1. Keep work and play separate: It’s a good idea to draw boundaries between work and play to avoid either seeping into or affecting the other one. Here are a few ways to clearly demarcate the two:
Keep fixed work hours - Try keeping work limited to a fixed set of hours. Being certain about it helps to create a sense of boundary. If you work from home, this becomes even more important since staying in the same environment might mean that you’re working all the time.
Head out - Even if you work from home, it might be a good idea to head to the nearest café or park to create a physical barrier between work and home. Being in a different environment nudges you to finish work first, and then head home.
2. Schedule for the win, always: We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. SCHEDULE everything! This little tool is a powerhouse in so many different ways:
Prioritize - Is attending that friend’s birthday bash more important or is squeezing in overtime this week the key? List down your priorities in order and then build your schedule around those.
Separate it out - You may even create separate lists for work and home. Pick your 3 most important tasks for each and make sure you get those done.
3. Eliminate distractions: It is essential to keep a solid workflow going when you start. We’re outlining a few key ways to do this:
Break time - Make sure you utilise your breaks to stock up on snacks and water, and head to the washroom. This way you won’t have to get up when you get hunger pangs, and will be able to get done faster!
No phone zone - Clear your phone of all notifications, and put it away while you work. Research has shown that phones eat up as much as 50% of work time – keep it under control!
De-clutter - Clear out your workspace of unnecessary clutter. It’ll help you focus a lot better, and achieve more in less time.
4. Relax: It is very easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying your best to make it all work, but it doesn’t. Understand that some things are simply not in your hands, and that it’s okay to take some off time to regroup and refocus:
Music Magic - Put on your headphones, and zone out from the chaos for a little while. You may even want to listen to some relaxing music as you work.
Power Snoozin’ - Mastering power naps is one of the most effective tools to take a break! Studies have shown that a short snooze of 15 minutes is enough to refresh and help you power through the rest of the day.
5. Health cues: What’s the point of putting in so much effort when you’re only ruining your health at the end of the day? No matter how intense it gets, make sure you take care of your mental, physical and social well-being:
Exercise all the way - Ensure that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-4x a week. Exercising has endless benefits – we could write a separate article on this one!
Don’t forget the food - Do not – we repeat – DO NOT skip meals. Going without food is just not worth it, no matter how intense work gets. Get your nutrients in!
6. Social Media Savvy: Get smart with your social media – keep work and play separate. LinkedIn is a great choice to keep in touch with work contacts; Instagram and Facebook work well to keep up with personal life.