We’re a few weeks into the mandated work from home and for those who don’t normally have this privelege, it’s been a difficult transition. Not having to commute to a cubicle space 5 days a week is a nice change of pace. At this point it almost feels like we’re getting paid to chill in our pajamas and watch Netflix all day. Who knew all it took to get your dream job was a global pandemic?

It may seem enjoyable now but as we continue to work from home for an extended period, giving in to those home office temptations could hinder your performance at work. You want to use this time to prove to your boss that you can be trusted to work remotely and while some of your coworkers may be struggling in this new environment, you’re thriving. Who knows, if you perform well enough, management may decide to make this work from home thing permanent, or just keep you in mind during the next round of promotions. Here’s some tips to stay on top and make the most of your workday at home.

1. Don’t Change Your Morning Routine

It can be so tempting to sleep later when working from home. Starting the day off right is crucial for setting up the momentum that will get you through the day. Don’t just roll out of bed and log on to your computer. Maintain your normal morning routine. Wake up early. Shower. Eat breakfast. Drink Coffee. If you normally workout, do that. Trick your body into thinking you’re going into the office by doing exactly what you do on a normal work day. This is especially important when it comes to starting this routine back up again once the quarantine is over.

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2. Take More Regular Breaks

It’s so much easier to take breaks now that you’re home and out of the direct supervision of your boss. With the couch calling your name, you may find yourself take more frequent unplanned breaks throughout the day. Break this habit by scheduling your breaks. If possible, walk away from your computer and decompress for 10 minutes every hour. When it’s over, sit back down and focus on work for the rest of the hour. Rinse and repeat with the addition of a lunch break till the day is over. This ensures you don’t burn yourself out by working all day or that your breaks don’t turn into all day lounge sessions.

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3. Set Daily Goals

Checklist. To Do List. Daily Objectives. Doesn’t matter what you call it. Creating a set of tasks to tackle gives each day meaning and keeps you focused. While working remote, you will see your coworkers sending more emails, some of which may not concern you. It’s easy to get lost or feel overwhelmed by these emails, so the checklist you create helps you stay on track to completing your own work. This list also helps you clearly visualize and prioritize the tasks at hand. If you see everything crossed off the list by the end of the day, it can give you a strong feeling of fulfillment. If nothing is crossed off the list, then you know you got distracted.

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4. Participate More in Meetings

When you’re in the office, you can attend meetings, say close to nothing, and still have your presence known. That’s because your manager can see your beautiful face in meetings and around the office, so as far as management is concerned, you’re at work and working. This all changes when you work from home. Now to establish presence, you have to become more vocal. Here, you’re trying to fight the “out of sight out of mind” principle. Make sure your voice is heard and your boss will think you’re there and working just like any normal day. At the same time, make sure you stay on mute when you’re not talking. Saying the wrong thing is 10 times worse than saying the right thing.

Cognitive Psychology, as told by The Office

5. Communicate More With Coworkers

Completing your work is only valuable if people know you complete it. Send more emails or schedule more calls to show your coworkers that you’re working just as hard as they are. Even if you’re not working that much, a perfect timed email could trick everyone into thinking you’re doing more work than you’re actually doing.

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6. Work Exercise Into Your Routine

Staying in your house all day could make you stir crazy or even lethargic. This lack of energy could hinder your performance at work and lower morale. To fight this, make sure you take some time each day to do some physical activities. This could be light stretching or a short run outside. Exercising keeps the blood flowing which boosts energy and morale. Exercising isn’t usually fun but could make a significant impact on your work day.

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