The coronavirus crisis has forced many of us to embrace the work-from-home setup, but if it’s something you’ve never done before, getting the balance just right and staying as productive as possible can seem like mission impossible.
It’s not the easiest of task figuring out where to work or when to focus on which tasks throughout the day. And it certainly isn’t always easy to create your own work schedule for the week and knowing how to best break up and plan out each day.
The great thing about a work-from-home setup is that there are no hard and fast rules. But it’s also the exact same thing that can quickly turn your best intentions into a nightmare. Adzuna is here to help you create a plan that’ll guide you for what you’re supposed to tackle at what time, just so you can better structure your day and actually get things done.
Regardless of whether you’re temporarily working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic or you plan to keep business running from your home office, here’s a helpful loose daily structure that can be adapted to your needs!
Your work-from-home daily structure
Time to get up and get moving. Take a shower, have a cup of coffee, stretch and get your head in the game. This is an important time as the first hour of your day sets the tone for the rest of it. You can also use this time to listen to some inspiring podcasts while enjoying breakfast. Don’t forget to get dressed. It really makes a massive difference to your mood. Wearing your PJs all day is okay once in a while, but to be productive, you need to dress the part!
Handle the most important things and send out any updates that your boss and teammates might be waiting for. After you’ve tackled the basics, it’s time to do the tasks that require creative focus. Spending the first 90 minutes of your workday on important tasks ensures that no matter what kind of crisis arises during the rest of the day, you’ll be satisfied that you accomplished something meaningful for the day.
This is a good time for a coffee or tea break. You’ve earned it after almost 2 hours of focus. If you want to use this time to check in with loved ones, go ahead and take that break. Social distancing does not mean you have to practice emotional distancing too.
It’s time to get back to the important and creative tasks. Set aside solid chunks of time to focus on priority projects and make sure your stay self-directed. In a work-from-home setup, you get to set the pace for the flow, not merely go with it.
Leave your home office and head into your garden (if you’ve got one) for some lunch and a break from the screen. DO NOT EAT AT YOUR DESK! Mindless eating won’t help you be more productive. In fact, it’ll derail productivity at the speed of light. After lunch, get your body moving with some light stretching. This will help recharge your energy levels and might help fight off any anxiety lurking in your subconscious mind.
If you’ve got some correspondence to do, now is a great time to tackle that task. Clean out your bloated email inbox and reply to all those non-urgent emails and messages. After replying on the emails and messages that can’t wait until tomorrow morning, you might have time to fit in a virtual meeting with your team. Perhaps you’re job-hunting for a more fulfilling job, in which case you can use this time to nail that remote interview! Plan to wrap up your meetings and any other tasks that you haven’t completed for the day by 5 PM. Planning your schedule for the next day is also something best left for the end of the current workday.
5:30 or 6 PM
Pour yourself a glass of wine (or some juice) and catch up with some friends and family via WhatsApp video call. Fix dinner and then get your well-deserved fix of screen time if that’s your thing. Whatever it is you do, make sure you force yourself to step away from your desk and slip into chill mode.
The work-from-home environment can be a super successful setup if you set some basic rules for yourself and stick to them. For some of us, this might just be a temporary situation, but that doesn’t mean we need to write off regular, helpful routines. We all just need to find something that works for the moment. This pandemic won’t last forever. Even amid the chaos or our current crisis, you have the power to create order of your own!