The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “routine" as the “usual or fixed way of doing things.” For most of us, that way of doing things is on pause right now. Lots of us are working from home. Gyms are closed, and so are some skate parks, beaches, trails — well, you know. You’re all living it.
Look at it as a challenge. Instead of hitting a personal best or mastering a new trick on your skateboard, establish a new work routine to keep the positive vibes coming in a time when it’s easy to get down and negative. These tips will help you establish the ultimate work-from-home routine
Your Pre-Work Routine
What did you do before the stay-home orders and social distancing? Did you wake up, down a protein shake and head to the gym? Did you go for a morning run? Hit the waves?
Translate it to what you can do now. Gym closed? Set up some weights in your garage or living room. Don’t own any weights? Try an online bodyweight class instead. Your own gym might be offering them.
Is your favorite trail or beach closed? Treat it like the surf report is flat — and get outside anyway. You’ll find a whole new appreciation for the stuff in your neighborhood if you kick your heart rate into the yellow zone with a fast walk. There are a number of benefits to going outside regularly, including exercise, increased vitamin D, and even reduced stress. Just make sure to keep your distance from other walkers and runners.
Stay on Schedule
If you were up at 6 a.m., at the gym by 6:45, and showered and at work by 9, pre-pandemic, you should be working out by 6:45 a.m. and showered and on the job by 9 now.
Staying on a schedule helps keep you physically disciplined. And physical discipline will help you stay mentally disciplined through these unknowns.
Eat lunch at the same time you always have. Get up and walk around occasionally, if you’re seated at your computer much of the day. It will get the blood flowing and keep your mind sharp.
Look Like You Mean Business
We’ve seen all the work from home memes. Pajamas aren’t going to cut it for the long haul. How do you expect to be in a business frame of mind if you’re not dressed for work? If you wear suits all day, put on a suit. If you dress more casually or edgy for work, then dress to impress, even if it’s for the team meeting on Zoom and the rest of the time only your dog is looking at you.
If you need some inspiration, have some new clothes delivered. Something as simple as a new zip-up could empower you to better yourself — even against the odds right now.
Time It Out
Set an end time to your workday. Just because you're connected on Zoom or Skype doesn’t mean you should let it take over your life. New adjustments are hard. Enforce boundaries around “me time.” Don’t stay connected 24/7. Put the phone down or laptop away after a while and unplug from the relentless new headlines.
And don’t forget to go gentle on yourself. It’s not easy starting up a new routine and figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s not the usual advice you’d expect here, where we talk about going hard, getting strong, and empowering ourselves through our lifestyles. We’re still doing that. But we’re also being nice to ourselves during these tough times. Your body and mind — and work from home routine — could use a little kindness right now.
This guest post was contributed by Lynn Dao. Lynn Dao is an entrepreneur who started her own tech firm at the age of 35 and has since expanded into six more markets. She credits her success to offering flexible work schedules, the option of working from home, and keeping her employees well-fed.