Self-care and productivity tips as you work from home

As homes have turned into workplaces for most of us, self-care is key for our physical as well as mental well-being. On World Day for Safety and Health at Work today, the United Nations is focusing on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, especially on the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is also raising awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play. If your workplace is still open, the ILO recommends these measures to slow down the spread of the virus as you continue to work.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, all these steps were adhered to at Toybank even before we started working from home. A sensitization session gave the employees a lowdown on COVID-19 but also safety measures such as maintaining hygiene at the workplace as well as home. With field visits restricted, the team self-quarantined and started working remotely to stay safe ourselves and to ensure others' safety as well.

 As we continue to deliver play to our beneficiaries through our digital ToybankPlayAtHome Kit with DIY games, activities, quizzes, art and craft among others, we are keeping track of our work while also checking in on our teammates’ well-being. Our conference calls and virtual townhalls are as much about work discussions as for connecting with each other personally.
Since WFH is the new normal, here are some tips to ensure productivity along with physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
When you’re at home, sleep schedule is the first thing tossed out of the window. Sleep at a decent hour and wake up early! Even if your morning is freer, be up and about. Resist the temptation of snoozing in the afternoon and say no to binge-watching at night. You will always feel fresher and your day will be more productive. 

Assign yourself a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workstation in the house will prep your mind to be in work mode. Make sure it’s neat and organized and it’s not a bed or a couch. A proper chair will keep you more attentive and energized. 

Make a to-do list
A ton of tasks and no colleagues to motivate you can make your feel overwhelmed and shoot your stress levels up. Prioritize your work. If you’re swamped but there’s something you can deal with later, don’t burden yourself by doing it immediately, as long as you do not flout the deadline. 

A meaningful morning routine
If you wake up at your regular time, you are saving the commute time. After all, how long does it take to walk up to your desk in the same room or even another? Use your morning to do something meaningful or relaxing. A cup of coffee, reading, or better still, working out. 

Work in a workout
No matter how busy you are, a 15–20-minute daily workout will beat the stress, energize you and add to your productivity. Do simple home exercises or stretching and be diligent.

Take regular breaks
Being chained to the desk for hours on end will only cause physical and mental fatigue. Every hour, stand up and stretch a bit. Walk around for about 10 minutes every couple of hours. It will be rejuvenating and you will resume work with vigor. 

Set boundaries
Even under normal circumstances, it’s difficult for most professionals to strike a work-life balance. Turns out, that’s a trap one falls into even when working from home. Set boundaries and demarcate work hours and downtime. Stick to the clock-out time to prevent overworking and burnout. 

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