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9 Tips for Staving off the Monotony of Working From Home

Finding yourself losing focus, or accidentally working 16-hour days? Here are some of our top tips for keeping your work schedule on track.

If you're starting to feel like the hours—and days—are blending together, you're not alone.

Working from home presents an entirely new set of challenges to the worker accustomed to a commute, a lunch hour, in-person meetings, and the comings and goings of coworkers that signal the start and end of the work day.

Worry not. We're here to help!

Our team boasts more than five combined decades of remote work experience—so suffice to say, we've developed a few strategies over the years for breaking up your day, and dealing with the potential monotony of working where you live.

Plan ahead—even with your coffee.

For one member of our team, no morning is complete without an iced coffee from his local Dunkin. So to keep this chilled caffeine routine chugging along, he takes a few minutes the night before to begin the process of making his own cold brew at home. It's ready to go by morning, and a crucial part of the daily regimen remains intact.

Simulate a commute. (Minus the traffic.)

For many people, the morning commute is about more than traveling from their home to their office. It provides a built-in period of time to mentally prepare for the day ahead. If you ordinarily listen to your favorite podcast while on the train, or have a favorite playlist you enjoy driving to, keep that routine in place! Jumping out of bed 45 minutes before your first Zoom meeting to have a cup of coffee and enjoy some "you" time can make a big difference. 

Take a seat, then find a new one.

Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery. And while that might entail just moving to another room of your house, that little move can seriously help in renewing your focus. Short on space? No worries. This tip comes from one of our team members who lives in an Airstream trailer; you can literally just bring your laptop to the opposite side of the room you're currently in to give your brain a reset.

Treat yourself at lunch.

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to fire up the grill and put on a steak. It just means there's something to be said for taking a legitimate lunch break—where your laptop is firmly shut and at least six feet away from you—so that you can relax a little. If you have a patio or yard or balcony, bring that PB&J outside and get some fresh air. If you're in a smaller apartment, even eating a midday bowl of cereal by the window can provide a much needed breather.

Walk it off.

Some members of our team like to start off their day with a short walk around the block to get the blood flowing. Others prefer to build in a half hour into their afternoon to step away from their screen and get outside. And we have a few evening strollers in our crew as well. It doesn't matter when—although if you live in a denser city, going at off hours can give you a bit more distance from others and peace of mind—as long as you do something to move around a little.

Set limitations.

For some, working from home means they never stop working. Workaholics—or those prone to losing track of time—might want to set an alarm for 6pm during the week. When it goes off, shut the computer down, turn off email notifications on your phone, and pour yourself a drink or grab a seat with a good book. You can always check back in if it's required of you (as you might during normal working conditions), but making sure there's an end to your day is huge.

Work on your own projects.

If you're a naturally crafty or creative person, consider giving yourself the time and space to work on things you enjoy, that aren't work. It can be tricky to have the mental energy to dedicate to personal drawing, or writing, or building, but it can be incredibly rewarding, and help you feel reinvigorated for work the next day.

Make a list.

If you aren't already in the habit of making daily to-do lists, now might be a great time to start. They're a great way to break your day into manageable tasks, and a hold yourself accountable for the responsibilities you might otherwise expect to give frequent, in-person updates on.

End the day on a high note.

This one is universally practiced by every member of our team. Whether it's preparing a nice meal for yourself and family, watching that new Netflix documentary you've been clamoring to check out, hopping on a Zoom happy hour call with your college roommates, or even something as seemingly small as playing with your dog for a little bit after dinner, you should always to be kind to yourself after a long work day. That's especially true right now.

Want more tips on remote work? Interested in hearing about the future of events? Or simply want a break in the middle of your week? We're hosting weekly coffee chats every Wednesday where we discuss a wide range of relevant, remote-working-inspired topics. Find out more here!

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