6 Ways to Keep Your Work-From-Home Brain Fresh Working Remotely
Wake up. Eat. Get ready for the day. Then take the long commute downstairs and into your home office. Ah, the life of a remote worker.
The daily routine can feel even more routine when you don’t leave the four walls you live in. And while routine serves us well in a lot of ways, your brain has to stay fresh. Or you’ll just be going through the motions, leaving your creative and critical thinking on the outside looking in.
Here are a few remote work tips to form a few new simple habits and live a more inspired life.
1. Find your cue.
Some remote workers get dressed as if they were going into the office. Others do a bunch of jumping jacks to start the day. Doesn’t really matter what your cue is as long as you find one to do consistently. It’ll let your brain know it’s time to start thinking and stop drifting.
“The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, ‘you’re going to be dreaming soon’.” – Stephen King, On Writing
Take it from one of our world’s most productive creative minds. Finding a cue (or a few cues) may explain how King is able to write approximately 1,000* books a year.
* rough calculation
2. Choose a time for creativity
Determine the time in the day that you are at your most creative. And do what you can to set creative work aside for that time. Block that time on your calendar and do your email checking and status meetings either before or after.
“Certain times of day are especially conducive to focused creativity, thanks to circadian rhythms of arousal and mental alertness. Notice when you seem to have the most energy during the day, and dedicate those valuable periods to your most important creative work. “ – Mark McGuinness, “Laying the Groundwork for an Effective Routine”, Manage Your Day-to-Day
While we’re at it, the rest of the book Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind is filled with tips from creative thinkers on how to find a routine that inspires a more inspired life.
3. Run, don’t walk to a daily walk.
There’s a common belief amongst creative thinkers called the Shower Principle, moments when your brain is distracted away from a problem long enough to allow for creative thought to solve it.
Now, we’re not ones to take showers in the middle of a remote work day, but the same idea applies to something as simple as a walk outside.
“Get outside every day and go on a walk. Walking is a way to find possibility. It’s a magic cure for people who want to think straight.” – Austin Kleon, Keep Going
Before you ask — no, the nervous pacing while on a remote work phone call doesn’t count. This is less about the steps and more about clearing your head. Leave the earbuds at home. Soak up some sun. And take a stroll around the block.
4. Set app timers
Alright, so you’ve put in a good stretch of work. Time to check Twitter to see what everyone is talking about and the next thing you know you’re down a Wiki wormhole about Talking Heads lyrics.
Both iPhones and Android phones have built-in app timer functions. Try to only take the social media breaks for 5 minutes or so. Otherwise you’ll completely lose your creative momentum.
5. Food for thought
Swap the chips for these energy and brain boosters:
- Pumpkin seeds
- These peanut butter energy bites
- Green tea
Full disclosure: most of the list above are our favorites from this more comprehensive list of brain bites over at Healthline.
6. Set up the right remote setup
A home office – whether it’s in a dedicated room or it’s a nook in your bedroom — can rejuvenate your mind when your setup is set up right.
It’s simple, really. A more inspired workspace leads to more inspired work. And a standing desk can boost creativity by 64%. It could reduce stress and spark more energy, too.
Hrmm, but there are so many options out there for a sit-stand desk. Where would you even start to look? Glad you asked, dear reader.
That beautiful desk you see above is our very own. The Mateo Sit-Stand Desk. Goes to show that you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for brains. A workplace work of art. Check out the Mateo Sit-Stand Desk.
Want to really make it yours? Our pride and joy is modular. Add on to it with accessories of all kinds.
Put the remote work tips from this journal entry to use today while working from home. Good luck out in there. We can’t wait to see what you do next.