Some of us (myself included) were born to work from home. Others would never willingly do so.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced homeworking on a lot of people. Being forced into that situation without much notice is always tougher than planning to do it. When you think about it, the people least likely ever to do it are the ones who likely found the change hardest to adjust to.
Maintaining a work-life balance
This is vital for all homeworkers to achieve. As a full-time writer, I’ve worked from home for the past 12 years. We do have an office, but I like to work on my laptop at the dining room table.
I do pack away my laptop at the end of the day though. It helps to keep that dividing line between work and home life. If you’re just starting to work from home or you’ve been struggling to do so during the pandemic, think about whether you have that dividing line in place.
A home office isn’t necessary. You just need somewhere to put everything away when the working day is over. I find this settles my mind and allows me to relax.
Make sure you have some fresh air
Working at the table has its perks. Unless it’s the middle of winter, the breeze is nicer than working in a stuffy room. The back door is close by too, so if the weather is warm enough, I open that first thing in the morning and keep it open all day. (It makes the dog happy, too.)
Step outside for a few minutes every hour if you can. Take some deep breaths. Grab a coffee or a cool drink and sit outside for breaks. Having that quick change of scene freshens your mind and focus for the work ahead.
Introduce some greenery
There are plenty of house plants you can buy that don’t require green fingers to keep them going. Not only do they help rid the air of toxins, they look great and have positive effects on your wellbeing.
Just one or two plants in the room you work in will make your home office space a more positive place to be.
Declutter at the end of each day
Clutter makes me feel stressed. The last thing I want to see when I start work each day is an untidy workspace.
Whether you’re at the dining room table, in a corner of the kitchen, or in your home office, spend 10 minutes at the end of each day tidying up around you. I’ll admit, one of my jobs is to clear away the endless mugs of tea I’ve had during the day. At least, it feels that way.
I look around and make sure I am happy with my workspace. It should feel good to return there the following morning. If it doesn’t, I resolve to put more work into it when I finish the following day.
Consider using incense
You can buy incense sticks to suit every mood. A holder and some sticks cost just a few dollars and they smell amazing.
Lavender is good for reducing stress. Rosemary also works. Lemongrass is said to boost your creativity, while sandalwood is ideal when you want to focus.
Find what works for you
I’ve provided some tips here for improving your workspace and making it feel calmer and more welcoming. We all have our own techniques that work best for us though. Try experimenting with other things too. You might chance upon something else that works just as well in giving you that sense of calm while working from home.
Photo: Burning incense stick (Przykuta via Wikimedia Commons)