A man wearing headphones and using his laptop on his bed

Productivity Tip: Your Bed is NOT an Office

The world has turned upside down since the onset of the Coronavirus. People have not only been forced to stay at home but they’ve been limited to seeing fewer people as well. Not only have people struggled to stay home during the lockdowns, but companies have been scrambling since the beginning to bring up productivity levels to adapt to the “new normal” as well. For many of us, that means working from home.

Although some states are now lifting lockdown restrictions, some companies have begun shifting to a work from home structure. Working from home instead of the office isn’t all fun and games. It can be tough to stay focused, especially when you’re trying to homeschool your kids, if you have a partner who’s also working remotely, or if you have pets. It’s also a struggle if you don’t have space in your home for an office, making either the bed, the couch, or the kitchen table/island a makeshift office. While these are easy makeshift office solutions, they don’t really give your spinal health any favors and may affect your productivity levels as well.

If you’re struggling to be (and stay) productive, here are 10 tips to keep yourself productive:

1. Designate a working area – not your bed!

Just like your regular 9-to-5, you should have a workspace at home. It might be a cubicle, office, or workstation, but regardless of your setup, you need to have a place for work. The same rule should apply to your home office. 

Whether it’s a dining room table, a spare bedroom, or the garage, set up a space that has everything you need to focus.

Avoid the temptation of working in your bed. Yes, it might be comfy, but it’s also an enormous distraction and it could keep you from getting any real work done. 

It’s also important that you keep a workspace that services your spine so you don’t form the habit of constantly slouching while you’re at work.

Also, if you do things in your bed besides sleep, you might find it hard to sleep when it’s time to turn out the lights. The reason behind this is that you’ve conditioned yourself to associate your bed with other activities, so it can be a challenge to turn off your mind.

Related: Maintaining Your Spine Health While Working From Home

2. Stick to a routine

When you don’t have a boss holding you accountable every minute of the day, you might find yourself drifting aimlessly, making your productivity levels decrease. To ensure your work doesn’t slide, map out a daily routine and stick to it. Determine what hours you’ll start and end your day. Schedule breaks, lunches, and family time as necessary.

3. Time block

Once you’ve designed a routine, make sure you schedule uninterrupted blocks of working time that allow you the capacity to tackle larger projects. If you’re homeschooling your kids, you’ll also need to schedule their learning time. 

One of our favorite hacks is to outline your day the night before. List the items on your to-do list and prioritize them. Don’t forget to add your meetings to the schedule.

To increase productivity, estimate the amount of time each takes to do each task or commitment, and then begin placing them in hourly time blocks. Aim for a 10-minute break to stretch your legs every 50 minutes or so.

Additionally, try to set each task for a certain time instead of merely plotting your tasks on a to-do list. This way, you can work more surely as soon as the time arrives instead of procrastinating.

Related: 5 Exercises for Sciatica Pain

4. Use earbuds when it’s noisy

If you’ve got other people in the house with you, wearing earbuds to tune out the noise will help you stay focused.

Earbuds with a microphone are also helpful for video chats. This will keep people in your virtual meeting from hearing unnecessary background noise and obnoxious echoes, and help them hear you more clearly.

5. Set expectations, but give yourself a healthy break

This situation is unprecedented, so it’s normal to take some time to adjust. Set goals for how many hours you want to work each day and what you plan to accomplish, but cut yourself some slack if you fall short. Every day is a new day and a chance to improve. Giving yourself a break will allow you to take care of yourself and avoid burnout from overwork.

Watch: 8 Tips to Gain Control of Your Health

6. Establish ground rules

Make sure everyone in your home understands your routine and preferences. Explain what behavior and interruptions are acceptable, as well as any other rules you’d like your family members to follow. By making yourself clear early, you can maintain some semblance of a normal routine without becoming resentful or blowing a fuse, bringing your productivity levels down eventually.

7. Take advantage of some of the benefits

Working from home has its perks. You can throw a load of laundry in the machine at 10 am, or you can vacuum between conference calls. Have you always wanted to try a recipe that required hours to make and required close supervision? Go ahead and make that loaf of bread from scratch! Without having to deal with a commute and office chit-chat, you can be both productive and have some personal time to breathe.

8. Boost social productivity online or by phone

Remote working can get quite lonely sometimes. Your lower back pain may sometimes even be your only companion through the long hours of staying at home, working. To avoid feeling isolated, take a few minutes a day to catch up with your colleagues. We recommend picking up the phone and having a voice or video chat, not just text or email. During virtual meetings, ask everyone to turn their videos on if possible.

9. Get out of the house

Go for a walk — with your mask on! Go around the block at lunch, or schedule a run in the morning or at sunset. Sitting for too many hours in one spot isn’t good for you mentally nor physically. In fact, sitting in front of your computer for too long can contribute to poor posture, which in turn can cause debilitating diseases like spinal dysfunction. Again, when you do go out, remember to wear your mask and bring sanitizer on your way.

Related: Are you wearing your masks and gloves the right way?

10. Ask for help if you need it

Everyone on your team is going through pretty much the same thing, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or another emotion, there’s a good chance that your coworkers or boss will understand. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Whether it’s delegating a project or sharing a concern, don’t keep it bottled up inside.

Conclusion

Since the pandemic began, a lot of people have begun working from home as a safety measure. Remember to focus on your health and well-being as you work from home. Set house rules, follow your schedule, take occasional breaks, and keep an ergonomic workspace for maximum productivity.

Do you have any tips for working from home? Let us know in the comments!

At Intero Chiropractic, we make sure that your body heals naturally on its own without the need to perform surgery or take medication to treat the symptoms. Through our funneled diagnosis as part of the FREED Methodology that we pioneer in, we have helped over 3,000 patients overcome chronic back pain and live life on their own terms.

Curious to see what our modern chiropractic techniques and approaches can do for you? Call us at (925) 255 5805 or leave us a message through our contact us form for more information.