Consciously structuring your day

21 April 2020

Any change of routine is likely impact our day-to-day life.

With our schedules now somewhat different to ‘normal life’, it can become too easy to focus on our new challenges and issues – to maybe even feel somewhat lost. Alongside changes to the timing of our regular meals, the potential loss of social interaction and different sleep patterns, the temptation to live very differently can rear its ugly head.

Settling in

In our previous piece about ‘Your working environment’, we looked at how setting up our workspace can help us settle into a new way of working, and how doing so can encourage and help us get into an alternative ‘work’ mindset. We also talked about the importance of making time to move during the day – a key component positively affecting our wellbeing generally.

Today we’re looking at how structuring your day, even with a loose outline, can help you stay focused and help you prioritise your workload.

Below, we’ve identified some things we can all do to help create a daily schedule that works for us. Take a moment to read through and see what resonates with you.

Everyone’s approach is unique to them

Understanding the way you work effectively is important at the best of times, and even more so during times of change. In approaching your day and thinking about your schedule, do you take the time to think about this? If you do – that’s fantastic.

Or maybe you dive straight into the working day and week – getting on with things with no clear planning to support you? And of course, you may even dip in and out of both approaches.

Before reading on, pause and reflect on where you stand on this. There are no rights, wrongs or absolutes on this; it’s all about you and what works most effectively for you.

How do you work best?

Whichever way you approach the working day, we recommend a good place to start is by taking a couple of minutes and asking yourself some basic questions.

  1. When do I feel most energised and alert?
  2. Are there times or periods in the day when I feel sluggish?
  3. Are there also any times during the day I’m more prone to distraction?
  4. How did I sleep last night – do I feel rested and ready to go?
  5. What are my absolute priorities for today, this week, this month?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to organise tasks, breaks and time in the way that suits your personal style and preferences.

Think “Flexibly”

As we’ve already mentioned, having to move away from the structure of being in an office environment can be a challenge. We’ve therefore, suggested some ways that can help you regain a new version of that structure while working remotely:

  • Set clear start and finish times for your day
  • Schedule a lunch break – and stick to it!
  • As you do with meetings and phone calls, schedule time to move – even if it’s just to get up, grab some water and look out the window. It’s important to keep your body moving and change the view

And finally, flex your thinking – be realistic and identify the most important pieces of work you need to deliver, and the periods in your day when you’re most productive and are best able to focus.

Today’s Take Away

Taking the time to adopt some or all of the above won’t take chunks out of your day or week. And while much of this may seem obvious to many of us, adopting these simple approaches can help keep us on track.

Perhaps more importantly at this time, they will also help you to feel more in control of your time and output – and that would be a very good thing indeed.

Adjusting to working from home

As the UK’s Covid-19-driven lockdown continues, we focus on the adjustment to working from home, and the benefits and difficulties it brings.

Adjusting to working from home