When working from home, you’re likely to encounter distractions and obstacles. It’s therefore important to ensure that you get your best work done on a regular basis. Having a regular routine guarantees a level of quality and, as we all know, consistency is key to success.
Setting up a regular routine will help you:
- Improve your concentration
- Keep you organized
- Enable you to maintain a high productivity level
Time tables, notes, reminders, lists – these are just some of the tactics you may already know about. But will they help you get the job done if you don’t turn them into a habit?
Habits are essential to a regular routine because they become second nature to you over time. You practice them consistently and you even learn to enjoy them.
Here are some habits you should adopt to create a terrific daily routine that will lead to success.
Ensure You Get Enough Sleep
Exceptional routines don’t begin in the morning when you get up out of bed. They begin the night before when you go to sleep and depend on what time you go to bed.
The truth is that a lot of what you need to have a great day depends on the hours of sleep you get. Sleep has a direct influence on the following day’s:
- Energy levels
- Clarity of thoughts
- General health
- Stress levels
- Memory capacity
The greater the quality of sleep you get at night, the better your ability to function the next day.
“Sleep is vital to the rest of the body too. When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks rise. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure, and migraines worsen.
Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. Sleep also plays a role in metabolism: Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person.” – Johns Hopkins Medicine
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recommends 7-9 hours of sleep. To ensure you get those necessary hours, you can follow some of these tips:
- Have a regular sleep schedule
- Workout every day
- Avoid taking naps during the day if you have a hard time sleeping at night
- Don’t eat too much for dinner
- Don’t consume coffee, cigarettes, or alcohol in the evening
- Relax and unwind before going to bed
- Avoid bright lights at night
- Ensure you’re laying on a comfortable mattress and pillow
Start Your Regular Routine and End it on Time
The best time to start your day is, well, in the morning. If you follow a “morning routine” every day, you can create a short ritual (under 30 minutes). During which you can complete some habits that improve your concentration and performance.
The trick here is knowing which habits to include in your morning routine.
Start your day with the thing that will help keep you focused for most of the day:
- Drink your cup of piping hot coffee
- Read the newspaper, your favorite blog, or the latest news about your hobby
- Check your notifications on social media
- Listen to your morning playlist
- Check up on your significant other, best friend, or favorite family member
- Exercise and get the blood flowing through your body
- Prepare your favorite breakfast
Whatever it is, do it and take a lot of pleasure in it, but don’t think about work during this time. You don’t want to start your day off stressing about everything you have to do.
What happens during your first few hours will usually dictate the way the rest of the day will go. So make sure to begin it in the right way.
Think about when you do your best work. Most people have more energy for creative or complex thinking in the morning. Naturally, self-control depletes throughout the day.
So, it’s important to schedule your “big thinking” tasks into the time of day that suits you best.
With that in mind, here are some guidelines:
Mornings are about getting to your work desk, which is itself a challenge. Reserve the mornings for the tasks that require the most critical thinking.
This is a very powerful time of day because your energy (and coffee high) has likely dissipated. This means you’re primed to do the really boring, routine stuff, in a really efficient way. Use this time for tasks like answering emails, processing smaller tasks, and research.
Afternoons are for planning and preparation for the next day. Put your to-do list in order and finish up important work before you head towards your family.
Come up with specific hours when you need to work. Start a few hours after you wake up and stop working in the early evening at the latest. You want to give yourself enough time for other important aspects of your life.
Once you’re done with work, forget about it for the night. You shouldn’t keep carrying work stress, just like you shouldn’t carry work home at an office job.
Think Like a Plant
Remember when your parents would come into your room and open the blinds? While it may not be fun to wake up to, natural light does help you get started on the right foot.
Natural light has a number of different advantages, including:
- Aiding in mood and perception through the increase of serotonin
- Enabling the performance of tasks
- Controlling the body’s circadian rhythm
This tip is only helpful if the sun is up, but it’s an essential one that you should turn into a regular habit. So step out of your home at least once every morning when the sun is still enjoyable. You don’t want to go out at midday or in the afternoon when the sun is at its harshest point.
You don’t even have to go far. You can step onto your balcony if you have one or walk around your neighborhood. As you step outside, you also get to enjoy the natural beauty of the world around you.
There’s no better feeling than taking deep breaths of fresh air and admiring wonderful views. These significantly brighten your mood and enable you to relax your mind.
Similarly to a plant, it’s also important to stay well-hydrated throughout your day. Water makes up most of the human body (60%) and good hydration allows you to work better by:
- Promoting good cardiovascular health
- Helping your joints and muscles work better
- Helping cleanse your body
- Keeping your body cool
- And many more advantages…
So keep a bottle of water or your favorite non-alcoholic beverage at your desk throughout the day. With enough sunlight and water, you can blossom in your work, just like plants blossom in nature.
Have a Break, Have a Chat
When working alone from home, you can lose yourself in your work and spend the entire day working. This isn’t healthy and you risk burning out if you focus too much on your tasks. You’re not a machine and you will lose focus. At a certain point in your workday, you need a breather.
Contrary to distractions, short breaks can be beneficial if you need to refocus.
Give your brain time to pause and rest. Staying too close to your work can sometimes even yield negative results. You can become careless and make avoidable mistakes.
Go on a break, take a breather, and refuel your mind and energy in order to take on the next tasks.
It’s also important for your work to communicate with others and not feel lonely. You can talk to colleagues and like-minded individuals to help you with your work.
Either connect with your online team or find an online forum that matches your interests. Then spend a few minutes in the morning interacting with people on these platforms. Some of the added benefits of communication include:
- They holding you accountable for your actions
- Finding new tips
- Easier tracking of progress
- Having the right support group there for you, which can make a huge difference
You now know some great tips to create a regular routine, such as:
- Getting enough sleep
- Keeping time and starting your day right
- Getting plenty of sunlight and water
- Having a break and conversations with others
As you can see, there are plenty of ideas for small habits that can be added to any morning routine. While you don’t have to do them all, follow a simple strategy called ‘habit stacking’.
With habit stacking, you create a process flow where you put everything in a logical order. You go from room to room and complete one task after another.
The idea is to establish a routine where you complete a number of positive habits without even thinking about it.
You can even write down this routine and follow it as a daily checklist every morning.
Your routine should include a great start, a list, and a break.
It’s a great way to get started each day and will help you maintain a successful online career.
Photo by Freepik