Work from Home —Recommended Habits & Routines

Matej Nemček 🌱🌍
8 min readJun 16, 2020

There are numerous lists of effective and productive habits when you work from home.

Critical is your discipline.

Before massive global work from the home test — worldwide pandemic, I’ve been used to work from home and learned what works for me, does not need to work for you and could be specific for my location.

I assume you can find some helpful hints on how to upgrade your daily habits and routines to perform better.

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🌅 Get up early

Your day is defined when you wake up. First 20/20/20 minutes.

I recommend you to wake up at 6 am and sooner naturally. Try not to break this habit and maintain it over weekends to adjust the same. Go early to bed, 9–10 pm, and you will be refreshed for your next day’s adventure. Happiness guaranteed, and you will make better decisions in the day and life overall.

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Don’t rush too much while easing into the day. Wake-up peacefully, best is without alarm. Start wondering about the world around you, water your plants, learn something small by morning reading.

Why get up early? You will have fewer distractions and a close to a peaceful environment to focus on. According to one study, waking up early morning can make you happier. There is evidence that suggests that morning light exposure, which results in a phase advance of the sleep/wake cycle improves depressive symptoms in seasonal affective disorder

Dedicate Morning to High-Value work

What works for me here is to get up early and read something interesting, curious, probably work-related. Your will power here is most potent. Cut the planning and start doing real work when you are most active.

Don’t waste mental clarity, learn, iterate and make your habit better every morning. Better plan day before. Best is also try to don’t interact with others till the afternoon. That’s why I’ve set my public calendar to show available slots after 3 pm my timezone. Every interaction and decision lowers your will power.

Before noon is your showtime, and the best is to start with the most important task (MIT) to have an excellent feeling for the whole day. You will be fulfilled and satisfied that you made progress over your task list.

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Morning Excercise

In general, your day will be much better when you do some workout in the morning; your memories will be brighter. You can try to do yoga, go for a run. I’ve picked a mountain bike through the woods.

I usually prepare to go bike in the morning after I spent some time reading. I’ve been biking over winter, and every single day I’m trying to get at least active 600–800kCal on the bike in the deep woods.

By statistics, I do 4–5 rides, spent around 4 hours and do about 70km on the bike per week. I would like to go for 5 hours, six trips per week and around 100km. The hardest part for me would be, keep it stable over winter. 😇

What are the effects of this? In the first, you will have established routine. You will feel energized and prepared for your day. Better mood and improvised sleep. Less stress and lower blood pressure. You will also notice that you will be less prone to distractions. You will gain improved focus and concentration.

From my personal view, mountain bike in the woods works like meditation for me. I listen to birds, enjoying nature around me. I enjoy the ride on the snow, on the ice, on the mud or even dry surface is pretty fun in speeds 😃. Sometimes I spot wildlife in the woods as well; it’s fantastic to observe the situation.

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🖥 Clean workspace

This is important to have a clean workspace around you. Best is just have a desk with a notebook, an external monitor is optional, water bottle or tea, and that’s it. Maybe pen and notes if you are used to writing down your thoughts.

Every single thing on your desk could potentially be a distraction. When your willpower is on a low level, it will lead to procrastination. Put a lovely plant on your desk to help with your mood while working. Have enough fresh oxygen. Don’t forget to open the window and have fresh air while you work. This is crucial, as you want to avoid Cerebral hypoxia.

Turn off your notifications on your mobile and notebook. The best is to hide your mobile. Behind a laptop are a great place, just to have it off your vision and your mind. Google even made an excellent summary of how to minimize distractions on your mobile.

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In the era of cloud kitchens, it’s a win for you. You will save up on the commute and time to prepare your meal. You can focus on your productivity hours. What worked for me is to eat at 11 am.

I order early in the morning what I want to eat and that’s it. Then I just receive a ring from the courier, and I can enjoy the meal. Don’t forget to eat small portions of food. You will avoid after-meal fatigue. Prefer salats and more vegetables.

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Great is to take breaks regularly. The best is something every half an hour.

I drink yerba mate. When the glass is out of the water, I need to refill it with hot water. It’s an excellent opportunity to get hot water for another tea. Pee, look out through a window, stop for a while, do breathe exercise, think, evaluate and then return to work.

Drink enough water, so you are hydrated, and you are productive. Avoid high levels of caffeine. It could bring you anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

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Don’t even try to multitask. Focus on a single task. Don’t do context switching, it eats your will power, leaves residue in your mind. It takes to the brain between 10–30 minutes to depower rails that you were doing before.

Meditation in the morning helps a lot. Your mind is calm over all day. With mindfulness, you will gain a sharp spotlight on task what needs to be done, and problem-solving is better here.

Have a lot of plants around you. It helps feel overall better, and you will be more relaxed, less anxious, like in nature.

Don’t even think about notifications. Your attention could be easily cracked, and your will power will be like 🧀 Emmental cheese. You can read it after work. What isn’t in your physical radius, doesn’t require your attention.

Worth noting is to have self-improvements in your daily life. I wrote a summary of the actions and things that work for me.

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Unwind time, unplug your brain

This is a crucial part. Your brain needs to power down before sleep. Best at least 3–4 hours before your bedtime.

Don’t overwork yourself and try mind that you should unplug yourself at 4–6 pm, to simulate like getting off the work. Even you are enjoying it. There will be another day to finish your job. Pick some hobby or time with friends outside. Go to the park, read the book, find time to be with yourself.

Your wellbeing is valuable for your next day. If you don’t unplug before sleep, you will lose your whole day. Mind it like digital mindfulness.

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Before sleep

You want to put digital devices aside at least an hour before sleep. Be in your device-free zone at home before rest. Terrace or balcony works best, even on colder evenings. You will get some fresh air. Don’t forget to refresh the air in your bedroom before sleep, turn your air purifier before sleep for half-an-hour to get some new ions in.

We’ve used to have with a girlfriend to make tea before sleep and evaluate the day. For some who live alone works to write down gratitude log and reevaluate your bad habits during your day, so you can change and be better the next day.

The easiest hack that could change your sleep is you should not eat 3–4 hours before sleep. Otherwise, you will not have a quality sleep. If you have a smart device like Oura ring, Garmin or whatever measures your sleep cycles (Light, Deep, REM, Awake, Movements), you can check on your sleep patterns.

Your lowest heart rate happens at the midpoint of sleep when the amount of melatonin is at its highest. If you are perfectly aligned with the rhythm of the sun, your lowest basal body temperature also occurs around 4 am.

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You want to build your daily cycle on good habits and break bad ones. What worked for me, I was trying to reinvent what I can do better and become a better version of myself.

Mind this, every day, you are making perpetual growth, and there is a compounding effect. If you are unsure about something, you also just need to recode your negative beliefs.

The end goal here is that you need to fight against cognitive decline; here is my shortlist:

This article was just my rough draft, and I plan to extend it later, so come check back then. I just don’t want to lay it in my draft drawer and get off my mind. I hope it will help someone to create habits and routines in a better way.

Feel free to follow me on Medium Matej Nemček 💫🎋 and Twitter (@yangwao ) for more thoughts.