Take regular breaks
Make a cup of tea or setting a timer to remind yourself to have a break is crucial to maximum productivity. A popular and effective productivity method that I recommend is the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time management system that encourages you to work with the time you have, instead of against it! Using this method you will break your workday into 25 minute chunks of solid work, then 5 minute short breaks (to stretch, check emails etc) then back to it. After four 25-minute chunks take a slightly longer break of 15 minutes. Rather than feeling like you have endless hours to get things done (inevitably squandering the time reading every small update on BBC News) you know you only have a 25 minute time-slot to get as much done as possible. Below is a link to a great productivity video on this topic;
Have a proper lunch
The temptation to snack and eat unhealthily is rife when you are never more than 100 metres from the biscuit tin, so planning and making a proper lunch will help to abate those urges.
Focus on micro-nutrition, ensuring that you are eating a balance of the major macros with a weighting towards fruit and vegetables.
Dr. Michael Mosley has recently contributed an article to the Times about the importance of nutrition at this time, to maintain your health and of course, build our immune system. The article stated evidence of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, a diet rich in vegetables, beans, olive oil and fish. The article states;
One reason this diet seems to be so good for us is that it increases the diversity of the microbiome, the microbes that live in our guts and that play a significant role in mood and the proper functioning of our immune system. - The Times, 23 March 2020.
Get some fresh air, walk the dog, get out in the garden or utilise one of the many at home workouts being made available.
Youtube is the place for free home workouts, with the most high-profile being Joe Wicks daily PE class. If you want to maintain a regime, do checkout paid resources such as Peloton Digital, who offer a full suite of courses and training plans and Aaptiv, who provide a wide range of great audio and video programs.
Peloton Digital is currently available on a free trial for 90 days - https://www.onepeloton.co.uk
We also recommend keeping yourself grounded and focused with the mediation app Headspace and Yoga with Adriene.
We know motivation to exercise is also hard so why not try apps such as Strava so that you can track your work outs and challenge your friends, family and co-workers.
Organise regular team calls
Create a routine of team calls to check in on everyone and remain up to date on the latest developments.
We currently have team calls twice daily, with no agenda. These can be very short or can expand as we talk. These provide a natural structure to our day but also enable natural collaboration and efficiency between our team.
We are currently utilising Microsoft Teams, which as a firm of mac fans was quite a difficult step! However, we find the suite of tools available, the ability to collaborate on documents in real time and the ability to quickly jump on a call is invaluable.
For larger calls with external clients we have used the Teams conference call facility, Zoom and Blue Jeans. All great but for us I would recommend the use of Teams internally and Zoom for external calls (better quality!)
Create an office
Creating a calm environment for work is crucial to productivity and effective work. Of course, we all can’t have separate office rooms so ensure that your environment is organised tidy and is like your space at the office. For example, we have taken our second screens home with us.
Create a space that is just for working, it will make it easier to switch off in the evening... so unfortunately that means you shouldn’t work out of bed or on the sofa.
This article is a great summary of the key tips to a successful work environment at home.
Sticking to a routine
Set your alarm so you still get up at the same time, use the time you would usually spend commuting to do something you want to do but can never find the time to complete.
I am currently polishing up on my coding knowledge in my spare time. Linkedin Learning is a fantastic resource for all things professional but also try Skillshare, Udacity, Udemy and Coursera for a wider range of fun courses.
Had an idea for business...there’s no better time to give it a go!
Make sure you stop work
Just because work is accessible 24/7 doesn’t mean you should burn yourself out, set boundaries, work within set hours if you can and do something when you finish work to create a clear differentiation that you have finished for the day.
Overall stay inside, stay positive and make the most out of this rare opportunity to spend some quality time at home!
......P.S. Don’t forget to regularly wash your hands.