Roger James Hamilton, CEO, Genius Group, shares his top 5 tips to help you become happier, healthier and more productive while working from home
Working from home is the new normal for many of us now, and with this also comes new challenges and questions. What’s the smartest way to set up a home routine that keeps you happy, healthy and effective? What tools, resources and online communities can boost your productivity? And crucially, how do you create a healthy work-life balance and keep your home a sanctuary away from the chaos going on in the world?
Firstly, let’s remember that different challenges also present fresh opportunities. Remote working offers a great chance to reboot your work practises, particularly if lately your mind has felt like a computer with too many windows open. Now is the perfect time to reassess and discover how you can work smarter, improve your performance, and take charge of your wellbeing, too.
Most people had never experienced remote working for extended periods before 2020, so it’s natural to want to learn the steps you need to take to be at your best in this situation. Rather than simply muddling through; there is an art to working from home effectively. Read on to find some top tips and tools to help you be more effective in your job while also becoming happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Reset your ikigai
This is the Japanese concept of ‘a reason for being’. It’s about connecting with what you’re good at, and what you enjoy. With so many things out of control right now, focus on what hasn’t changed: who you are and what makes you tick. Be mindful of what led you to your profession in the first place. What are your passions and your purpose? Now is the time to reconnect with what drives you and this is the most powerful motivator to excelling at what you do. This will also help to increase your value in these uncertain times.
Set your rhythm
When there is no longer a commute or other things dictating the flow of your day you are freer to design your own tempo. Problems and stress arise from going too fast or too slow. You don’t want to stall from going too slow or burn out from going too fast so tune in to the right pace. It’s about being adaptable to your situation without trying to control things. Control doesn’t serve you; but rhythm does because it will always help you find harmony. Without rhythm, things get messy. Maybe you can start work earlier and finish earlier if that suits your natural rhythm better? Find out what works best for you. Also, look after yourself and aim to build self-care into your daily routine, including exercise and healthy eating. And don’t forget to take time out for breaks.
Focus your energy
Instead of scattering momentum by hopping from one task to another to another. For example, switching from a spreadsheet to a Zoom call to writing a report, then back to the spreadsheets – this is a recipe for feeling stressed and distracted. Try to plan your days around tasks that flow easily from one thing to the next; for instance, focus on numbers one day, meetings and communication the next day; creative tasks after that. Think about it like a school timetable where you go from class to class. Remember it’s not about managing time; it’s about managing your energy.
Think right place, right time
A to-do list is like a dumping ground and can quickly make you feel overwhelmed. Prioritise the most important thing that needs to be completed that day. To maintain clarity and direction with multiple demands, try to group tasks according to type and physically move from one group to another. You can design different spaces in your house to complete your various types of tasks. For example, create a quiet zone for doing your numbers, another place for going on calls, a different area for creative work. Avoid working in your bedroom though as it will affect your sleep. Even if your home is small, you could create different areas within one room. The impact of switching from one ‘environment’ to another will help you focus on the task in hand.
Communicate and contribute
There is always someone who has experienced the same problems as you, so reach each out to others. Figure out who is in your trusted circle of colleagues and connections who benefit you and find out how you can help them. What challenges do they have that you could help with and vice versa? Other people give you clarity and perspective and they will support you in return.