Proper self care is a big benefit of digital & remote work–if you pay attention. We’ve cut the commute, we’ve cut the appearances of work, but its really important you are caring for yourself to do the best work possible in that time gained. Everyone has something different. Some people do intermittent fasting, weight training, and yoga, others run or hike. Whatever it is, make sure you are taking care of yourself, and do it efficiently. If you aren’t doing this, your performance and work suffer.
Here are some best practices
Having a ton of freedom in digital and distributed work is a gift. However, it can easily become a curse if you don’t create routines for yourself. Routines are healthy–they allow predictability and help us remain productive in meaningful work day to day. Create a routine for yourself, and stick to it.
I’ll give a personal example. My personal routine is to wake around 8-9am, work for three hours on the hardest decisions of the day. I know that I am at my best in the mornings. I then have lunch, and then exercise every other day from noon – 2pm, because I am not very productive after lunch. I then work afterwards and take meetings in the afternoon until dinner time. At that point, I either socialize and have dinner with friends, family, or do a bit of extra creative work at night. The book Daily Rituals is an excellent book to look into the daily routines of artists. Try something similar for yourself.
Having digital and asynchronous flexibility means ensuring that you are working in ergonomic conditions. Maybe you start on the kitchen counter, continue on the couch, then finish on your desk. But if you are working from home or a remote condition, make sure you get the ergonomics right.
This means getting a proper workstation. Consider a standing height adjustable desk. A comfortable chair is a great investment. Options are also a good idea. Some people prefer stools, standing up, exercise balls, and alternating between them all. Variation is often the key to good ergonomics, as the human body wasn’t really designed to be in the same position all day.
Human beings are inherently social, and a drawback of digital and remote work is the possibility of being too disconnected. We talk about the benefits of having dedicated time to concentrate on work, but cabin fever is a real problem, especially for remote workers who aren’t forced into an office.
Fortunately, its an easy problem to address. First, reach out to your coworkers–easy. But what we’ve found is that social interaction doesn’t have to be with coworkers. Reach out to your family, spend time with friends, or work in places where there are people, like co-working spaces or coffee shops. At lunch, play some basketball, or have lunch with your spouse.
Remote work means you can work anywhere you want. Use that to your advantage to feed your social needs and avoid cabin fever
Similar to cabin fever, isolation can sometimes mean the loss of purpose and meaning. What we’ve found is that constantly setting yourself to learning new things helps with a reminder that you have purpose and mission in your work. What really helps is things like podcasts, audiobooks, and signing up for e-Courses. The constant pursuit of better helps you stay motivated and mentally sharp.