Falling into great habits
So you have been forced to take time out of the office environment and have been thrown into your new home office. Things are novel and looking awesome as you have freedom, no commute and can jump and sing whenever you want. But the work still needs to be done right!
I have experienced over two decades of being a remote / home office worker as a CEO of businesses across the UK and Australia dealing with every corner of the globe and working in the 24 hour time zone. It has its ups, but it certainly has its downs, so I am here to help you through the transition and reinforcing this awesome opportunity for you to fall in to GREAT HABITS.
A bit of background. I started on my own in business at just 19, started a family young and have moved countless times but have worked remotely since the 14,400 Kbps (yes "K") connection speed back in 1997. I can recall being back in my office in Oxford, which was a converted barn and my then pregnant wife at home preparing for our first child. I used to roll into my office at 9 (ish) in my dressing gown, spend a few (30 mins) reading some football stuff, make a coffee, push some paper around and then kick off with some phone calls around 10/10:30am. Disruptions occurred through the day and I just went with them until I finally turned off the PC around 10:30pm. Seriously a very unproductive, inefficient way but YOU WILL DO THIS.
Now I own a business dedicated to #CreatingExceptionalWellbeing through #PositiveHabitualChange so I am going to force you all to take heed of my inefficient ways and use this awesome opportunity of change to set yourselves up for the light at the end of this dark, coronavirus tunnel and make true positive habitual change to your life and your environment.
1 Get the support in place
Get yourself a membership (it's free) to Global Wellness Tracking. This may seem like a sales pitch but it's free and full of the tools you will need to move forwards, stay on track and keep sane and you will find a new you on this journey.
Start your habitual change right now
Global Wellness Tracking membership is free and will provide resources, information and tools to help you through the journey ahead
2. Prepare your space
Make sure you have a good piece of space that feels like yours. If you are using the kitchen table, take time to move the family items out of the way for now so that it is a space you can spread out on and not feel claustrophobic. If you have a dedicated desk or office, likewise set it up as the "office".
This space is essential for you to be able to judge and differentiate from "work time" and "home time" so be strong as this will make a difference later on.
3. Set some goals and limits
If your normal day is 7am wake up, 7:30am leave, 8:30am arrive at office, 10:45am break, 12:45pm break (30 mins), 3:45pm break, 4:45pm wind down, 5:00pm finish, 6:00pm get home....DUPLICATE IT but make it much cooler.
- 7am wake up.
- 7:30am go for a walk, do something personally productive, read a GWT blog, update your TRACK, make an awesome breakfast, do a workout (do not switch on social media or the tv as this will absorb your original commute time).
- 8:30am turn on your work (pc, phone, etc) and START your working day as normal. Do not get distracted, focus hard on the work goals you have and jobs to be done and do this until mid-morning as you will need a break.
- Mid-morning (when you feel it is right), take a good 15 minute break and do something personally productive. You don't have the office colleagues to talk rubbish to so make this a perfect time to make a new habit. It is amazing what you can do in just 15 minutes (including a stroll around the block with the dog) but do not get distracted, you are still in your working day.
- Repeat the above as you would in the office for the next few hours, take a break for your lunch, work again, break and work again. If your project doesn't allow you the break, don't feel bad, sometimes the responsibilities we have mean we need to work through and this is fine as we actually feel fulfilled when the task is complete versus anxious when it is outstanding still.
- Find the right time to close off and tie up the daily work loose ends then turn the office OFF.
- It is only 5pm and you do not need to commute home so plan an awesome dinner, jump on your socials, stick the tv on or do whatever you want for an hour as you deserve it. Warning - Do not let this hour turn into your entire evening.
4. The walls are closing in
You are now in the home 24/7 and the novelty will wear off quickly. The ability to roll-out of bed and stick the phone on silent seems awesome. You can get all that washing done, fix those things that you didn't have time for before...WRONG. You need to look past all of these daily chores and loads and plan the time to do this outside of work time. Follow task 3 and you will not feel the whole home is the office and vice versa. You need to take time to get out regularly and keep the office space away from the home space.
5. Move always
Depending on your normal role, you may find out that you can pile up the steps in your new environment. Personally I am a walkie talkie so when I pick up a call, I start to walk around the house, garden, even known to head up the street. Why? Because I can.
Make a solid effort to move (information is available to members on our site too). This movement must be regular and committed not just a shuffle to the kettle and back.
6. Hydrate and eat
This should be a habit in the workplace but for the majority it isn't, therefore use this awesome opportunity to start another positive habit and drink regularly and eat the right stuff periodically. If you need advice on what and when is good and bad, go through our resources on www.globalwellnesstracking.com.
You are at home and there are zero excuses not to get this right so don't make any. It's seriously only you who you are accountable to.
7. Let it out
The truth is that you are in a new place of life and this change will cause a little anxiety. "Fear is the unknown" remember this. If you do not know or have no experience, you will fear it therefore be anxious. To combat this, you need to talk and learn so that all of this is no longer the unknown, it is the known and you own it.
This point is not just for those moving into their home office but a point for all to consider.
Do not let the issues of work and stresses of the pressure that is now applied to all of your colleagues from the CEO and board down make your home, the place of solice, turn into a pressure pot. Talk to your partner, friends, family, boss, colleagues but make it positive. If you have a genuine problem with your project or role, can you see a solution? Sometimes it may take a sacrifice but will it provide a much greater outcome?
Talk, read and educate yourself as much as possible.
8. Change your life for the better
Everyone. This is not a threat; it is an opportunity. If you have ever, for a moment considered that you'd love to change something, anything in your physical or mental life, now is that time. You have a change that was unforeseeable, unexpected and unplanned but it has happened so you can only move forwards.
Do not settle into bad habits.
FACT: Habitual change takes repeating the task at least 7 times or, on average, 66 consecutive days. You have both so plan what your goals are (work with the team at Global Wellness Tracking if needed) and make things happen in your life for the better.