As we move onto another month of living in a new normal with a crazy pandemic, our daily routines are taking a hit. Staying productive and proactive while working and spending more time at home hasn’t come easy for many. Alas, after several months of working from home, I’m still seeing days where I can’t keep up with what was once my normal schedule. Thankfully, there are simple ways to keep yourself motivated and regulate your routine to stay productive during your work hours and beyond.
Dress for Success
Okay, I’ll admit, working from home in my pajamas is one of the small joys I’ve found during this rather stressful time. Who doesn’t love rolling out of bed first thing in the morning and lazying around in their comfy getup before they take on the day (or stay in them for the day entirely)? And although there’s no shame in being comfy in the comfort of your own home, it can be a major factor in your productivity levels. You might be thinking, is my attire really causing me to ruin my daily routine? It might not be the only reason, but it is likely one reason. There’s a reason we make the distinction between our lounge clothing and the clothing that we were out in public or to the office. Sure, it has become more and more acceptable to blur those lines between comfort clothing and the attire society deems publicly appropriate, but nevertheless, you’re not likely to meet a client or have an office meeting in your longjohns or oversized tees.
Want to regulate your routine and guide your productivity? Get “ready” for work! Though you might not be leaving the house to step into the office, making an active effort to dress for the occasion can make a significant difference in how productive you are throughout the day. The art of dressing well is an important part of the life of many professionals, and you might not realize just how vital it was to your weekly routine until it was taken away. So, at the start of your next workday, get up, get dressed, and get to work.
Keep a Regular Sleeping Schedule
This pandemic has brought back the sleeping habits I held when I was a child on summer vacation. By that I mean, my sleeping “habits” are basically nonexistent. Consistency of when I get out of bed in the morning to when I call it a night changes as frequently as my opinion of cutting quarantine bangs. However, over everything else, reestablishing a healthy sleeping schedule is what’s most likely to help you regulate your overall routine. The fact of the matter is, we’re all human and we all thrive off of so many hours of sleep. And it’s not enough to just get enough sleep here and there; consistency to a sleep pattern is key to your physical and mental health.
Personally, my poor sleeping habits have now lead to general insomnia. Although not being able to sleep is definitely inconvenient for me, for others, it can be absolutely detrimental to their health. Do yourself a favor and create a set time to get to bed and a set time to get out of bed. Whenever possible, don’t lounge around in bed in the morning, and NEVER use your cellphone or other electronic devices in bed before you’re ready to fall asleep. Just as your parents set a sleeping schedule for you to stick to as a child, you must now be the parents to your own self. Regular sleeping habits mean regulated routines!
Move Your Body
Whether it’s a walk about the neighborhood with your puppy companion or using that gym equipment that’s been collecting dust in your basement, it’s time to get your body moving. Exercise is obviously a vital part of your overall health, but during a pandemic that makes time feel unimportant, exercise can work to help you establish a routine. So, before or after your normal workday, get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes before you move onto other activities. An added benefit to daily exercise? Well, it’ll likely help you sleep!
Remember that it’s okay to feel thrown off by the pandemic. Regulating a routine is hard work in and of itself and we’re all doing our best to change routines that may have been well established for years now. If you want to regulate your routine, remember to first have patience with yourself as you make an effort. Some days you’re not going to want to dress up. Some days you will want to check social media in bed before you fall asleep. Nobody’s perfect. But make a genuine effort and give yourself time to establish a new routine filled with healthy habits.