Brought to you by Performance Lab:
Working from home has many perks: no awkward water cooler gossip, no interruptions from middle managers, no hours wasted in traffic, and more time to spend with your loved ones. But if the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that working from home can also be very confusing.
Without the structure of an office environment, remote work can also make us feel groggy, unmotivated, and disorganized, especially in the mornings. Being an early bird was hard enough before, let alone now, when time doesn’t seem to matter and we don’t know what the world will look like next week.
If you feel that mornings aren’t quite the best part of your day, below are some tips to help you improve your morning routine and start your day on the right foot.
1. Get Your Heart Pumping
If you still grab your laptop as soon as you wake up, your mood and productivity will be affected throughout the day. Your brain isn’t ready for intense activity just yet, so take at least a few minutes to work out. Whether you jog in the nearest park, do some Pilates, indoor cycling, or even yoga, raising your heartbeat will energize you and get you ready for the day.
According to a 2019 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, working out in the morning improves attention, boosts your memory, and helps you make better decisions. Besides, work from home life can be pretty sedentary, so you need some physical activity to keep your body in good condition!
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast!
Even if your morning workout puts a spring in your step, you should still try to eat a proper breakfast rich in fibers, vitamins, and healthy fats. It will help you focus on your tasks better and fuel your body with healthy nutrients. So as tempting as it might be to wait until 11am to nibble some chocolate cookies, try to add more structure to the most important meal of the day.
Oatmeal, fruits, Greek yogurt, eggs, and smoothies, combined with a cup of black coffee or green tea will do wonders for your mood and gut health. And speaking of gut health — if you’re wondering when to take prebiotics, now is a fantastic time!
3. Get out of Those Pajamas
We know, we know. It’s awesome that you don’t have to put on your office uniform for once, but working in your pajamas all the time isn’t a great idea either. Our brain associates pajamas with sleeping and relaxing, so if you keep on wearing them even after you wake up (and work from your bed too), it will have a hard time getting into that productive work mindset.
We’re not saying you should wear your suit at home either because where’s the fun in that? However, brushing your hair and changing into some comfy lounge wear will make you feel less lazy and tell your brain it’s time to get to work.
4. Set Goals
If you were one of the people who suddenly went from working exclusively at the office to working from home, you might find it harder to plan your day. Your boss is no longer around to tell you when to do this, your days don’t have the same milestones (like the lunch break, for instance), and the presence of your family members may make things even more confusing.
To add more structure to your day, set some goals before you start work – and make sure you include breaks too! Working from home makes many of us feel guilty, so we tend to overcompensate by doing much more than necessary or by doing overtime.
5. Take a Few Minutes away from Screens
In pre-pandemic days, most of us started our day by picking up our phone and scrolling through our social media feeds. And it wasn’t such a bad habit, because afterwards, we got dressed, drove to work, talked to our colleagues, and only then started working.
At home, things are different. You no longer have that “window” between screens, and it’s not healthy to go from looking at your phone to looking at your laptop — so try different ways to unwind. Play with your kids, walk your dog, do some light chores, stare out the window, listen to a podcast, or meditate. It’s better for your eyes, mood, and productivity.