Balancing work and play in the comfort of your home

It is unfortunate to say that the COVID-19 outbreak requires no introduction, however, we humans have shown to be very adaptable and strong during challenging times; willing to make changes to our lifestyles.

Over the months studying Human Nutrition MSc in Surrey, the services and advice provided have been second to none. Other students and I alike will agree the library can at times be viewed as a second home. As we transition to working indoors, getting reacquainted with our homes, I felt it would be great to share tips in maintaining focus and thus productivity. And as society moves towards remote working, these tips may also be useful after graduation too!

Tip No. 1: Repeat with me…. “I am not on holiday”

  • Home is a place of comfort, a haven from a busy or stressful day, so it makes perfect sense if you have eased off a little bit or worse, lulled yourself to a false security that work ceases to exist. (Trust me – I have done so in the past, and I must remind myself constantly of this truth). The only way to overcome the mindset is to tell yourself just this.

Tip No. 2: Plan, plan, plan!

  • Try to stick to your regular routine – a different setting does not require a drastic change.  It is also imperative that you set realistic goals – I am ashamedly an optimist – believing I can complete numerous tasks in all in one day. I have had to adapt my work ethic, and now, try to at least complete 3 key tasks a day to ensure I remain focused. I do so by bullet journaling (which is a fancy to-do list). If you find that it is hard to stick to it, it might be good to let someone hold you accountable (I will let you decide who). Equally, there are numerous time-keeping apps to ensure you remain on track.

Tip No. 3: Setting (Location, location, location)

  • As well as having a good desk setup, if possible, aim to work away from your room. Try the living room or dining room or perhaps the garden (but be weary of internet connection and the weather). I have fallen prey to listening to the invitations made my bed when in my room and found myself ‘dozing’ on the job. The benefits of working from home is that you can schedule power naps into your day (but be warned – it may not be wise).

Tip No. 4: ‘Me’ time – Wellbeing

  • Remember, you can really set your own pace first and foremost. I have broken this further down into two main sections.
  • Mental: As a Christian, I pray or read the Bible – I find that it gives me that motivation and calmness for the day. Equally, there are numerous apps and videos out there focused on meditation and reflection to keep you centred. It is easy to be hard on yourself when you find yourself distracted. Be kind. I am also a believer in scheduling catch-ups with friends and family – with the beauty of the digital age…a chat is merely but a fingertip away.
  • Physical: Exercise can do wonders! Wonders! With videos, playlists, tutorials (or a cheeky run) – there is little excuse in getting the heart pumping. The times you are unable to go to the gym, this is a godsend. Being part of the weightlifting/powerlifting team – I tend to also use my body weight to remain in shape. The information on the internet is vast – find what works for you.

Tip No. 5: Be Kind

  • The adjustments do not happen overnight, for some, it may be the case, but for people like myself, it is a work in progress like many things. I believe it is trial and error – find what works for you and try to stick to it. You’ve got this – keep your eye on the goal.