When you work in an office, it’s nearly impossible not to have structure. You have a set schedule, meetings to attend, and your boss sitting just feet away—aka slacking just isn’t going to happen. At home, however, things can become a little more lax if you let them.
To ensure working remotely doesn’t turn into a struggle to get anything done, use these tips to make sure you’re still able to properly structure your day. Because if you start every work day by typing away in bed in your PJs, there’s a good chance you’re not going to meet all those important deadlines.
1. Act Like You’re Going Into the Office
First off, act like you’re going into the office. That means brushing your teeth, washing your face, getting dressed—basically doing your typical pre-quarantine morning routine. When you feel like you’re ready for work, you’re going to do much better keeping a normal work schedule.
2. Stick to Your Work Hours
Speaking of keeping a normal work schedule, making sure you have set hours is incredibly important. You should have a firm starting time and ending time, as well as times scheduled in for lunch or breaks. And you need to stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll end up taking a two-hour lunch break and be stuck working way longer than you should be.
3. Keep a To-Do List
Every morning, make yourself a daily to-do list. Even if you have your tasks in your head, writing things out—and even setting yourself a schedule—can help you cross things off much more effectively. Also make sure you’re prioritizing what’s important early on in the day. Who knows—you might even be able to call it a day early.
4. When You’re Off the Clock, Stay Off the Clock
When you work remotely, it’s easy to feel like you’re on-call 24/7. You check your emails constantly, and anytime you get a ping from Slack, you can’t help but respond. When you’re off the clock, make sure you keep that time for yourself. Turn your phone on airplane mode, if you have to. Work-life balance is incredibly important in keeping your mental health in check. Plus, when you stick to your hours, you’ll be much more refreshed and productive once it’s time to start working again.
5. Schedule in Something to Look Forward To
One simple way to keep structure in your day is to make sure you always have something to look forward to. Intuition has numerous different live and on-demand fitness classes, cooking classes, and webinars on essentially any topic, whether you join a session during a work break or hop on at the end of the day. When something fun is on the schedule, you’re more likely to keep up with your work so you’re able to attend.