How to Maintain Healthy Boundaries While Working from Home
For the foreseeable future, COVID-19 is going to be a presence in our lives. Some companies are slowly bringing their employees back into the office, while others have said so-long to their longstanding commercial leases and gone fully remote. Whatever corporate changes you’ve experienced in 2020 (and, let’s face it, we’ve all had at least a few), it’s important to keep work and life as separate as possible, even if you’re working from home. You might notice that, even though your “getting ready” routine is significantly shorter, you’re probably spending a lot more time working. Here are a few tips to keep productivity levels high without turning yourself into a total workhorse along the way.
SEPARATE SLEEP AND WORK
If you literally sit up in bed and start clacking away on your laptop in the morning, your mind will subconsciously start to clump your computer and your bed together. Which means it’ll be WAY harder to fall asleep, and when you do sleep, you’ll be taking the stresses of the day to the pillow with you. Force yourself to get out of bed at the same time each morning, as tempting as it may be to stay cozy and horizontal. Dedicate a space to work each day, and don’t allow yourself to go back to your bed until it’s time to wind down for the night.
MAXIMIZE YOUR MORNINGS
When COVID-19 was just a twinkle in our eyes, we had morning routines. Coffees would click on and start percolating with the sunrise, we’d leap into HIIT workouts, yoga classes, maybe a quick steam afterwards, commutes, music, NPR, a podcast—we had carefully curated routines that set our days into rhythm. Even though our routines are totally different during COVID-19 times, they’re just as important as ever. A study by Forbes suggests that the most successful people in the world try to capitalize on their mornings by using them to meditate and plan for the day ahead. If you haven’t created a healthy morning routine for yourself yet, start plotting one out (we suggest starting by making your bed!).
TAKE TIME OFF
Sure, there’s really no place to go these days, and aside from the occasional venture outdoors for a doctor's appointment or grocery run, there isn’t much reason to take time off but it’s important you take those days anyway. Our minds still crave those releases, but we often overlook them because our bodies don’t feel as tired while working from home. Take a day, here and there—when you come back you’ll notice a boost in your productivity levels.
In the office, it was hard to go unnoticed in meetings. Now, it’s easy to turn that camera off on your zoom meeting and maybe even catch up on some sleep. As tempting as it is to coast through the day, it’s important to be heard and make your presence known. Keeping a job is harder than ever with hiring freezes and cut budgets around the world, make your coworkers and superiors know that you are showing up every day with energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead of you.
Whether you went out for drinks with coworkers or not, you were probably interacting with people at work far more than you are now. From grabbing coffees and sweetgreen salads to jumping into meetings and brainstorming as a team, most businesses have teamwork built into their foundation. Working from home and living from home can get pretty isolated, and we tend to fall back on the notion that this is a comfortable, easy way of living (no pants required, either). However, this can get pretty lonely and will take a major hit on your positive energies and overall drive to succeed. Don’t dip out on those happy hour zooms, sign up for classes (or Prezence Meditations!), be present and maintain connections. Make sure you check in with the people in your life—you could be helping more than yourself in this scenario, too.