10 simple things to stay focused and healthy while working from home

With everyone in your house sharing the same space, productivity can be the first thing to go. Focusing on what you need to get done can be difficult when you, your spouse and your children are vying for space, attention and WiFi signal. Working long hours without the proper ergonomic office chair, you might also begin to experience more physical discomfort and back pain than you have before.

Whether you’re new to a home office, or you’ve been working remotely for years, we think you’ll find something helpful in our “best of” list to help you be productive, keep active and stay healthy during your current reality:

  1. Create a dedicated workspace. No judgment if the only place you can find is the kitchen table. We all have to make do with what we have, and using a table is ideal, as long as you’re focused and relaxed. If you have to use a kitchen chair or sit on the floor, having support for your bottom (a memory foam lumbar cushion) can help relieve pressure on your tailbone. 
  2. Start your day right. A short morning routine to help create a healthy mindset for the day ahead can involve meditation or journaling. This doesn’t have to be a long or difficult process; even a 15-minute session can clear your mind and focus your energy on the day’s tasks.
  3. Set an alarm. Get up and dressed, just like you’re going into the office. There’s no need to be dressed up (pants are required) but preparing in the same way, will put you in the right frame of mind.
  4. Pay attention to ergonomics. Body position is important to help prevent pain or possible long-term issues. Proper head alignment, arm position, and back support are essential. If you can afford to upgrade, consider an office chair that adjusts to fit your body. If you sit for long periods without moving around, look for an office chair with a headrest, lumbar support, and padded arm pads. A task chair or stool might be a better fit if you move around (from desk to a printer or a file drawer). They also tend to be more compact, so they work well in small spaces.
  5. Schedule your day into manageable chunks of time to stay productive. Block out on your calendar and create tasks for each period. Be specific! These can be anything from completing activities and tasks to ensure you connect with people. Keep your daily list short, realistic, and achievable. Check off items as you accomplish them.
  6. Set aside time for an energy booster. Block off time to move your body — be it cardio, throw the frisbee with your dog, stretching, or get outside for a walk; any activity keeps you energized and mobile! Don’t have workout equipment at home? No problem. Walk the stairs of your house every few hours to get the blood flowing before heading back to work.
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Powering through your day can cause mental fatigue and physical back pain, especially if you don’t have properly fitting office furniture. Breaks are important: some need only be 5 or 10 minutes long. Others (especially after you finish a specific task or chunk of work) can be longer to help your body readjust and your brain shift to a new focus.
  8. Make time for unstructured thinking. This type of activity helps generate new ideas and provides you with a different perspective and time for daydreaming. Get in touch with a colleague and have a virtual brainstorming session. Journaling can also capture your wandering thoughts.
  9. Stay connected and social, just take them online. Instead of gathering with friends or colleagues for lunch or coffee, “meet” them over FaceTime instead! We may not be physically together, but that doesn’t mean we have to feel isolated. Make friends and family feel special by sending “thinking of you” emails with fun article links, fond memories, etc.
  10. Don’t expect perfection. Life isn’t so simple! If your kids are in the background of your virtual session or they need to ask a question, invite them in. These interruptions don’t have to completely derail your meeting. Just go with the flow and allow everyone around you to do the same.

Don’t be too hard on yourself; we’re all multitasking without a map. Stay active, flexible and practice self-care. Taking breaks during the day allows you to maintain focus on productivity but physically it keeps you healthy by reducing compression on pressure points and increases circulation. And remember, the right set up in your workspace can go a long way to reducing lower back and neck pain.

Have other tips? We’d love to hear them. Let us know at info@lifeformchairs.com