How to maintain your discipline when working remotely

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Remote Work

How to maintain your discipline when working remotely

Tips and tricks on how to live good and maintain your sanity when working remotely

One of the biggest challenges when working remotely is disciplining yourself to stay on track, wake up at a decent hour, and get done with your work.

Feelings of loneliness and detachment are all real (as our article on remote work goes deep on these issues) — but with a few tweaks to your routine you can come on top and truly enjoy the benefits of remote work.

In parenting, one of the ways to raise a happy baby is to have a routine in place that helps babies predict what’s next. This helps babies feel less anxious and more in control of their surrounding.

And Yes, you’ve guessed it correctly: We are all babies. Grown up babies, that is. And we all need a routine.

Routine helps us have control of our immediate future, which is where a ton of our anxieties stem for — being afraid of ‘what if’ scenarios.

It’s great if we are lucky to work with a good project manager who knows how to facilitate our workload.

For other times, having a flexible routine in place, helps us overcome these dark bits and carry on with our day.

The morning routine

We all have those days when we stay up late to watch a TV show and skip our regular sleep routine. Days (or rather evenings) like these don’t pose a threat to our well-being if they happen once in a while, as in ‘once per week’. It’s only detrimental to our health, when our sleep hygiene is out of tune with what our bodies need — a healthy dose of good night’s sleep.

With that said, have a good night’s sleep. 8-9 hours is what research recommends on average. However, know your body and what it needs. You’ll know you’ve had more than enough if you wake up feeling tired. However, never get out of bed without less than 7 hours of quality sleep.

Quick tips

Here are a few tricks to help you sleep better

  • Start pseudo-fasting
    Stop eating at around 6-7pm. Give your body plenty of time to digest your daily intake and get ready for the next day. Sleeping on an empty stomach (make sure you drink water if you need, though) — gives your liver and other organs in your body plenty of time to flush out any toxins.
  • Room temperature
    Have your room temperature at around 65° Fahrenheit (18° Celsius). Lower temperature initiates rest and helps your body lower its temperature as well, leading to more quality sleep.
  • Sleep soundtracks
    Make sure to have some background noise on when sleeping. It could be white noise (river, wind, waves) or any other relaxing music.
  • Turn off your lights
    Your room should be dark with a dim night light on, so you don’t fall if you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Have ‘black-out’ curtains if you need to, but make sure some natural light comes in once the sun starts coming up. You don’t want your body fooled that it’s still night out.

Ok, back to the routine

Breakfast: Some people prefer eating lighter before their daily workout, so it doesn’t make them full. You can choose this bit as you see fit for your body. As always, try different things until you find what works for you. However, as a rule of thumb: Eat healthy fats (mozzarella cheese, low fat greek yogurts), less or no added sugars, proteins (eggs), fruits, veggies. Mix and match any of these (not all at once) as you see fit for a given day. Make it enjoyable if you have to break a rule here and there.

Workout: Exercise is crucial to having your body in constant motion. This way it’s well prepared to fight off any discomforts as well as increase your resilience when fighting any mood altering situations. The best type of exercise (and one that creates the most new neurons, right after running) is strength training, or ‘weight lifting’ in particular. When you train using weights, you are breaking off small muscle tissue, which when resting grows back — this way your body is always working, even when you’re not working out. Make sure to not over do it though. Three times per week with a fast paced interval of 30 minutes per day, is more than enough. The idea is to break a sweat once per day. For the rest of the week, make sure to walk (in nature among trees, if you can), stretch, do yoga if possible, and if you can afford it — squeeze in a professional massage, here and there. Massages go a long way in the way your body recuperates and heals itself.

Shower: Right after workout, take your daily shower. The colder the water, the better for your body. Cold showers are beneficial to your skin and can help your mind center itself. Darwin Malicdem has a full blown article about various benefits of cold water in this article about the 12 Benefits Of Taking Cold Showers Every Day. Some of the benefits mentioned are: fat loss, improved immunity, lower stress, enhanced skin and hair, and more.

Get dressed: This is the important bit. Working from home can make us lazy. There’s no doubt about that. To overcome this, make sure you dress up as if going to work. By doing this, we tell our primal side of the brain that we are now in work mode, in a different state of being. And once we are done with our work day, make sure to swing back to your sweat pants, so you can fully enjoy what’s left of the day and into the evening.

In a nutshell

Make sure to give yourself a ton of flexibility when utilizing some of the tips from above. They don’t have to happen in a perfect sync every single day. Don’t forget that we have our weekends when we don’t have to follow any of those rules and days when we might feel blue and want to take a short cut. These are all fine.

We are human after all.

However, make sure that you do keep a sense of routine that you can come back to, without straying away to much. And you will know you have strayed away when feelings of helplessness and confusion sneak in.

These are all part of our anxiety when caring more than we have to about what will happen in our immediate future.

Centering ourselves around a routine that we can easily follow, a routine that fits our way of living — is one of the ways to gift ourselves a full immersion in the benefits of working remotely.

Few last tips

There are a few more tools at your disposal, to mix it up a bit and raise your levels a bit further.

Leave your house, often
If you are working out of your house, make sure to leave your house daily. You don’t want your home to be a permanent place where you work, eat, and sleep, the entire time. You want your home to be a place where you come back to. Right before your workday ends, you can go out for a long walk — or meet up with friends, for a good hour or so — so once you come back home you can kick your legs up and call it a day, in style.

Spirituality
Taking care of your inner self goes a long way. This bit doesn’t have to be a full blown event. You can simply sit down and write what you’re grateful for. It could be three things for that particular day. Acknowledging what you have in your life, instead of pondering what you don’t (yet) — will give you a sense of calm and belonging.

Gardening
Not only you will eat veggies and fruits free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, but you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment of making food out of thin year, almost literally. All you need is a ‘seed’ which you can buy (or harvest on your own), some soil, water, and sun. Even if you live in an apartment building, you can still have full blown tomatoes. Project Diaries is a channel on YouTube with a ton of tips on how to harvest and grow your own veggies.

Breaks
There’s nothing bad about giving yourself the luxury of breaks. Pour yourself some coffee, watch a quick 10-minute stand up comedy routine on YouTube, give someone a call, or simply walk to your nearby store to grab a snack.

There you have it.

Make sure to enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t be strict about any of the tips above. Use them as options to guide your day and see what works best, for you.

Written on May 14, 2019

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