One of the perks of working from home is having no commute to deal with every day. We gain extra time each morning and evening. And there is no traffic stress to deal with. But a daily commute does have a benefit. It helps us separate our work lives from our personal lives.
A big challenge of working from home is the blurring of the lines. As we are work in the same spaces where we live, the transition from one to the other can be too sudden. Minutes after breakfast you may need to solve a challenging work problem or run a difficult online meeting. There is no time to adjust your mind. No time to get into “work mode”.
The daily commute allowed time for this transition. Here are 3 things you can do to gain the benefit of commuting without the associated stress.
1. Daily Routine
The first thing is to make sure that you have a daily routine. Start work at approximately the same time every day so the decision is made each day about getting started. This particularly helps on a day when motivation is low; a day when you may procrastinate and start later. The routine helps you “work yourself” into a productive mood. It also sets the boundaries for other family members in your house.
2. Commute to Work
But before you start work, do something to help you transition into work mode. This will be your “commute” to work. It could be: 1) a quick walk around the block, 2) an exercise routine or 3) 10 minutes reading a business article. Find what suits you. This provides the time to park any personal thoughts and consider the work for the day.
3. Commute from Work
It is equally important to “commute home” from work in the evening. An evening transition helps you tune out of work and be more “present” with family or friends. Again identify an activity that helps you clear work thoughts from your mind. This could be: 1) planning the next day, 2) committing to a family activity or 3) some exercise or personal down time.
Even simply putting away your work devices can help you switch off. If you can see your technology after hours you may be tempted to work on emails. Occasionally this may be essential but try not to let it become a habit. Remember, getting some work done in the evening may be productive at the time but it can impact your ability to get things done the next day.
Commute to Separate Work from Home
Being productive while working from home feels good. It also helps to reduce stress, which is important right now. Use these commuting tips to take control of your time so you will have more productive days.
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Written by Productivity Consultant Moira Dunne, founder and director of beproductive.ie.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels