How To Maximise Your Studying and Working From Home Potential

Top working from home tips from a personal trainer

Working from home is a reality most of us share in light of recent global events. Remote work can be extremely rewarding when you can maintain productivity and digitally facilitate positive business relationships while keeping a healthy work-life balance. These tips from a personal trainer at AA Fitness Family can help you maximise your potential for studying or working from home and focus on your health and happiness. Let’s get into it!

Which foods or diets can help me focus when studying or working from home?

It sounds simple, but staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet can radically improve your concentration and focus. This is especially true when working in front of a screen where it can be easy to lose track of time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day and forget to drink your recommended water intake!

Aim to:

  • Consume 2L of water per day if you’re a woman or 2.6L per day if you’re a man (this can vary and be affected by exercise, pregnancy and weather).
  • Eat whole foods.
  • Eat fruit and vegetables daily (try to make these your snacks!).
  • Reduce processed foods and sugar consumption.

Here’s how to incorporate healthy eating and drinking in your day:

  • Always keep a water bottle on your desk.
  • Purchase a hydration drink reminder tool, download a water drinking app or set an hourly hydration reminder on your phone.
  • Eliminate processed foods by hiding them away in high out-of-sight cupboards (or not buying them in the first place).
  • Keep healthy snacks on your desk or in easy-access places in the kitchen – think fruit, nuts, carrot sticks or cucumber slices.
  • Plan your meals for the day in advance and dedicate times to eat – you can even create a daily menu if you’re feeling artistic!
  • If you’re craving treat food, don’t deny yourself – but make the next best choice (for example, have two squares of dark chocolate instead of a Mars Bar or cheese and crackers instead of crisps).

Simple Changes to Decrease Decision Fatigue

How to fit exercise into your day when you study or work from home

We all know how vital exercise is. There are also many benefits of spending time outside in fresh air and sunlight, especially if you are stuck in one environment for most of the day. A common barrier that everyone experiences is the feeling of being unmotivated and deflated and avoiding exercise as a result.

Here are some ways to overcome barriers to exercising every day:

  • Get a family member or friend to exercise with and hold each other accountable. Dedicate time each day to walk or workout together.
  • Join free workout sessions online. These can be found on YouTube or through Facebook Groups, with many gyms transforming their classes into free online workouts.
  • Begin every day with a 20–30 minute walk. Build this into a routine and you will be left feeling refreshed and set up for a positive day!
  • Replace the time you would commute to work with a walk, bike ride or workout.
  • Take the stairs instead of a lift or escalator.

Or better yet, incorporate exercise into your study or working day:

  • If you use the Pomodoro technique, use your five-minute breaks to do some ‘deskercise‘, jumping jacks, stretches or jog on the spot.
  • Plank while you’re waiting for your coffee or tea to brew.
  • Stand up during team meetings or go for a walking meeting by video conferencing from your phone.
  • Go for a short walk after eating your lunch.

Allocate specific study or work from home hours and follow a daily routine

When working from home, it is very easy to lose structure and routines. In order to maximise your productivity and potential, try to maintain a consistent schedule. It doesn’t have to be the same every day, but allocate time for work, hobbies, exercise, relaxation and family. The relaxation component is important, so try and resist the temptation to de-prioritise it – your brain needs time to switch off each day.

Incorporating a morning ritual can help you set up your day and a night-time routine allows your body and brain to slow down, relax and sleep better.

Create a separate work or study space

It’s vital to have a dedicated area for work or study – away from your relaxation area if possible. Ideally, this should be the study, dining room or kitchen and not the bedroom or lounge room. When setting up your work station, ensure that you have the appropriate lighting, ventilation, temperature, space and a good chair. Maintain a healthy posture throughout the day and get up at least once an hour to stretch.

How to Create the Best Work & Study Environment

Sleep will help you study or work from home more effectively

Sleep is one of the most essential components to a healthy life. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to maximise your brain’s capacity and keep consistent energy levels throughout the day. A benefit to working from home is the ability to create a healthy sleep routine as you do not have commuting time to worry about. You can also consider taking a 10-minute nap during your lunch or coffee break for a quick recharge to pep you up for the afternoon.

Functioning at your optimal state requires good quality sleep, so make sure you get enough.

How can I be mindful when studying or working from home?

Mindfulness is the process of purposely bringing your attention to the experiences in the present moment without judgement. Try these mindfulness exercises:

  • Start or end each day with a mindfulness breathing technique.
  • Drink a cup of tea without having any digital devices or distractions nearby. Take the few minutes it takes to drink your tea to sit or stand quietly and let your mind wander. Try not to think about any work responsibilities or chores.
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Listen to a mindful podcast or guided meditation.

Just five minutes a day of mindfulness can greatly reduce stress, give boosts in working memory, improve focus, and even increase immune functioning. Another simple way of decreasing stress is to cut down on your decision fatigue.

Integrating health and home with study and work

These are just some of the many tips you can implement to tackle working from home. Most importantly, you need to listen to your body and recognise that some days you may feel more limitations than others. Reach out for support when you need it and try to find something each day that brings you happiness or joy – then build a healthy routine around that.

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