Michelle Hoskin, business consultant and managing director of Standards International, offers six tips to help paraplanners now working from home.
Number 1: Protect your brain
The first 8 minutes after you wake in the morning are important in preparing our brain for the rest of the day. When we first wake up our brain is like Playdoh, and the information we take in during those first 8 minutes, influences the way our brain works for the rest of the day.
So, for the first 30 minutes (if you can) keep away from screens, focus on your feelings, your family, your home, and setting your day up in a positive manner, with positive affirmations about the day ahead.
At the moment we don’t know what we will be waking up to, so if the first thing we read is negative news on our mobiles, that negative moulding will affect the way we think and approach the day.
Number 2: Plan for your wellbeing
Before you focus on any work activity focus on your wellbeing:
- Plan what physical activity you are going to do in the day
- Take notice of how you are feeling – if you are feeling negative look to those positive affirmations
- Keep learning – plan to factor in one key new learning experience into your day, that will stimulate your brain outside of what you learn at work
- Connect with other people. Plan that into your day.
- Give. Think about doing a good deed – maybe ask an elderly neighbour if they need any food when you are going to the supermarket. Good deeds make us generally happier in ourselves.
These will all help with your physical and mental wellbeing.
Number 3: 100% get dressed.
Get up, make your bed, and do everything you would do on a normal working day when you would be going into the office. Although we are working in an unusual way and environment (for work), dressing as we would for the office will help with confidence, assertiveness and you will be more positive if you look and feel the part.
Number 4: Protect your home space
Put boundaries in place and have agreements that say when you are working and should not be disturbed. Clear the dining room table at the end of the day, shut the door, put work phones aside when you are at home. Don’t let your work/life balance merge into one.
And if your partner is also working from home, have an agreement that they will do the same. Remember, this is still your home before it is your working environment, so protect your home space by sticking to your boundaries.
Number 5: Work as normal
Work as close to a normal working structure as possible. If you usually start at 9am, then start at 9am. Finish when you would normally finish. Don’t concern yourself with other matters.
Number 6: Look after yourself
Don’t eat your body weight in cherry Bakewell’s because they are there in the cupboard.
Keep to a healthy diet. Eat when you would normally, take breaks when you would normally and as much as possible keep to how you would be at work.