Can't concentrate? Not getting much done? Feeling sore? If you're neglecting these five things, that's probably the case.
Under normal circumstances, only 3.6% of the U.S. workforce works from home half-time or more. But since the beginning of March, many of us have been made to adjust to full-time remote work. It’s a welcome transition for many, but after being a month or more into the new work-from-home routine, lots of people are struggling to stay on top of things from day-to-day.
Mixing home with work isn’t suited for everyone, and that’s completely okay. But these five things can make it much more difficult than it needs to be.
#1. Your posture and desk space can literally hurt you
8 million people are affected by carpal tunnel every year. Corrective surgery for carpal tunnel is the second-most common type of musculoskeletal surgery, right behind back surgeries. Carpal tunnel and other nerve issues are very common among desk workers, and they can completely immobilize you from using a keyboard or mouse if they’re ignored.
Check out adjustable-height desks, and an ergonomic mouse and keyboard. The right desk setup to support proper posture and hand positioning can make a seriously positive impact on your body. Working on the couch curled up next to your laptop may be nice for a few days, but it’s not a healthy, long-lasting way to work from home.
#2. You haven’t implemented a self-reward system
Without coworkers and supervisors around to keep you moving, you may tend to fall behind during the week. A personalized reward system can help you push forward during the sleepy after-lunch hours. These rewards will look different for everyone. Daily rewards can be tiny little motivators, and long-term rewards can be larger, like a nice dinner or outing.
Here are some examples:
- After you complete your weekly report, you’ll allow yourself to take a walk to the mailbox to check the mail.
- You can’t get a Dr. Pepper from the fridge until you make those three sales calls.
- You can’t watch another YouTube video until that article is written.
The point is, you can string yourself along to complete tasks even without others around.
#3. You’re working in your “rest” space
Your mind may have difficulty switching from the living room being your “after work zone” to it being your office. It’s completely natural for you to segment different places for different purposes - and it’s normally a good thing. So instead of working from your bed, set up a workstation in the front room or kitchen.
Ideally, you’ll be able to use a separate room as a dedicated workspace. This room should be out of the way from your rest space. And ideally, the space will have a door to shut out distractions. Turn TV’s off, grab a tall glass of ice water, shut the door, put on some ambient music, and knock out your tasks for the day.
#4. You aren’t using a written task list
For most of us, it’s not possible to remember every little task without writing them down. A big dry-erase board is perfect for making a daily task list. When you can visualize all your priorities and cross them off one by one, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more accomplished.
#5. You can’t switch gears from work to rest
For most people, it’s unnatural to work from a bed during the day. But if you choose to do so, it may also be difficult to rest in your bed at night! Establishing a hard start and stop time for your work-from-home schedule is absolutely essential if you want to be able to “pull the plug” when it’s time to relax.
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