Twenty-twenty, the year of toilet paper controversies and working from home. If it’s not you that is working from home, it’s someone you know that is. There’s this idea that working from home is a dream come true – lazing in PJ’s all day, what more could you ask for? But in reality, it can be hard to adjust to this lifestyle. It’s finding the balance to ensure you’re comfortable yet productive. The following tips should be able to help you, or someone you know, live their best work-at-home life.

1. Keep following the morning-routine grind

It can be easy to fall out of routine when you work from home. Preparing yourself for the day as if you were going into the office is the first and most useful tip to creating a productive work space. Instead of staying in your pyjamas all day, wake up early, go and do some exercise, have a shower, make breakfast and get changed into an outfit that you would comfortably go out in. By doing this, you’re switching your brain from relaxed mode, to go-get-‘em mode!

2. Make a dedicated work space

Having a space in your home dedicated solely to work is important. It doesn’t have to be a full home office but try to dedicate a little nook of your home to work. When you step out of that space, you can unwind and relax and when you’re in that space, you’re on the clock. If you do set up your work station in a common area of the house, ensure you pack it away at the end of each day. This will save you the temptation of checking emails or the unease of being reminded of work.

3. Keep your dedicated work space tidy, always

If your space is cluttered, your mind is cluttered. Keeping your work space neat and tidy sets you up in a good head space and allows you to work at your full potential. Whether it’s a quick tidy up of the desk, or a vacuum of the floor, being in a clean working environment will give you the clarity you need for a good day at work.

4. Plan your day and prioritise your to-do list

For me, writing lists is the most effective way to get though each day. When you jot down each and every task there is, you’re able to prioritise and utilise your time wisely. You may like to prioritise with numbers, colours or codes. Whichever you use, by listing your work, the day will be put into perspective, immediately reducing stress and saving you time. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying then ticking off completed tasks!

5. Schedule breaks (and stick to them!)

The best part about working from home is the flexibility it gives you. If you want to grab a coffee throughout the day, or give your family a call, you can take breaks accordingly and arrange your day around it. It is important to make sure you stick to the breaks you’ve given yourself to avoid getting off track. Work hard, break hard!

6. Get some fresh air and drink plenty of water (or coffee)

Firstly, staying hydrated should be a given. Keep a jug next at your desk and top up your glass often! It’s never a bad idea to take a step outside (if the restrictions in your area permit) and inhale in the good stuff, fresh air. This may be a good time to stretch your legs and get some vitamin D too, all promoting endorphins to keep you happy, healthy and productive. Sometimes it’s simply taking a break from your device that is the biggest breath of fresh air you can have.

7. End your day with routine

Just like the morning, it’s important to end your day with a routine. After sending the last few emails and following up with the last of the phone calls, tidy your work space to create a happy and clean environment for future you tomorrow. Just think, the afternoon routine symbolises the start of your relaxation time, the start of you time.