Working from Home Tip #1: Create a dedicated workspace

While getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle for most, it can be even tougher for those of us working from home. Instead of grabbing your laptop and heading back under the covers, you’ll want to set up a dedicated workspace.

Don’t cut corners when setting up your workstation. If you have a laptop, consider getting an external monitor and monitor arms to expand your visual workspace. Clear your area of any personal clutter (apart from decor) that could distract you from work.

Tip #2: Set work hours and expectations

Be clear with everyone about the time you are “working” and the time you are “home.” Choose specific work hours that you’ll stick to and communicate them with your family, friends and coworkers. A shared calendar shows coworkers when you’re available to meet or respond to email and when you are offline for friends and family. Setting limits can help you be more focused when working and more relaxed when you aren’t. Also, it’s OK to take breaks as you would at an office, but don’t get sucked into social media or distractions just because you’re at home.

Tip #3: Get dressed for work

Working in your pajamas sounds like a pretty good perk (and yes, it can be comfortable), but it may not be ideal for your day-to-day productivity. The act of changing clothes can help you change or transition into “work mode” and break up personal and professional time. We’re not saying you have to put on a suit, but try to at least change out of what you woke up in. This will help fight lethargy.

Tip #4: Give yourself light

Workspaces that are too dim can cause eye strain, while too much artificial light can cause sleepiness. Make sure you have at least two points of light, and ideally, one of these points should be natural light. Studies have shown that people in natural light are happier and more productive than those who work in artificial light only. If you have weak overhead lighting, try adding a task lamp to your desk.

Tip #5: Stay organized

This is important for productivity, but equally important for fully enjoying afterwork hours. Leaving your office area messy creates an unwelcome reminder of what needs to get done. Use trays in drawers or file things away in cabinets to put papers and unfinished business out of sight. That way, you won’t be as likely to think about it when you’re trying to relax.

Tip #6: Be active while working

Standing up and moving at intervals throughout the day can boost your energy levels and simulates the activity you’d normally get from moving throughout the office. A standing desk converter can turn any home workspace into a more active one. Scheduling time for exercise such as yoga can also help reduce stress and add more activity to your work day.

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