Healthy Work from Home Habits
In this lesson we will cover the basic habits you need to be a successful Remote Worker. I have learned many of these habits the hardway. It is so easy to fall into bad habits, and burn out on Remote Work.
The biggest thing I have struggled with is Sleep. Immediately when I started working remotely, I no longer had set hours. I would start working, and wouldn’t stop until I was finished — sometimes past midnight. This would throw off my whole rhythm.
Now I have learned the importance of getting 8+ hours of sleep. I don’t manage my time, instead I manage my energy. It is amazing the ideas you can come up with if you get more sleep. As a Remote Worker my value is my deliverables not my presence. Getting enough sleep helps me deliver the best work.
The first thing I do when I move is grab my electrical tape and cover any LED’s from my electronics. Any light from electronics or coming into your bedroom can inhibit your body from creating melatonin, which can reduce the amount of deep sleep you may get.
Covering up those lights and getting blackout curtains will block all the light and help you get better quality sleep.
Eating properly has been a big challenge for me. It is so easy to get wrapped up in work and then when you are hungry you just grab the quickest thing you can find. That can lead to convenience foods like fast food or other options that aren’t cost effective.
By planning out your meals you can save money and eat healthy without spending hours in the kitchen or wasting money on fast food.
Stop eating 2+ hours before bed. Your body needs time to digest food. If you go to sleep right after eating your body will work on digestion and you won’t get good quality sleep. Several studies have also found evidence that eating right before sleeping may cause weight gain.
Reduce processed foods.
Eating processed foods can lead to weight gain, lower quality sleep and lower energy. Reduce packaged meals and foods high in saturated fats and high in sugar without fiber.
Exercise was something I thought I had to be all pumped about, but really it can be very basic things like walking a certain amount per day and standing up every 20 minutes. You don’t have to go to the gym for hours a day or even every day.
Standup every 20 minutes. New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Researchers found that adults in the United States spend more than 12 hours per day sitting down, and the more time spent sitting, the greater their risk of premature death from all causes will be.
Try to walk 10,000 steps per day. Walking 10,000 steps perd ay has been shown to reduce weight and decrease depression. If 10,000 is too high, try 5,000, just make sure to get some exercise everyday.
Working by yourself or at home may make it easier for stress to creep in as you learn to set boundaries for work. Because you don’t have the office chat, things may feel more lonely.
Try to get out and socialize more, use sites like Meetup or find out what’s going on in your city and make new friends. This will help you feel less isolated and keep you feeling happier and more energized.
Try connecting with friends outside of work hours to socialize, that can help you feel more inspired. Make sure to enjoy the fine things in life. Go to the park, play sports, spend time with family and recharge when you can.
Rhythm / Time Management
This is something that took me a while to figure out. It may be easy to work too many hours when working for yourself. To prevent burnout try to set hours that you usually work within.
If you need to work before the kids get up, great. If you need to work mostly in the evenings that’s fine too!
When you work on projects, you should stay proactive and have a good idea about how much time you will need to spend on it so you can budget time properly. That way you don’t run behind.
You may need to spend a significant time on business development to try to sell your services. This is usually not billable and if you don’t budget this properly can reduce your income more than you want. When starting new projects, make sure to clearly define the scope and deliverables so everyone is on the same page.
Meetings can often be unproductive. Try to make sure the agenda is clearly defined in each meeting, and that only the people that need to be involved are invited. I usually don’t accept a meeting invite if there is not a clear agenda (Unless it it business development related)