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July 21, 2020
Marsha Chinichian, Mindshine

Working from home is inevitable for many companies, especially amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, but by no means does it need to be stressful. Working remotely has its perks, such as being able to customize your work space, personalize your schedule, and save time by avoiding long commutes. Of course, the lure of your cozy couch and roommate buzzing about the latest Netflix series may be daunting, but there are indeed surefire ways to stay productive and mindful in your home office. So, whether working from home is a norm or new adjustment, following the tips below can help keep you working at peak efficiency with a peaceful mind during this unprecedented time. 

1. Achieve Laser Focus

Keeping a clear focus on what’s important isn’t always easy, especially if your home office feels like foreign territory. Laser focus is achievable, though, by setting your intentions for the day. Write down the tasks that you have to complete, whether in a notebook or in an email to yourself, and affirm why it’s important to complete those tasks. Perhaps you don’t like feeling lost in the recent chaos of the world, or finally finishing that project makes achieving your goal seem all the more possible. Either way, studies show that setting your own learning and development goals increases motivation and self-efficacy. After all, where attention goes, energy flows.

2. Keep Distracting Thoughts at Bay

While social media and our playful pets are prime distractions, so too are our thoughts. Recent news has especially been alarming, and we are all undoubtedly concerned for our loved ones. Let’s try to set aside our mental chatter because for many, work still calls. When you find yourself getting distracted, walk away from your desk, and engage in some meditation techniques. Take 5-10 minutes to sit silently in an upright position, and acknowledge your incoming thoughts. Focus then solely on your breathing, as you inhale and exhale slowly. Relaxing your mind will bring it back to the present moment, so then you can dive back into work with a well-intentioned mind. 

3. Tense and Relax

If you still find yourself anxious and unable to concentrate in the wake of transitioning from office to home, try performing progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). PMR is a method used to calm the body and tame stress. It involves focusing on one muscle or muscle group at a time by tensing a muscle for 5 seconds, and then releasing and feeling the muscle relax. Before you begin your work, sit upright with both feet on the floor. Relax your shoulders, and close your eyes. Start with the top of your body by raising your eyebrows for 5 seconds. As the muscle relaxes, focus on the changes that you feel. If you feel your mind wondering as you move on to the next muscle, bring it back to the muscle that you’re currently working on. With physical relaxation, comes mental calmness. Your ability to concentrate will be increased as you soon find yourself enwrapped in pure productive bliss. 

To summarise

Change is hard for all of us, especially when it involves our work environment. Our daily routines may be altered, but our mental health doesn’t have to be. Following the tips above can help keep you grounded as you make the transition from corporate office to in-home office, so that you can perform at your ultimate best in the wake of any global pandemic.

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