Time for a new routine

Stephanie Hall, Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Exclusive Collection
Published on March 27, 2020

Amidst the relentless cycle of coronavirus news and conversations, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that this weekend the clocks will spring forward signalling that summer is well and truly on the way. However, as the nation adjusts to life on lockdown, priorities have been thrown into disarray and losing an hour of sleep isn’t causing the same furore as usual.

For many people, the last week has been a bit of a shock to the system as the usual routine is abandoned and we attempt to find our new working from home rhythm. As we all do our best to keep businesses and households running smoothly, it’s easy to fall into bad habits; but in this tumultuous time, a good routine will be your best friend.

  • Start as you mean to go on with a relaxed morning. Set a routine where you wake up at the same time each day, enjoy a coffee and get showered and dressed before opening your laptop. Although the temptation to work in your pyjamas is understandable (especially if you’re not going to see anyone!), something as simple as getting dressed will help put you in the right mindset for a productive day ahead.
  • Stay connected to avoid feeling isolated. Schedule in video calls with your colleagues to organise and allocate the days tasks and share ideas. Why not organise virtual team drinks one evening to boost morale or host a virtual dinner party or pub quiz with friends!
  • New research from NordVPN Teams suggests that since the pandemic, people working from home are working an average two hours longer than usual. Whilst it’s great to be giving 100% to your company, it’s important to give yourself some downtime otherwise you’ll be on a fast track to burnout.
  • Set strict working hours and break up your day with a full lunch hour, perhaps go for a walk (if you’re well) or use the time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read.
  • After a reasonable day’s work, put away your electronic devices and work tools. Keeping work reminders out of sight keeps them out of mind and helps you relax and recharge your batteries. Although it may be tempting to shut your laptop and jump straight onto your phone, try and spend the hour after you’ve finished work doing something that doesn’t involve mindless scrolling. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill, pick up a new hobby, do a work out or even just open a nice bottle of wine and chat to your partner or family about the day.
  • A good night’s rest is essential as it can help reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve mood. Hit the pillow at a reasonable time to allow yourself enough time to recharge (7 hours if possible!) and avoid watching TV or looking at your phone whilst in bed. According to the Sleep Council the blue light that emits from devices suppresses the natural production of melatonin – the hormone you need to feel sleepy – and plays havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

As working from home becomes the new normal for the foreseeable future we need to try our best to manage and maintain our routine in order to stay healthy and happy. I’m using the clocks going forward at the weekend as a marker to form new habits that will hopefully make the next few days and weeks, pass quickly and smoothly. I urge you to do the same and who knows, perhaps we will come through the other side of this with new skills and a fresh approach to working that we can bring back to the office.

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