Working From Home, Tips and Best Practices: The Morning Routine
A morning routine is a crucial component to working from home successfully. Predictable routine in the morning can set the tone for your whole day, and taking control over the events of your morning is a great way to foster a positive and productive mindset.
It’s been documented that your morning mood has a significant impact on the quality of your day. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed!”—I’m sure most of us have heard that at least once in our lives. And while that is probably the last thing we’d want to hear at that moment, it’s indicative of the impact our morning mood has—not only on ourselves, but also on those around us.
So, how do we avoid grumpy mornings? Unfortunately, some variables are out of our control (what is my neighbor doing out on their motorcycle at 2:00 am?), but we can tip the odds in our favor with a few factors that we do control.
Get enough sleep
A good WFH morning routine actually starts the night before, with a full night of sleep.
It’s stated that on average we need roughly 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It’s important for your physical and mental health to establish a sleep schedule and do your best to stick to it. It’s tough to do, especially if you’re naturally a night owl like some who work from home, but like any other habit, repetition is key.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, take a look at some of these tips to see if there are some things you can be doing differently to increase the quality and success of your sleep.
Wake up earlier than you’d think you need to
Working from home means no morning commute, which means more time to sleep in, right?
That’s what I thought, too.
When I began working from home 8 years ago, I quickly fell into a bad habit of staying up too late and waking up only 10-20 minutes before I needed to clock in. This had a negative impact on my performance both productively and creatively.
I struggled with what should have been simple tasks; I lacked enthusiasm; I generally wasn’t very pleasant to chat with, according to my partner. This wasn’t the me that I had known, and I didn’t like it.
While I didn’t solve this overnight, I did discover one thing that worked incredibly well for me: I told myself that I have to commute every day to get to work.
Even if I didn’t get a quality night’s sleep, I began forcing myself to get up early to start my WFH day. At first I did this only during the workweek, but I soon found myself waking up early on the weekends and on days off. It slowly but surely became a habit.
Get your brain and body moving
Over time, I’ve experimented with additional tasks that greatly influenced the quality of my morning, including but not limited to; cooking breakfast, exercising, reading, playing a video game, going for a walk, taking a shower, and more.
My morning routine
These days, I have a fairly static routine that I feel good about.
- Set my alarm for at least 2 hours before my work time
- Shower and try to look presentable
- Eat breakfast
To be honest, I may not exercise every morning, and I may be guilty of substituting that time slot with some Animal Crossing here and there. But the goal is to be mentally prepared for a productive day of working from home, and if that’s what works for you, fantastic.
Good luck working from home—you got this!