Those chats in the office kitchen can have more benefit than we initially realised, says Abbey Robb. Here are Abbey's top working from home tips to keep us relaxed and performing at our peak:
1. Make a designated space your office space
You don’t need to have a large house to make this work. It’s ideal if you can set up a room as an office, or allocate one end of the dining table as your work area, but even if you can’t it’s enough to make sure that you sit in a different part of the lounge room than you tend to gravitate towards when you’re relaxing. Give yourself that visual cue that this area is for work, and other parts of your home are for relaxing and you’ll find it much easier to switch off of an evening.
2. Build a routine into the end of your workday
Spend some time to mentally divest yourself of the work you’ve been doing and leave things neatly organised for when you return in the morning. This is especially important when working from home because again, those cues that signal to us that it's time to mentally switch focus aren't there anymore.
Dr. Adam Fraser, a peak performance researcher, recommends a specific 3-step routine to shift focus and be more present. The three stages are:
Reflect - spend a little time finishing up your day, making a list of things that need to be done in the future and emptying all those tasks out of your mind. It can also be useful to ask yourself a couple of questions like 'what did I do well today?' 'How did I get better?' This helps people start to change their thinking away from worrying about the future to having a sense of satisfaction for their efforts.
Rest - take a little time to do something that helps you rest. That might be going for a walk, doing a crossword puzzle or making yourself a snack. Find something that works for you to give yourself a bit of mental space and relaxation.
Reset - take a few moments to orient your thoughts towards your home life, your goals and values and how you want to show up there. Allow yourself time to shift priorities and focus on what your intentions are. Maybe you want to really connect with your partner, spend quality time with your kids or celebrate something with a friend.
3. Manage your stress levels
If you don't already have practices in your life that support stress management, find something that works for you - exercise, a hobby, meditation, or journaling. Often we unconsciously divest ourselves from stress through interacting with the social connections that we have at work without even thinking about it. Those chats in the office kitchen are more important than most people realise!
Abbey is an award-winning Integrative Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. She specialises in helping people effect fast and lasting change in their lives. Learn more at www.abbeyrobbtherapies.co.uk