As we settle into the new world of work we’re all slowly beginning to find our feet (and the mute button on Zoom). While working from home can be incredibly effective and productive when done well, it can have the opposite effect if your work from home routine isn’t working for you.
Today we’re going to share some of the work from home principles that we’ve implemented as a team at Pragmatic Thinking. What better way to change your routine than to rope your colleagues in as accountability buddies, right?
Give this a read and if you like it, take this work from home routine for a spin.
A pragmatic work from home routine
Win the morning.
The first step to setting yourself up for work from home success is ‘winning the morning’. This concept comes to us from our good friend Nam Baldwin, a performance coach who works with world-class athletes.
Winning the morning means doing what you need to do to get some runs on the board before your first meeting or video conferencing call. For you, it might look like going for a morning run before tackling your email inbox. For someone else, it could be finishing up a niggling task that they didn’t get to the day before.
What would winning the morning look like in your work from home environment?
What could you commit to doing most (if not all) WFH mornings to set yourself up for a ripper of a day?
Once you get that morning momentum going you’ll be in a good place to bring your best self to your team meeting and to the rest of your day.
#winning (I couldn’t help it, sorry)
Set up for sprints.
Do you find yourself plotting away in your home office from the minute you sit down until…well…sun-down? Perhaps it’s time for a work from home intervention.
The truth is, when we’re in a typical office environment we have to work in sprints. It’s engineered into the environment. You’ll get in, chat to a few coworkers and then get stuck into your first few tasks. Then it’s off to a meeting, or you’ve got to make a phone call. After that, you’ll probably make a cuppa, have a chat, and then get going on some other tasks.
It’s an effective way to work – we can’t sustain motivation and high performance if we’re not taking any breaks (even if it’s just to make a cuppa) throughout the workday.
How can you bring that rhythm to your work from home routine? You could choose to have a timer on your phone that you set before getting stuck into a task. After the 45mins or hour is up, force yourself to get up, move around, make a cuppa and recentre your focus for your next sprint.
We’ve got another blog that dives into a variety of methods for engineering recovery into your day to achieve high performance, give it a look or save the link for later.
Connect with your colleagues.
You’ve knocked over a few big rocks and you’re feeling like an A-grade legend. Now what?
Just because we’re working as distributed teams doesn’t mean that we can’t connect with our colleagues anymore. Make the time to connect with at least three of your colleagues throughout the workday. Sure, talk about work that you’re collaborating on, but also give yourself permission to have ‘water cooler’ conversations.
It’s important to connect with your colleagues on a personal level to keep your losada ratio in check. Also, in this new world of remote work, we’re all feeling a little lonely. Have a chat, be present and remove distractions when you’re on the phone (or better yet, a video call) with a team member.
Seize the midday.
So, you’ve made your way to midday. You’re really rocking this work from home lifestyle aren’t ya?
The middle of the day is the perfect time to get up from your desk, make yourself a delicious and nutritious meal and head out for some midday movement.
Here are some ideas straight from the Pragmatic Thinking crew to inspire you:
- Go for a bike ride
- Jump in the pool in your backyard, c’mon, you know you want to…
- Go for a walk around your block (listening to music, or simply enjoying the scenery)
- Grab your skateboard and go for a skate with your kids
- Find a yoga video on YouTube and get bendy
- Set up a circuit workout in your backyard
Disconnect to reconnect.
It’s time for tools down, laptop shut down, and bringing your headspace back into your space.
Yep, at the end of your work from home day you’ve got to consciously make the effort to disconnect from work.
While it might be tempting to check your emails and Slack messages on your phone late into the evening, in all honesty, no-one in your team really wants you to be doing that.
If you don’t commit to disconnecting from work you’ll quickly burn yourself out – yep, it’s possible, even if you are working from the comfort of your own home.
Your disconnection activity might be putting all your work gear neatly away, or it could even be an afternoon/evening workout to reset your mind and body.
A great psychological hack is to actually get up, walk out your front door, go down the driveway and then walk back into the house as if you’ve just gotten home from work. Give it a try.
Pssst – Are you trying to navigate working from home with your spouse? Our founders have gone ahead and shared their best tips after over 13 years of working together… and staying married. You’re welcome.
So, what do you think? We hope you find at least one new work from home ritual to add to your routine. If you’re keen to learn new frameworks for maximising working from home as a leader and as a team, take a look at our Virtual Leaders program.