How Do You "Switch On" For Your Work Day?

  • 19 March 2020
  • 3 replies
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Userlevel 4

Remote work and WFH is certainly growing as countries keep safe from COVID19. A lot of folks are new to working from home. I also know that a lot of Miro users have been doing this for years!

So for those seasoned experts out there…

How do you “switch on” to begin your work day?

How do you “switch off” at the end of your work day?

 

Personally I don’t like working from home because I have a hard time staying focused. So I need to keep routine to “switch on” and start my work day. Get dressed in my work-casual clothes, designate a specific work area, open the computer and turn on a podcast.

Switching off at the end of the day has always been easy. Once I clock out and physically close the laptop, my brain knows exactly how to divide work from home life :laughing:

 

 


3 replies

Great question Kyle!

I’ve been working remotely for the past 4 years, so I feel you on the difficulties of distraction. That said, it’s actually quite simple to get a lot done from home and I’m excited to share what’s helped me.

I’ll start by mentioning that embedded in your question is half the answer. When you take action to ‘switch on’ for the day, you’re building momentum towards a flow state, which can dramatically increase productivity. To encourage this, I will typically schedule two 3-6 Hour Workflows every workday.

Caveat: What gets you in a flow state is 100% subjective & contextual, and working on projects or in remote jobs that don’t deeply motivate you will usually be an uphill climb. I know that’s unfortunately the case sometimes, but if you’re willing and able to seek opportunity, go for what sparks your greatest inspiration. It will lead to more productivity than you can ever dream of… Without further ado -

 

To start the workday, I usually:

  • Make healthy/nerdy tea - usually matcha or chai, always MCT oil, never sugar.
  • Clear up any clutter on my desk and elsewhere in my office.
  • Create optimal lighting conditions for virtual meetings, conference calls, and because I feel more awake in a bright room. Sunlight is best.
  • Get essential oils or incense going to make it smell pleasant & energizing in my office. My home office is set up in our guest bedroom, which is also home to our pet bunny, who kind of stinks. 😁
  • Play cheesy ‘meditation music’ playlists on Spotify to minimize distracting ambient noise like sirens, planes, trash trucks, lawn mowers, etc.
  • Avoid email, social, messaging and other apps of inevitable crippling distraction
  • Decide my 1-3 MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) for the day by scanning through my project management database in Notion

Then I’ll work for 3-6 hours, taking timed 5-15 minute breaks every so often. After the first solid workflow of the day, I’ll take a 1-3 Hour lunch, sometimes napping to get my energy levels back up for the second workflow.

To end my workday, I will:

  • Wrap up my MIT checklist (defer tasks to later or delegate out if not completed)
  • Briefly check email & Slack to make sure I didn’t miss anything important
  • Scan through my project management databases and get a feel for what my MIT’s might be for tomorrow, sometimes even preparing the checklist for the following day
  • Transition towards personal time, often with friends & family, to decompress and cultivate gratitude - because that’s what it’s all about!

Hope this helps you out Kyle! Best of luck working remotely.

Userlevel 4

Thanks @Kyle.C for starting this conversation and thank you @Ecco Sievert for your reply! I like how you’ve scheduled breaks for yourself. That’s hard for me. 

What are your feelings about keeping Slack and your work email on your phone? I currently do that and boy does it make it tough to “switch off” at the end of the day. Also, working with a distributed team with expanding timezones makes it hard because I don’t want to miss out on important news from our international team members. 
 

Userlevel 4

That’s a good point @Brittni 

Working with apps, my entire work-everything is always on my phone. In fact I have multiple work phones between Android and iOS. There is no escape for me.

Admittedly, I will see something for work after hours and it will trigger my work brain to turn on. I think two things have helped me to turn off at the end of the day.

:one:  Use notification do-not-disturb timers. Slack has it internally, but using the iPhone screentime settings also helps.

:two:  I had to condition my attitude over a few months to learn how I can cope with seeing messages after work hours. I often find myself marking things as unread and telling myself to forget about it until tomorrow :grin:

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