You get to work from home. That's great news! You can work in your pajamas, take a break whenever you want, and even snack right at your desk. There is no doubt working from home has some great perks, but it also has a few disadvantages. Getting enough healthy sleep is one of the biggest.
It doesn't matter if working from home is your regular gig or it was thrust upon you with the COVID-19 crisis, a steady sleep schedule can be hard to come by. Especially if you are new to the game. At the onset, telecommuters will push off sleep because they are home and can sleep anytime, but it doesn't take long to see the fault in that line of thinking when work is falling behind because you aren't getting adequate sleep.
Fortunately, it is possible to cultivate a beneficial sleep schedule while working at home by just keeping a few essential tips at play.
Stick to a Schedule
Schedule and routine are extremely important when you are working from home. It is so much easier to get distracted and thrown off course when you are at home. Prioritize your work and know what is most important to get done first and what you have more time to complete.
Use a day planner, calendar, or internet app to help manage your time to its fullest. Only you know when you are most productive. Schedule your most daunting tasks for when you are most alert. Use your less fruitful hours to return calls and set up appointments.
Create a Productive Work Environment
Without an office environment, some people have trouble working. You don't have to invest in a room addition or office furniture to have a productive atmosphere for your at-home workspace. Small changes such as a dedicated place to work can make big changes in your production level. It can be the kitchen table, garage workbench, or a corner of the living room. All that matters is the space is dedicated to working only.
Another important facet of the work environment is limiting distractions. This is never harder to do than when you work from home, but there are some simple solutions. The hard part is putting them into practice. Consider noise-canceling headphones or a Do Not Disturb sign on a closed door. Letting your friends and family know you are unavailable during certain hours can help keep them at bay.
Cultivate Healthy Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a term that describes the techniques you use to put yourself to sleep. Things like a comfortable bed, the foods you eat before sleep, and the time you wake up each day all play a part in healthy sleep hygiene.
Make sure your bed does its best to bring on sleep by dressing it in sheets that are breathable with properties that help control your temperature as you sleep. Keep the room cool and dark. Remove all unnecessary electronic light and noise. Sound machines are great to drown out loud noises from the street.
Don't Skimp on Self-Care
It is so easy to push off self-care when you are working from home. All your concentration is fixated on work. You don't think of your self-care rituals as often when you are home all the time. Taking a few minutes to stretch, do yoga, or meditate throughout the day helps to center and focus your intentions. You don't lose yourself in the workflow and end up tired, worn-down, and without motivation.
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule while working at home is doable, but it definitely isn't easy. Poor sleep equals poor work. Doing all you can to maintain proper sleep is a career step that will take you straight to the top.