Working from home sure has its perks. For the most part you’ve got full control over when you clock on for the day, when you take your breaks and when you sign off and ‘head home’. It’s what dreams are made of, right?
Despite all the freedom and autonomy that comes with working from home, there is something to be said for having structure in your workday. While we’ve all been happy to say goodbye to the stop-start traffic when commuting to and from the office, the boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘home’ have been blurred so significantly that you might have found yourself falling somewhere on the following continuum.
Motivation? What motivation? ————————————— I’ll just get one last thing done…
Without a clear routine you can quickly find yourself losing motivation, or, if you’re swinging to the other end of the continuum, pushing yourself to get ‘one last thing done’ before looking at the clock realising it’s 8:38pm and you still haven’t had dinner. Neither are ideal situations to be stuck in long-term.
So, what can you do? Our recommendation is to start with a set of work from home rituals that you can use to prepare for and wind down from your workday. This is the simplest way to add some structure to your day and shift your mindset to and from ‘work mode’.
Here are some of our very own work from home rituals to inspire you on your quest to make WFH work for you.
Work from home rituals to inspire you.
#1: A morning walk / swim
“I’ve been WFA for a while now, and the best ritual that I’ve had going for the last few years is getting up early every morning and going for a walk or a swim with my buddy. Subbing in exercise and catching the first light of the day has me starting everyday calm and at my very best.”
– Tracy, EA Extraordinaire
#2: Dressing for the day ahead
“When I work from home I make sure I am dressed for the tasks I have in front of me. I found out early on that staying in my daggy clothes meant I was easily drawn towards activities I would normally do in those clothes – hanging out the washing, doing the dishes, cleaning the house – basically anything that wasn’t work related. I don’t always put on my “office work” clothes, instead, I dress for my outcomes. Activewear raises my energy, allowing me to pump out content. A summer dress (no shoes) helps me to get creative and let my ideas flow.”
– Connie, Business Education Strategist
#3: A post-meeting tea break
“I have a daily tea ceremony – around 10:30 each day after our morning Zoom meeting – complete with a tray, teapot, tea cup and milk jug. It helps me to feel pumped and ready for the day ahead.”
– Kylie, Cultural Engagement Manager
#4: Midday movement
“I carve out time for a movement break and sunshine everyday at lunch. I leave the property and get outside. With this work from home ritual I am able to honour myself in the hours of work I do. In the past I was working longer hours because I wanted to get one more thing done, now I have a balance that still delivers results.”
– Erin, Lead Facilitator
#5: A simple journalling exercise
“My single most important work from home ritual I’ve employed is a ‘winding down’ process I learned from Nam Baldwin. It’s a 5-10 minute journaling exercise that helps me unwind from the day, and has helped me sleep better as well as feel a sense of being on top of my priorities. I then follow that up with a shower where I visualise ‘washing the day away’ using the tactile sensation of the water along with some breath work to help me calm my busy mind.”
– Darren, Executive Director
#5: An end of day stretch
“There are a few things that have become ritual – first up is a quiet calm intention setting, then coffee, walking the ocean path every day possible, getting some sun…but the single most important thing to emerge for me is to stretch. Multiple stretch sessions are allowed, but the most important one is the very last, end of the day, ‘I am done’ stretch. It’s the one that releases all the tension of the day, brings the calm to the body and symbolises that work is done for this day. As the muscles relax I allow my body and mind to become calm and relaxed along with them.”
– Kym, Creative Lead
Now it’s your turn.
Found a work from home ritual that could work for you? If you’re willing, we’d recommend trying out a new work from home ritual each week, taking note of what benefits come your way, until you find something that you want to hang onto long-term. It’s an experiment of sorts, and one worth giving a go as we continue to embrace remote work in our workplaces.
If you’re looking for more useful work from home tips, take a look at our guide to disconnecting from work when you work from home.