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It can be really difficult to stay positive and keep motivated when you’re working from home. Chores may be calling, kids may be screaming, your ‘home office’ may be little more than the kitchen table.
There are many reasons your concentration and focus might suffer when you’re working remotely, but if you want to stay productive during lockdown and boss the work-from-home game, then read on for our top tips for keeping your productivity flowing:
First thing’s first; you’re going to want to set up a dedicated workspace. When you’re working from home you need to be savvy about separating ‘office’ from ‘home’, so try not to work anywhere you would ordinarily eat, sleep or relax.
If you have a study, or even just a desk, then great - use that. But if you don’t - and most of us won’t - then the kitchen table can work, just so long as you put the effort into creating a productive atmosphere.
Sit in a seat you wouldn’t normally sit in, invest in a desk-lamp that only comes out during working hours and surround yourself with items that remind you of work: pens, notebooks, your work phone, etc.
If you can move your table to be near a window that would be ideal. Studies show that people get a whole lot more done when they have access to natural light while they work. Likewise, if you are able to invest in some greenery to spruce up your workspace, this could boost your output too.
Another really great tip is to burn some incense containing peppermint, cinnamon, eucalyptus or rosemary. All of these scents have been shown to increase focus.
If you work for someone else then this is a non-negotiable; you will need to be contactable by email, active on Slack, and available for an impromptu Zoom with colleagues at a minute’s notice.
If you work for yourself sticking to a routine is equally important. Self-motivation, though, is doubtless a muscle you are already used to flexing. Draw up a timetable, flesh out that to-do list. Ensure you know what your goals are. If you don’t set them, you can’t meet them!
Whether working for someone or self-employed, structure will help you to get more done in a day, as well as improving your ability to instil boundaries and shut-off once the official workday draws to a close. While we’re on the subject of boundaries, it can be really useful to invest in a work phone so that you can switch it off come 6pm and still have a means to contact friends and family (without worrying that your boss is going to call to check where you’re at with that virtual presentation you’re giving tomorrow).
It might sound trivial but it can be really, really challenging to maintain any sense of normalcy when working from home on a permanent, or semi-permanent, basis. Every little helps, so things like showering first thing, getting dressed, even putting on jewellery and a few dabs of make-up on can make a huge difference. Do whatever makes you feel most ‘you’. For some that might mean hanging out in sweats all day (if that’s you, go for it!), but for most that will mean slipping into something a little less comfortable.
It’s also a great idea to start each day with a ten minute stretch or yoga flow to get those juices flowing and your blood pumping to your brain and body. Boosting your circulation first thing will pay dividends when it comes to being productive later in the day.
Finally, please, please do not underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Ideally you’ll be in bed by 10 o’clock and wake up with the sun. Sleep has been shown time and again to be one of the most - if not the most - important contributing factors to optimal cognitive health. If you struggle to fall or stay asleep then you could try supplementing with ashwagandha. LYMA’s KSM 66® Ashwagandha has been rigorously tested and is unrivalled in terms of efficacy when it comes to increasing the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Make sure to take regular breaks - make yourself a turmeric latte or soothing chamomile tea - and get outside at least once a day, ideally first thing to boost your natural circadian rhythm, or at lunchtime when the sun is highest in the sky and you’re able to maximise that vitamin D intake.
If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough vitamin D then supplementing is a great idea. Most of us in the northern hemisphere are sorely lacking in this fundamental nutrient, which the body cannot create on its own, and without which our immune systems are suffering. LYMA provides a scientifically dosed 2,000 i.u. of Vita-Algae D3™ (the standard dose found in most supplements is closer to 600 i.u.).
Taking regular breaks throughout the day, and certainly between tasks, will keep you feeling refreshed, energised and ready to tackle that to-do list!
If you want to take it one step further, supplementing with Cognizin®, the world’s leading nootropic, as formulated at 250mg in LYMA, will help to keep your brain energised throughout the day and will keep that dreaded afternoon slump at bay.
If working from home is new to you then be patient with yourself as you learn to navigate its particularities. If you are working from home alone that will bring its own challenges; a lack of social contact for long periods can be mentally challenging. Likewise, if you have other people around - partner, flatmates, children - you could easily find yourself distracted and less productive.
If alone, schedule in regular evening FaceTimes or phone calls with loved ones, and if you’re dealing with having your cohabitants swanning around you while you work then be firm in letting them know that you are not available between the hours of nine and six (or whatever your designated working hours are). You may find yourself having to repeat yourself on this one but, trust us, it will stick eventually. Also, noise-cancelling headphones are an absolute godsend to the WFH-er.
Do not beat yourself up for feeling lonely or for getting side-tracked. WFH is very different to working in an office, and there will inevitably be a period of adjustment.
Newness is almost always uncomfortable and if you find yourself getting overwhelmed then Ashwagandha can be really helpful. The root extract has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to help reduce stress and bring the body back into harmony. As we all know, it is when we’re feeling balanced in both body and mind that we’re happiest and most productive. Should you be going through menopause, this article about women in the workplace may be of interest to you.
Christmas holiday burnout and festive self care ideas.LYMA’s evidence-based formula contains everything you need to keep your brain in tip-top condition, to maintain productivity, to avoid burnout and fatigue, and to keep stress at bay. Whether working from home is new to you, or whether you’re seasoned at the home office game, LYMA is here to support you in unlocking your full potential.
Find out more about how LYMA can help you stay productive when working from home here.