Career Advice Workplace

How to Break Bad Work Habits at Home

Erin Davis
By: Erin Davis
Oct 23, 2020 • 6 min read

How to Break Bad Work Habits at Home

The pandemic has hit us all in various stages. At first, it seemed nice to have a few weeks off of our normal lives. Who couldn’t use a break? Being told to stay home felt like a blessing. Then, everyone wanted to leave their houses. The comfort of home seemed suffocating. However, months past our two-week quarantine, many of us are still working from home. Perhaps this has transformed the way companies work, and the way employees think. Some of the need to come into the office has diminished, but that doesn’t mean working from home is always productive. You have to get yourself into a healthy routine working from home and break all of those bad work from home habits that have been established. Maybe you don’t even recognize them as harmful to productivity yet!

bad work habits

Make yourself a morning routine

Routine is essential to productivity. Just as you would have a routine in the morning to head to work and be prepared to start your day, having a morning routine at home is equally important. You mustn’t roll out of bed five minutes before your first Zoom call, brush your hair, and turn on your computer. A healthy working from home morning routine should be fairly similar to your previous one. Waking up early enough to get ready, be dressed, and eat a healthy breakfast is a great way to start. From there, some people like to begin their day with exercise or meditation to add to this, but it is not necessary. Set your alarm and get up when it goes off, then figure out what works best for you with this extra time in the morning to set your workday off right.

Log off the electronics

On the other end of the spectrum, there is the issue of being unable to put down the work. Sometimes it is hard to disconnect without leaving the office. Creating this balance of beginning the day productively and still being able to turn off the electronics at the end of the day can also be challenging. Stepping away and hearing your phone receive another email at 5:10 can seem like a call to just keep going. The reality of it is that the list will never be made. It can’t just be one more phone call or email or another hour on the project. In the end, you are also contributing to the same pressure for other team members. If you email people past the normal working hours, they will feel obligated to answer, which simply drags out the issue. 

bad work habits

Take breaks

Allowing yourself time to step away from work and take a break is crucial to a healthy working environment, balance, and overall motivation. If you are lacking the ability to turn off the electronics, maybe just try logging out of your company email and databases. This way, the notifications will be less distracting, and you can find some peace. Otherwise, working from home will turn into a never-ending loop of working all day and all night. This will result in a burn out of motivation. Still, logging off at the normal working hour is a quick fix to break this bad habit.

Focus on one task

Focusing on one task at a time is not always possible. However, it is possible to not participate in outside tasks during the workday. Make sure that everything you are doing is about your job. It can be easy to assume you can do laundry during your workday. However, when it comes down to it, this is a distraction. By limiting these household chores to the hours you are not working, you won’t be breaking your focus. Even stepping away for a minute can get your mind distracted from the task at hand. This can start the spiral of all the other things that need to be done outside of work. It may not seem that this is happening at the moment. However, if you stick to your schedule and avoid outside tasks or squeezing things in, it may help overall productivity.

bad work habits

Fix your posture

This may seem like a silly change, but it can make a huge difference. You need to maintain good posture throughout the day. There can be serious health issues from bad posture, specifically for those who work on computers all day. It can be a good idea to move around throughout the day, but it also is critical to have an ergonomically correct working space. No one should be sitting in their bed all day, as this promotes bad posture. Eventually, you will begin to experience fatigue, eye strain, and even side effects such as headaches and back strain. This will lower productivity and overall comfort levels, so it is something to be mindful of. Make sure you have a working space with a nice chair and desk to put your computer on. Even practicing yoga can help to correct these issues and train your body to sit properly.

Keep good hygiene 

This could be one of the most self-explanatory points. However, it is often overlooked. Having good hygiene is essential to productivity. It may seem like a ton of work to get showered, dressed, and ready for the day only to sit inside. However, it does affect how you feel and how you look to others. People may not tell if you have showered over the camera, but they can sense how you feel about yourself. Showering and putting yourself together will end up affecting how you feel and think. It may seem simple and small. However, it will make all the difference despite not going anywhere outside of the house. Even motivating yourself by leaving the house to get a coffee cup can help break this bad habit. 

More to Explore: 

The Best Gmail Hacks You Never Knew You Needed – Here 

How to Set The Tone For a Productive Week – Here 

Supporting Co-workers During COVID – Here 

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