8 Healthy Working From Home Habits You Can Start Today

8 Healthy Working From Home Habits You Can Start Today

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Why Should You Listen to Me?

I’ve been working from home for 4 years, and I LOVE working from home. People often ask me how to keep focused at home, so I decided to make a post!

I used to be a software engineer, and I really struggled with back pain, shoulder pain, and pain in my legs since I didn’t move much when I was focused. On top of that, my body is sensitive to pain because I had knee surgery 3 years ago and my body becomes imbalanced easily. So I really tried experimenting and making a comfortable workspace for myself and creating work habits to stay focused and avoid from pain.

If you are struggling with making a comfortable workspace for yourself at home, please read the 8 tips below πŸ™‚

1. Change your mood using aroma oil

Medical News Today says there is no proof for aroma oil can cure diseases or illnesses, but it can help many conditions such as;

  • Nausea
  • Pain and body aches
  • Anxiety, agitation, stress, and depression
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
Change your mood using aroma oil

I use different aroma oil at different times. I really like blending peppermint and lemon in the morning because it invigorates me with refreshing energy! According to Entrepreneur, lemon can enhance concentration and reduce anxiety. Peppermint can be used as an energy booster, and it can also improve concentration and trigger clear thinking.

Each aroma oil has a different effect, and it can sometimes be confusing. I certainly felt that way, and that’s why I love Muji‘s essential oil blends. I have (sleeping) and (relax time) blend essential oil.

I use (Relax time) essential oil blend in the afternoon and (Sleeping) after 10 pm. If you have a Muji store nearby, please go and try the smell! If you want to make your own blend, Muji has a useful chart for essential blend πŸ™‚

2. Do not eat on your work desk

If you work at home, you may be working on the desk and eating on the same desk. I used to do that until a month ago. I started eating lunch on a dining table or a couch, and I started to feel more relaxed and refreshed after a lunch break. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t eat at your work desk.

do not eat on the work desk

Entrepreneur interviewed John Trougakos, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior & HR Management at the University of Toronto, and he recently conducted a study on lunch break patterns in office workers and concluded that if you don’t take enough time for lunch, it can cause greater fatigue and lower productivity.

Trougakos also says

We really only have so much psychological energy that we can use on any given day. All efforts to control behavior, to perform and to focus draw on that pool of psychological energy. Once that energy source is depleted, we become less effective at everything we do,

If we eat at the desk, it’s hard to take our minds off work. To not feel depleted at the end of the day, I recommend you start taking a lunch break, away from your desk for your mind and brain! I hope you will find yourself relaxed and refreshed after your lunch break πŸ™‚

3. How not to get distracted during work

People often tell me, “I get distracted if I work at home, so I prefer working at the office.” Why do you think this happens?

It’s because there are more distractions at home of course. Because of this pandemic, you may not have an option to work at the office. I want to give you some tips to stay focused on work at home.

1. Turn off notifications on your laptop (Chrome)

You get distracted because you get notifications for email, shopping, or social networks? Change the notification setting and block all the notifications.

Check out this simple guide to turn off notification: https://www.avast.com/c-turn-off-chrome-notifications

You can click for each website.

Then you can select “Block”.

2. Separate windows for work and hobby

I found this very effective recently. I spent my morning studying, and I was very distracted because I had work and school tabs open in the same window.

Maybe you want to watch Netflix during a break, and that’s perfectly fine. I recommend having a separate window for your free time. I also found myself more relaxed after I separated the window because I don’t need to see my work-related tabs while watching Netflix.

3. Have a work schedule and use a timer for each task

Time management tool I recommend

I use a time management tool called Kanban Flow. You can use a 25 minute timer and schedule tasks for the day. This really helps me stay on track with studying and working.

How I use Kanban Flow

  • I put all the tasks I need to complete for the week at the beginning of the week
  • Use the 25 minutes timer for each task and take 5 minutes rest before I start another 25 minutes
  • I put non-work-related tasks on Kanban Flow between work (going to a supermarket, do some exercise, and stretching)

You can use Kanban Flow, or you can use a kitchen timer to time 25 minutes. Curious about why it should be 25 minutes? You can read this from Forbes to find out more πŸ™‚ Also, I will dig deeper on this tool next week!

4. Set work hours by yourself

I believe it’s helpful to set a time to finish your work like you have at the office.

Harvard Business Review says


?Without supervision, even the most conscientious of us can slack off,? says Hallowell. Setting a schedule not only provides structure to the day it also helps you stay motivated. Start the day as you would if you worked in an office.

Set work hours by yourself

Maybe you feel like you can work whenever you want if you are at home. However, if you push back your work and enjoy your time first, you will be really drained and regret your decision at the end of the day. I’ve been there too. Maybe you have over-time work sometimes, but try to stick to the schedule as close as you can!

Since I was a university student, I’ve been working from home; having a schedule really helps finish all the tasks without feeling too overwhelmed.

5. Meditate when you feel overwhelmed from work

When I was working as a software engineer, I was always overwhelmed and anxious. I was working for a small company, and there was constant change, and that’s when I started to see the real effect of meditation.

I think I have a lot less stress now. I don’t have anyone who tells me what to do next or pushes me tons of tasks, but I still feel overwhelmed and anxious because there are numerous things I can do to become a successful blogger.

Whenever I feel too overwhelmed and can’t concentrate on any tasks, I open my meditation app and meditate. It helps me gather the scattered thoughts and brings me back to the present moment.

You don’t need to meditate for 20 minutes. It can be as short as 2 minutes. But I usually feel deeper relaxation if I meditate for more than 5 minutes. I love this Youtube channel called “Yogini in Melbourne,” and maybe you can try this guided meditation when you feel too overwhelmed from work.

5. Invest in a laptop stand and cushion for your body

invest in cushion and laptop stand - work from home tips
My work desk

I really suffered from back pain and shoulder pain when I started studying to be a software engineer, and I wanted to make a comfortable workspace for myself. I’ve been getting personal training from a physical therapist for two years now since I had my knee surgery, and my trainer recommended that I use a laptop stand.

Without a laptop stand, your neck will be bent because you will be looking down at the laptop screen, and all your head’s weight will be on your neck. If you do this all day, you will feel a lot of pain in your shoulders. I’ve been using a laptop stand for two years now and I can’t imagine my life without it! I found this guy’s video helpful to set up an ergonomic desk.

When you choose a laptop stand, make sure you choose something adjustable. If you decide to invest in a laptop stand, you will also need

  • Bluetooth keyboard
  • Bluetooth mouse (ideally an ergonomic mouse)

It will cost roughly $80-100. That might seem like a lot, but think of it this way: If you have to go to physiotherapy every week from shoulder/back pain, which will be cheaper!? Plus, you are less likely to suffer from pain in the first place!

I also recommend that you have a cushion and back support. You can order one on amazon and return it if you don’t like it. I tried at least 3 until I found the perfect cushion for me, so I suggest you try at stores or amazon before committing to one cushion and back support combo!

6. Make time for exercise and stretching

So, I suggested that you have back support and a cushion for your work chair and laptop, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to regularly move from the desk.

Mayo clinic says

Any extended sitting ? such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen ? can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.

Not only are there risks for sitting all day, but it also causes us greater pain in our shoulder, back, and legs. Elite Sports Injury explains what happens when we have chronic pain

  • Dampen your focus
  • Decreased energy for creativity
  • Lowered mood which leads to lower productivity

I wasn’t mindful about taking breaks or paying attention to posture in the past and my body was constantly hurting three years ago. As a result, I had to go to physiotherapy twice a week, but my body was still aching ALL THE TIME. Since then, I’ve been trying to rest, stretch, and exercise before my body starts REALLY hurting. Here is what I recommend you do

I also recommend this Youtube channel called AskDrJoe. She is a physical therapist, and she has tons of short and effective stretching videos for you!

7. Have a plant on your desk to elevate your mood

I recently bought this lovely little pot, and I love looking at my tiny oasis on my desk. In fact, there are many benefits of having plants on a work desk.

Studies show the amazing benefits of having plans around a work desk

  • Improve creative performance
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Improve concentration and productivity
  • Boost well-being
  • Make you feel calm

I recommend something like small desert plants so that you don’t need to water them often!

8. Keep yourself hydrated

Did you know it’s recommended to drink

  • 3.7 liters (15.5 cups) for men
  • 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) for women

A day? It’s a lot. I always try to keep myself hydrated, and I recently came up with a fun idea to drink more water.

fun water idea -work from home tips

Why don’t you add some spices or fruit you have at home to the water? My favorite is lemon and clove. My lips were super itchy from red bumps a month ago, so I was looking for something with an anti-inflammatory effect.

I read the possibility of clove as anti-inflammatory, and I decided to mix it with organic lemon in my fridge! Medical News Today says lemons contain antioxidants and flavonoids.

  • Antioxidants – reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
  • Flavonoids – reduce inflammation in the body
fun water ideas - work from home tips

Not only is it more fun to drink water when it’s flavored, but you can also benefit from some healthy side effects! How amazing is that?! When you slice citrus into your water, I recommend buying organic ones because wax and preservatives are used to grow citrus.

Organic citrus is usually more expensive than non-organic ones, but you will only need two slices a day, so one lemon can last for 4-5 days! Plus, if you visit a farmer’s market and buy in bulk, it may not be too expensive, and you can use it for cooking as well!

I suggest that you keep a jar of water at your desk so that you won’t need to go to the kitchen often. I hope you find your favourite water πŸ™‚

I would love to hear which of these tips you’ll try this week!

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Sarah
Sarah
1 year ago

Great tips! I’m going to try out Kanban Flow and also turn off those distracting notifications from shopping sites. Love that cute figure in your plant by the way.