Changing patterns of behaviour
Many of the things we do every day are done unconsciously. We run patterns of behaviour because routine and familiarity give us comfort and frees up our brains to think of other things. These routines are great if they serve us well but can be hard to break when they don’t.
Until earlier this year many of us were used to the routine of going to an office to work every day and, although we may have had long commutes, this period of time in the day represented the separation between work and home life.
New routines and ways of working
Many offices have been shut for several months and there is much talk of new ways of working and not going back there. This shift in the way of working can bring challenges and also opportunities. How do you feel about a new routine and ways of working?
For some, work and home life has merged into one because the whole family is at home working in a space that is also the family home. It can be very easy to lose the boundaries between work and home, for example, starting work earlier and finishing later, because there are no cues that trigger the start or end of the working day.
Change habits that are out of date
It has been interesting for me to observe the habits I’m running that are out of date and no longer necessary. In the past I have found myself working longer hours and taking fewer breaks because I feel I should be at my desk during ‘office’ hours. Whenever I decide to leave my desk during this time, I feel guilty and am often back working in a much shorter period than I would have been had I physically been in the office. So I’m not taking proper breaks and this can leave me exhausted and less productive at work (and then at ‘home’ too).
Have you found yourself distracted by all the communication channels that have been put in place so the team can support each other? Whilst these are great for staying in touch, they can also leave us feeling micromanaged and overwhelmed. If you are a leader, find a balance that works for you and your staff – one that enables them to feel supported, yet trusted to manage their working day in a way that is healthy and productive for them.
Become more productive
To be productive myself, I’ve found that I need to take a break away from my screen after about 60-90 minutes. I also need to move my body to re-energise myself. This might involve a short walk in my garden or some stretching exercises. It has taken a while to put this practice in place because I am so used to the routine of ‘being in the office means being at my desk’. That’s the case even though when I did work in an office, I would often be away from my desk at meetings or talking with colleagues.
If you are working remotely, have you created cues for yourself that create the routine for starting and finishing work? Are you giving yourself permission to take breaks? If you are going to be working remotely long term, look to fit something into your daily routine that will re-energise you and keep you feeling healthy.
If you are managing a team remotely, what adjustments have you made to demonstrate to your team that you trust them to manage their time and work schedule in a way that is most productive for them, rather than fit in with a set way of work?
Stick to the new
It can take time and practise to create new routines and habits in our daily lives, so be very conscious when you are putting new ways of working in place that you are sticking to the new. An occasional slip up is fine, but get yourself back on track as soon as you can and reward yourself when things have gone well for several days in a row.
Our 12-week ‘Working Well’ programme includes transforming your wellbeing by changing habits and embedding new ways of thinking, feeling and behaviour into your daily life. It takes place over a three month period so that you can regularly practise the tools we share with you. By doing this you will be creating habits that energise you and transform how you feel about yourself. The 12 topics within the programme contribute to different aspects of wellbeing. By completing the course and bringing what you learn into your everyday routine, you will transform your emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing. Call us on 029 2089 2783 to find out more about ‘Working Well’.