8 Tips and Tools While Working at Home
8 Tips and Tools While Working at Home
If you’re working from home, now is the time to do as little work as possible and maximize free time. I’m just being honest: why on earth would you want to spend more time working from home (or even at the office) when you can get more done in less time, and have more free time? Or for all the parents reading this: it can be incredibly difficult to get work done with little ones also at home right now. There are certainly some techniques and tools that can used to fight fatigue, burn more calories, and be more productive.
Staring at a computer screen all day long is going to cause some massive eyestrain. And if you haven’t read our separate articles in morning and night routines, the blue light that a screen gives off is not only harsh on our eyes, but too much of it later in the day is going to alter our ability to fall asleep at a normal time.
Download F.lux for free, which allows you to control the color temperature of the screen for less eyestrain and better Circadian Rhythms. You can even set the program so it turns on and off at certain times of the day.
Stand and Kneel to Work
There is a very strong correlate to how much time you sit and your risk for heart disease, regardless of the daily of exercise you conduct. Not only that, but standing for 8 hours a day versus sitting burns around 800 more calories. So if you’re looking to keep the weight off during the Coronapocalypse, or you just want to be able to eat two extra donuts, you should stand.
We like to alternate between standing and kneeling while working on the laptop. We find a surface high enough like a counter, and add a few books, a microwave, etc. in order to make it the right height. The same goes for kneeling: if you have one of those padded standing mats for a kitchen, or something else that’s soft to keep your knee on, you can keep your hip open and stretched and stay comfortable.
Standing also increases blood flow and activity in the brain, so it’s another subtle way to increase energy and productivity.
If you got yelled at by your teacher for fidgeting around in your desk, now you can call them up and tell them to suck it because it was actually the right thing to do. Ever realize why bars have that little ledge or railing to put your foot? It’s to take pressure off your back from standing for a while, but it’s also a good fidget tool that keeps you moving. The movement signal in the body, much like standing, increases energy and blood flow (and thus creativity). So when standing to get some work done, a Fidget Bar is a great tool to have to keep your body moving, your mind on task, and your lower body refreshed and less fatigued.
Effective Work/Rest Ratios
With the traditional 8-hour workday dying off with many progressive companies and workplaces, there’s still a hesitance with others to adopt it. Even with companies that don’t enforce an 8-hour workday, plenty of employees don’t optimize their productivity and efficiency at work.
Quantitative data tracking in workplaces have shown that the top 10% of productive employees
- Don’t work an 8-hour day
- Take effective breaks
- Get the most work done during short periods of time
Our brains have two modes: a focused mode and a diffused mode. The focused mode is when we are learning new things, writing, completing tasks, etc. The diffused mode is when we wander, and it’s actually equally as important for productivity. Problem-solving functions actually increase under brain imagery WHEN WE DAYDREAM. That’s why it’s so common for people to come up with brilliant solutions and ideas in the shower, right?
The Pomodoro Rule
The Pomodoro Rule creates urgency to get as much work done in a 25-minute window, followed by a 15-minute break. Set a visible timer for 25 minutes; write down a few tasks, and race to get as much done. Then unwind with a 15-minute break. This is a far more effective method of getting large amounts of work done than the traditional “do a few minutes of work, check my phone for a few minutes”.
One of the most popular formats for work/break ratios is the 52-17 rule. Your intention is to sprint for 52 minutes of work, followed by a 17-minute break. The 52 minutes of work is derived from the 100% dedication theory. This means the phone is nowhere near you, there’s no TV within sight, and no non-work tabs open on the browser.
Get a Quick Set In
Once that break hits, we like to take the last two minutes to get a set of squats, pushups, or core-related workout. We’re only aiming for 30-60 seconds of moderate work, just to move around and energize the body and mind.
Avoid the large insulin swings
Do me a favor: eat a giant stack of pancakes with syrup and some orange juice and try to get some reading done. You’ll be in a coma in what, 5 minutes flat? It’s just not going to work! Taking the same strategy for your (now shortened) workday is also wise. If we’re eating breakfast at all, we are sticking to entirely protein and fats like eggs, bacon, sausage, and avocado. That will avoid a large spike in insulin, only to have the insulin quickly dip low and cause a food coma.
If we are going to have some snacks for the rest of this shortened workday, we’re sticking to foods with a low Glycemic Load. Avoiding insulin spikes is going to avoid the need to just chug more coffee (we want you enjoying great coffee, not relying on it just to survive) and play this cat and mouse game with energy.
You have heard of Binaural Beats already, but are using them? The beats work when the tone (sound) actually hits your left ear differently than your right ear at a slightly different frequency. That difference in frequency is what is referred to as the binaural beat. So for this purpose of focus and concentration, we are actually looking for Beta Patterns from 13-30 Hz (Hertz).
While the science and data is somewhat inconclusive to prove they work, they are insanely popular and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence showing how it improves focus, sleep, and wakefulness. We like the simple and free Binaural App
And of course the shameless plug is to drink our ground coffee that has effective doses of nootropics to increase energy and focus while decreasing jitters and caffeine-crash!