So you’ve made the transition from office life to WFH (work from home). Now what?
As commutes, set office hours, and in-person interactions diminish, some workers experience newfound time — along with uncertainty about how to spend it. Now that we are no longer desk-bound for 8+ hours a day, how can we balance productivity with constructive rest (and leisure) in the time we got back?
The answer, of course, is different for everyone. Some people thrive on structure and repeatability, while others succeed with a more fluid approach. Either way, when elements of the day-to-day grind disappear, we need to fill the vacuum without over/under-working, becoming a hermit, or foregoing self care practices — all of which can lead to a WFH rut.
However we structure our WFH day, we inevitably run into moments when we feel unmotivated or lacking direction. At these times, it’s helpful to have a menu of ‘resets’ available — activities that once we do them, give us access to clarity and a fresh start. These resets can be practiced at any time of day, and can be combined for even greater benefit!
So, without further ado, here are 8 resets for WFH entrepreneurs:
Spiritual / Mental Resets
1. Meditation/listening/feeling. We use these concepts interchangeably to reference the practice of retreating to a quiet, calm space where we can close our eyes and turn our attention within. It can be helpful to think of the mind as a client, with our job being — from a higher self standpoint — to listen attentively and without judgement.
Even 5 minutes of meditation can help us better understand the focus of our inner dialogue (and emotions) in such a way that we know what we need to address next. This could be the thing we’re most worried about/procrastinating, the easiest thing, or whatever will be most fun — anything that helps, helps!
2. Journaling/paging. Likewise, writing 1-3 pages stream of consciousness — as prescribed in Julia Cameron’s classic text on creative recovery, The Artist’s Way, is another way of tapping into our inner voice for greater clarity. Rather than just thinking our thoughts, which can turn into an endless loop, writing our thoughts down on paper helps make them more concrete, and, thus, easier to bring to a logical conclusion.
Consider using a question or prompt, such as, “what are my next steps?” or “what do I need to do to move forward?” to get the stream going. It is often surprising how much wisdom can be tapped through this method.
3. Phone a friend. In the case that you can’t get out to meet someone in person, a lull in your WFH day is a perfect time to phone a friend or family member. Why is this important? With the advent of working remotely, we may experience less socialization than we had in a traditional workplace.
To balance this out, take a 20-minute break to check in on someone you love, network with a former colleague, or FaceTime with your bestie. Although they seem unrelated to work, check-ins like these sometimes lead to opportunities.
Emotional / Physical Resets
4. Take a shower/bath/swim. Now that the standard routine of waking up to an alarm, showering, and rushing out to commute by car, train, or bike is no longer in play, consider showering (or, if you prefer, taking a bath) as a a reset. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a pool or the ocean, even a quick a dip can be a refreshing reset. Water is the most cleansing element, so use it to your advantage.
5. Go outside/take a walk/move. We all know that vitamin D from sunshine boosts the immune system and that fresh air always makes us feel better when we’ve been cooped up inside. As well, a short walk/dance/stretch can get our endorphins going and give us the energy and momentum we need to get through the rest of the work day.
For bonus points, leave your device at home so you can really disconnect.
6. Meet up with a friend. Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean you can’t take a lunch break. Schedule a lunch date or pau hana (happy hour) with a local buddy, and be sure to discuss other topics besides work!
7. Cook a meal. Rather than relying on takeout and delivery for our WFH life, we can prioritize our well-being and our budget by preparing meals at home. Preparing food for ourselves and/or others is one of the most nourishing ways to channel creativity.
Easy lunch ideas include an egg or tofu scramble with toast and avocado or a chopped salad with a favorite dressing. During this time, you can also get a jump start on meal prep for the rest of the day or week.
8. Do a chore. When we are ‘killing’ down time at work, we often cruise social media or news feeds, consuming lots of unnecessary content that clogs our mind with information we never wanted or needed. A practical alternative is doing a chore, which not only serves to clear valuable mind space — but also improves our quality of life in the doing of it!
Vacuuming, doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or giving surfaces a once-over are all examples of chores that give you space to process when you are in between action items.
How do you reset yourself when you’re in a work from home funk?