For A Better You

A Work-From-Home Schedule to Keep Your Day Productive

A remote working setup has been a liberating experience for a lot of us. We don’t have to set our alarms early in the morning and even snooze it two to three times before you actually get up from your bed. There’s no more battle against the public transport system going to and getting off from work. We have so much more time in our hands now than before.

It also allowed us to take more control of our lives and navigate a flexible work-life balance. Aside from the important meetings and deadlines that we have to meet, working from home has no steady rules. But that’s also the downside of it.

Working from home gives us a lot of freedom, and the responsibility falls directly on our hands to make it work for us. But if not handled properly, we may see ourselves slacking, having more unproductive days, and cramming all of our work instead, which may give us high stress levels.

Structuring your day and creating a schedule will give a sense of orderliness. Apart from that, it will help you stay on track and efficiently attend to your tasks. Also, you are less likely to let in or entertain distractions knowing you have a workflow and schedule to follow and tasks to finish for the day.

With that, we have formed an ideal work-from-home schedule that you can use as your guide to help you structure your working days accordingly. Adjust the time to fit your typical day and lifestyle and figure out what works best for you!

a. Morning rituals

Depending on your lifestyle and your preferences, everyone’s waking up time may be different. But we suggest waking up an hour or two earlier from the time you have to start and make yourself seen at work. Allow your mind to have time to adjust and wake up as you prep yourself for the day.

If you have more time, you can squeeze in and do things that would help you feel more awake. It can be taking a relaxing shower or watering your plants, making yourself a cup of coffee, stretching out, or readings the news. You can also choose to relax and spend your time quietly if you prefer that, as long as it’s something that would allow and help you prepare yourself for your workday and fit your lifestyle.

Another thing you can do to prepare for your day is to look after your body. You can apply Salonpas as soon as you start your day to relax any tensed muscles. Not only would this help in relaxing your body, but it would also help in calming down your mind so you can start jump on your work without any worries.

b. Prepare for work

Once you’ve finally and fully woken up, or the caffeine has finally kicked in to help you jumpstart your day, get in your desk, and start preparing for work. We suggest doing this ten to fifteen minutes before the official working time. If you feel like you need more time, feel free to adjust it according to your liking.

Open your work laptop and related and essential apps that you use at work. Check notifications, emails, messages and attend to them if there are any urgent ones. You can choose to save those that don’t need a response for later instead.

It is also the time to identify and remind yourself about the tasks you need to do for the day. Listing them down will be helpful to keep you on track. We also suggest putting your tasks into time blocks to keep you accountable and help you focus solely on your work.

c. Get started

Now that you have listed down and allotted time for your tasks, time to get to work! If you are the type of person who works productively in the morning, it is better to tackle the heavy workloads that you have to get them out of the way early. Working on your heavy tasks first will also give you more time to breathe and attend to lighter works in the afternoon.

If not, and you find yourself being more productive after a few hours of doing light work, then attend to tasks that you know you can tick off of your list right away. Doing this will allow you to have the rest of your day to focus on tasks that need your full attention. Also, finishing your lighter workloads will give you a sense of accomplishment that can help boost your productivity. It’s still a win-win, no matter what!

Find what style suits you the best and figure out when you feel the most productive and schedule your day and work accordingly!

d. Take a break

A lot of us underestimate how important breaks are. We would often think about how it is such a waste of time wherein we could just attend to our work and finish it off as soon as we could instead. While accomplishing our tasks is important, allowing ourselves and our minds to breathe even for a couple of minutes is vital in keeping our peace and productivity.

Breaks can be as short as five to ten minutes. If you feel like you need more, feel free to give yourself more time to breathe. It’s also the best time to reply to messages that are not work-related and keep in touch with your friends and loved ones. You can step away from your desk and check in with your family.

If you feel like you need this break just for yourself, you can go out to your garage, terrace, backyard, or even anywhere at your house for a change of scenery. Allowing yourself to do this even for a couple of minutes will allow you to have a breather and quickly recharge your mind before continuing with your work.

Feel free to incorporate some time off away from your work into your schedule whenever you need them. Allowing yourself to step back from your tasks for a bit will be beneficial in keeping your productivity in check and going.

Use as many breaks as you need to help you stay on your workflow and achieve a productive day!

e. Back in action

After taking that short break and feeling like you are ready to tackle your day again, get back on your desk and continue from where you left off. And see how much taking a mini-break has helped you feel refreshed to help you focus on your tasks properly.

With that, take on more work or continue what you were doing to slowly tick off the tasks on your list for the day. The more you stay on track and get things done, the more you will feel accomplished and productive.

f. Lunchtime

It’s easy to lose track of our time when we get engrossed with our work. Without the typical office environment and schedule to follow, we can easily miss out on taking our lunch and giving ourselves a more extended break.

Depending on what time you feel your hunger comes in the picture, set a standard time for you to have your lunch and take a solid break from your work. We highly recommend getting out of your desk and eating your lunch somewhere else at your home. The change of scenery will help you relax and give your mind another time to rest.

We also suggest preparing your meals the night before to lessen the work you need to exert during your break. You don’t want to be running around the kitchen, trying to cook something for your family just as you got off your work to take a break. That would just cause you more stress.

Instead, prepare everything beforehand so you can already ease away such worries out of your mind. We also suggest preparing snacks so you and your family can easily munch on something throughout the day or while having your mini-breaks!

g. Accomplish more tasks

After having your meal and taking a break, it’s time to get back and finish your tasks! Lunch breaks can serve as a midday alarm, and hopefully, this can motivate you to tackle your work eagerly so you can successfully wrap up your day.

If you’ve managed to finish your heavy workloads during the first half of the day, now’s the time to tick off the lighter ones. Or finally, answer emails and messages that aren’t urgent. If you have meetings for the day, it’s also ideal to set them after lunchtime, so everyone is still on their workflow. Also, it would feel great to get interactions with your workmates, even virtually. It’ll give you a sense of normalcy despite being away from them working remotely.

h. Snack break

Sitting on your desk and having your eyes glued to your laptop for hours can be energy draining. Even if you manage to fuel your body with breakfast and lunch meals, as you go through the day and do more work, you also exert more energy out of your body. And having a snack break wouldn’t hurt! Take it as if you’re having your brain break for the afternoon as well.

Get up from your desk and grab the snacks that you prepared beforehand. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up drink, make yourself a cup of coffee to feel that caffeine kick to help boost your energy.

If you can have your snack away from your working desk, that would be great. But if you feel like munching on it or drinking your coffee as you work, feel free to do it as long as it’s something that suits your preferences and helps you stay more focused.

i. Prepare to wrap things up

As the end of the working hours slowly approaches, prepare to wrap your tasks up. Check your list and see how many did you manage to finish for the day. If there are a few more that aren’t urgent, save those for the following days instead.

Double-check apps, and even on your workmates. Check whether you forgot to attend to a work with them that needs to be done within the day. If there are none, say your goodbyes to each other like how you would on a standard face-to-face office setup and maybe commend each other for working hard.

j. Enjoy the rest of the day

When you made sure that you are all good and set to go, set aside your laptop, notebook, planner, and all your work-related stuff. Doing this would allow you to truly establish a boundary between your personal time and working hours.

Make sure that despite having your office within your home, you still make it a point to separate your life and work from each other. Make time and bond with your family, and enjoy downtime activities together like watching a movie to ideally end the day in a relaxing manner.

You can also surf the internet, answer messages and connect with your friends at this time. You can also take the time and prepare a dinner for your family to enjoy together after a long day.

When you’re finally ready to call it a day, make sure that you keep a comforting atmosphere in your room. Doing this will help your mind relax and calmly recharge for the next day. You can choose to have your lights dimmed out a bit or even light a candle to keep the calm in the confines of your room.

We also recommend avoiding the excessive use of any gadgets at least an hour before your bedtime. Doing this will help eliminate other distractions that could keep you awake for the night. Instead, you can choose to read a book to ensure a relaxing evening so you can recharge yourself and perform well the next day.

Though working remotely has given us a freeing experience, it is vital to learn how to structure our day to help us stay on our workflow. Being at home comes with great conveniences but also great distractions. And without the usual office rules to guard us, we can easily slip away from our work routine and let our days go unproductive instead.

By structuring your workday schedule at home, you are helping to set yourself up to accomplish a successful day and build boundaries between your work and personal life. — (TGM)

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