The past month or so has been mentally draining for a lot of people. We’re collectively adapting to our new normal and mental burnout is nearly inevitable. For working professionals, burnout can hit at any time due to the fast-paced and often unpredictable nature of modern life. It might be Thursday evening when you’re trying to finish a project before the weekend or Monday morning as a slew of emails and tasks begin to mount.
Plus, the absence of an office means less face to face interaction and more self-navigation. So, it’s incredibly important to be organized, disciplined, and set yourself up to win the morning.
Here is the ultimate morning checklist for remote workers.
1. Remove Unnecessary Clutter
If you’re anything like me, your living area has now molded into equal parts home office, workout studio, creative space, and concert hall. To really get in the proper headspace, I make sure to clear a dedicated space that draws a line between personal living and professional working. This isn’t always easy in a one-bedroom apartment for two-but we make the best of it.
Working from home already presents a myriad of different distractions. Don’t let unavoidable ones like a messy workspace influence your mental focus or deplete your energy.
2. Read Your Feed
Savvy working professionals understand the importance of listening. We want to know what our audience is thinking and how they’re interacting with content in our niche. Reading your feed in the morning is a great way to boost creativity while igniting new ideas that can bring about real change based on the insights you gather.
Every morning I try and spend 5–10 minutes going through relatable hashtags on social media, finding relevant webinars from leaders in my industry, and swiping through comments on competitors’ posts. What you’re really looking for is a “gap”, or content that everyone else is missing out on that you can provide.
This practice is especially timely with the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of brands have already stumbled in their response by being insincere, humourous, and ignorant. Learn something from their mistakes.
3. Contribute To Your Community
Having a voice in your industry will contribute both to your personal development and professional career. From graphic designers to consultants, everyone benefits from building connections and maintaining relevance. Right now, everything is about personal brand equity and influence. To build this, share something timely or relevant within your community every morning.
It could be an article on Medium, Linkedin post comment, or a simple retweet. The goal is to build relationships with an audience on more of a personal level. Consumers want to connect with “the faces behind the brand”, and being active online is a great way to keep yourself top of mind.
While working from home, remote networking may pay dividends down the line.
4. Schedule Face Time
Yes, in-person interactions right now are obviously limited- and in most cases non-existent. That doesn’t mean you should be alienated from your team. A lot of teams revolve around communication and effective collaboration. Everyone needs to be on the same page for projects to be completed on time and within budget.
While working remotely, try and schedule a few morning check-ins with your team each week. It doesn’t have to be anything formal and can be relatively quick.
I’m really starting to crave the energy that an office setting lends to different creative activities. A morning video call helps maintain some of the personal vibes that have been extracted from our lives.
5. Set A Timer
I recently started using Workamajig for my new job and one specific feature has been a revelation; you can start and stop multiple projects with the platform’s timer. Once you finish, all your time is accurately recorded and neatly organized.
Time while working from home tends to get away from us. Especially when switching between a lot of different tasks like we so often do. Setting a timer helps me monotask and keep track of every project. It’s a visual representation of things that you are probably spending too much time on and things that need a little more attention to be completed.
If you’re looking for ways to start using a timer to get your work done, check out the 10-minute timer method.
Every morning I set up and label a timer for each project I am going to work on throughout the day. While Workamajig makes this super simple, you can also use the timer in your phone with set limits on how long each project should take. Simply jot down the times in a notebook or keep a running word doc.
6. Don’t Stray Too Far From Normalcy
What did the average morning look like two months ago?
I’ll admit, working from home is starting to take its toll. I miss the brainstorming sessions and team projects that make work more enjoyable. As we all collectively grapple with our new, virtual world, maintaining some semblance of normalcy is incredibly important for your mental health and productivity habits.
I still wake up at the same time every day, take a shower, get dressed, and start working during normal hours of operation. Some mornings I wake up early and workout or go for a quick walk. Just do whatever works best for you and bring some stability back into your life.
In the world, a lot of interesting and exciting innovations are taking place that will affect the course of every industry for years. Brands have been forced to pivot and get creative in how they interact with consumers. Different teams are dealing with the cancellation of major conferences and the uptick in virtual streaming opportunities.
Being able to stay disciplined, agile, and curious in the morning while working remotely is the best we can do to stay in tune with our audience and prepare for the post-quarantine future.