kids, you should probably consider your spouse's schedules and see if rotating turns for childcare will be a good option. If you'll be going with that option, you might have to reach out to your manager and make a plea for working evening hours. To make it more convenient, you should get the internet speed that fits the nature of your work. That way, you'll be saved from the headache of having your kids' online activities slow your connection.
Use a Daily Planner or To-do List
Everyone needs a daily planner. It doesn't have to be too detailed, a comprehensive sketch will do the job. But the fact remains you'll need to cultivate the habit of using a to-do list to plan your daily tasks. Very important, many people fill out their daily planner early morning of the day but that's not a recommended practice and it should be discarded. You need to make the plans ahead of the new day, probably that's the last thing you'll do before going to bed. So you need to be calm while writing it to avoid forgetting an important task that should be included.
Now, you also need to follow the planner religiously. While some remote workers create two lists - one for work-life and the other for personal life -, some prefer a single daily planner. Whichever one you flow with, what matters is that it'll help you manage time, conceive and execute long-term projects, and improve on quick delivery of tasks.
Cultivate a Morning Routine
Now that you've gotten a planner and you know the number of hours needed to achieve these laid-down tasks, you'll also need a happy morning routine. What does that mean? That you're working remotely doesn't mean you should take your time in bed. Not at all. You need to act like you're leaving for the regular office. That means you have to wake up earlier. And to make you feel good ahead of the day, we have some ideas to trick your mind into believing that you're going to work.
Don't forget that the essence is to make you feel active. Check them out:
- Develop or review your daily planner.
- Embark on some self-care (indoor exercise, meditation, yoga, etc).
- Get a cup of coffee while surfing the internet or reading the news.
- Get yourself a healthy breakfast to activate your mind and body to work.
- Take a walk around as you get some fresh air.
- Create a playlist for your favorite songs and listen to them. This also includes podcasts.
- Be formally dressed to make yourself feel ready for work.
You can include other activities that'll motivate you to sit down at your workstation and have a beautiful day.
Define Your Work Hours
Here's another tip to set up your WFH life.
Employers and business managers usually set up work hours for their remote workers but you don't have to wait for them to do that. You can define them now! At least, you won't have to log on to work alongside other remote workers at specified periods. Did you get that? The point we're making is that you should outline your work hours based on what works for you. So, if your workplace expects you to log onto Zoom or any other platform, all you need to do is adjust your time zone.
Going further, you can work with an eight-hour timeframe or choose an open routine. An open routine might mean when you work for some hours during the day, running some other non-work activities, plus some few hours later in the evening to bring the tasks to a close. We have a simple pattern you can follow for an open routine.
7:30 AM - It's time to wake up!
7:45 AM - Start your morning routine.
8:15 AM - Execute urgent tasks and give your employer and teammates the relevant updates.
8:45 AM - Get to your desk and start the day's work(s).
10:00 AM - Go for a tea or coffee break.
10:15 AM - Back to business!
12:30 PM - Lunchtime! You can leave your workspace to get some change of environment before resuming.
1:30 PM - Check your correspondence (mail inbox, clear your spam folder, etc).
2:30 PM - Virtual meetings with your colleagues and other beautiful faces in the office.
3:30 PM - Back to work!
5:30 PM - 6:00 PM - Wrap up the day.
6:00 PM - Get yourself some wine, run a video chat with friends, and spend some time with your spouse and kids. You've earned it.
Before retiring to bed, draft out your planner for the next day and repeat the cycle.
Take Breaks: Lunch and Intermittent Breaks
You'll be surprised to learn that it's easier to forget your lunch in a home office, or even know that it's past noon. And we think the reason behind that is obvious. To address this, you need to be very committed about leaving your home office to join your family for lunch or grab your lunchbox. We suggest you set an alarm.
Through this tip, you'll be energized to beat the afternoon fatigue hands down and you'll get all the needed nutrients to maintain your overall body wellness. At least, you should have 30 minutes for lunch and you can also use the avenue to take some walks around the house or down the street.
In other news, you should take breaks pretty seriously just as you treat your lunch. It'll be better if you could set an alarm as well. The breaks don't have to be long, all you need is enough time to revive your muscles. And if you're not a fan of such interruptions, a standing desk will make this easier for you.
Make Time for Personal Chores
Remote working is flexible, but can also be tiring. Hence, you need to ensure this new WFH lifestyle doesn't render you helpless to take care of your personal life. You need to strike an equilibrium between your work and your life. Once you do that, create personal time based on what you love doing. Since everyone's chores vary, we won't spend much time here as we leave you to do justice to that. But we understand most workers will like to create the time on the weekends for obvious reasons.
And if you work with an open (split) routine, you can run activities like:
Self-care (haircuts, manicures, pedicures, etc).
Appointments with your physician.
Family time with your kids, among others.
We understand you know all those things you need to do but including them in your daily planner might keep you more committed to them.
Unwind With an End-of-the-day Routine
Ending the day on high notes just as you started? We shouldn't underestimate this tip.
We've got some ideas for you.
Change into a more casual outfit (your pajamas will look good here).
Get some fresh air.
Cook a lovely dinner for yourself.
Prepare your daily planner for the next day.
Clean up your home office.
Talk to a friend or loved one and stream your favorite show.
If your to-do list has space, you can create another checklist for this tip. Once you observe it, you tick it off.
Factor in Emergencies (Be Flexible)
In every plan you prepare, don't you think it' sounds good to create some time for a couple of unforeseen circumstances. Your attention might be needed unexpectedly at your granny's place or anywhere. No one can tell! To prevent such an emergency from disrupting your plans for the day, this tip should be observed. After all, you've got nothing to lose if no emergency arises.
Trust and Stick to Your Routine
Here's the foundation that carries all the tips we've discussed so far and the rule is simple. If you abide by this guide, you'll have hitch-free work-from-home life and that's it! You've succeeded at what many people think it's difficult to achieve productivity with. So the hardest, not that hard, part is that you stick to the schedule and we have an idea for that. Get an alarm and remind that'll bring all the daily plans to your remembrance once it's time for each.
You're Good to Go
We're at the end of the discussion and it's time you put everything you've learned into practice. And we believe you'll have no challenge from this juncture onward. You can go over these tips over and over and, within a twinkle of an eye, you'll know them by heart. Once you get your schedule ready, you might consider customizing your home office with some office supplies, ergonomic office chairs, and height-adjustable standing desks. Don't forget that the goal is to transform you into a pro when it comes to a work-from-home schedule. Yes, you're good to go. Enjoy your home office!