Michelle Perrucci is a VIM & VIGR Brand Ambassador and health & life coach. She's an avid gardener and loves to cook nourishing meals with the fresh produce she grows. Michelle works from home with her coaching business and shares tips for how to make a healthy & balanced transition to remote work.
Whether it was your desire to or not, here you are working from home. We all have our own unique situation for how the 2020 pandemic has shaped our work lives. So many of us were required to turn our homes into office spaces in the blink of an eye. We made make-shift desks out of kitchen tables thinking we’d be back to the office in no time. However, for many of us, we’ve had to turn our temporary workspaces into permanent ones. Easier said than done.
What worked for your work schedule in an office building, may not be working for you at home and that’s because, like all changes in life, this requires habit change. Wherever you are in your work-from-home situation, here are 7 simple tips to help maximize your productivity and maintain your health:
Create a Designated Workspace
Whether it’s a small corner of a room or an entire bedroom, create a space specific for your work. A place for you to “go to work”, can help you keep a separation between home life and work life. Allow yourself to make this a space that you enjoy and that inspires you. Maybe it’s hanging your favorite saying or photo on the wall close by or having your favorite fresh flowers on your tabletop. A space you love is a space that will encourage you to be there, with focus.
Clear the Clutter
Studies have shown that physical clutter can actually clutter your mind! The clutter has a way of creeping into your unconsciousness and stealing your ability to focus on the important tasks. Clear the clutter, clear your mind. I promise, you’ll feel so much better once you do!
Set a Schedule & Stick to It
Maybe you work corporate and have an 8-5 schedule to adhere to. Or maybe you’re self-employed and can define your work hours freely each day. Either way, define your work hours on your calendar and stick to it. A defined start and stop time will help prevent work time from creeping into your personal and family time. Got a busy day with a long to-do list? Schedule your tasks. Let your calendar help hold you accountable for staying on track and focused.
Don’t forget about lunch! It’s so easy to keep working and not realize the time. Schedule your lunch break on your calendar and block that time so others can’t overbook you. Use your lunch break to fuel your body with foods that energize you. This will help you to avoid the afternoon slump.
Move Your Body
Our bodies were designed to move! The dangers of sitting for extended periods of time can include headaches, neck pain, poor circulation, overall tightening in the body, knee pain, muscle degeneration, and weight gain – just to name a few.
Identify movement that feels right for your body. Have a movement menu that gives you options based on the time you have. Got 15+ mins? Go for a walk outside. Got 5mins? Stand and stretch. The goal here: move your body! Feel like you can’t break free from consecutive meetings? Try wearing compression socks to ensure healthy blood flow through your day.
Need some help with a movement menu?
- Focus on your water intake from the time you wake up to about 2pm. Nature will call, forcing you out of your seat throughout the day. If your bathroom is nearby, try walking to the farthest bathroom in your home to get a few more steps in.
- Try a cross crawl. This movement stimulates the connection between the left and right brain and helps with brain fog!
- Begin by marching in place, then work in your arms by bringing your right elbow to your left knee and your left elbow to your right knee. Try it for 1 minute every hour and you’ll be amazed how much better your mind and your body will feel!
Discover Your Power Outfit
When you’re getting ready for a night out on the town or a big date and you get dressed to the nines, does it make you feel so good inside, energized, maybe even sexy? When you’re sick at home and you put on your cozy pants and wrap yourself up in a blanket, does it make you want to curl up on the coach and take a nap? I bet it does! How we dress influences how we feel, so be intentional with what you wear when working. If you know your cozy pants make you want to curl up and watch a movie, don’t wear them while working. For me, my power outfit must-haves include compression socks and sneakers. The two combined make me feel productive and energized. What’s your power outfit?
Practice Good Eye Health
Neglecting your eyes could cause both short-term and long-term issues. Two simple ways to protect your eyes while working from home are:
- Ensure your workspace has proper lighting. Natural light is best, but if man-made light is needed, find the right level of brightness that is easy on your eyes. Lights too bright or too dark can cause eye strain.
- Invest in a pair of blue light eyeglasses. The blue light that emits from our favorite electronic devices is can be a cause of eye strain, leading to headaches. Long-term, excessive exposure is believed to cause damage to the retina. If you spend an excessive amount of time working off an electronic device, consider a pair of blue light glasses. Blue light eyeglasses are available with or without correction lens.
Stop & Breathe
Deep breathing is known to relieve stress and anxiety. It ignites your parasympathetic nervous system which calms your mind. If you find stress or overwhelm taking over your day, stop and take about 2 minutes to take 10 deep, meaningful breathes. Allow your mind and body to relax and reset so you can conquer the rest of your day head-on!