How to stay sane while working from home | by Zarina Majidova | Nov, 2022

Photo by Sigmund

Remote work has been becoming more popular in the last few years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing. A lot has been said about the pros and cons of working from home. Some people are more productive when they work from home, while for others it’s a nightmare. For some people, working remotely is more efficient, while for others it is a nightmare. If you work remotely, you need to set some ground rules to maintain your work-life balance and be productive at the same time. I’ll share with you some of the habits I’ve developed since starting to work from home.

Do not work out of your desk

Let’s start with essentials. First, get a comfortable chair and a desk. Make it a habit to exclusively work in your designated workspace. Unless you plan to watch a movie, do not bring your laptop to the sofa, bedroom, or kitchen. Once you start doing this you won’t be able to feel relaxed in spots you supposed to get some rest. Besides being harmful to your health, it is a threat to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Having a nicely designed workspace will motivate you to create something amazing. Photo by Jessy Smith

Follow a to-do list

It goes without saying that writing tasks down increases the likelihood that we will actually get them done. In the absence of reminders, we tend to forget or neglect it. Keeping track of daily activities can be done in a variety of ways, from simple Word documents to high-tech digital planners. Yet, be careful not to take it to an extreme. Pick the option that serves you best. I find it annoying when creating a simple to-do list takes too much time and effort. I tried to use an app once, but I had to enter too much information before it would do anything, so I gave up. I’ve switched to using Notes. It doesn’t require any effort at all and can be done both on an iPhone and a MacBook. I like how easy it is to just create a list and mark items as done.

Notes app being more powerful than we think. Photo from

Wake up at the same time every day

During sleep, our body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain our physical health. It is so easy to oversleep when you don’t need to dress up and go to work and the first meeting of the day is in the afternoon. The trick that works for me is putting the phone somewhere I can’t reach without getting up. You can also develop the habit of doing something you like in the morning, like brewing coffee, watching your favorite show, going to the nearest coffee shop to get a croissant, meditating, or whatever you genuinely love to do. This will associate mornings with your favorite activity, making it easier for you to rise and shine.

If you hate iPhone alarm sound, you may want to get a traditional alarm clock. Photo by Insung Yoon

Alternate your tasks with chores

I usually keep two to-do lists: one for work and one for chores and personal errands. I spend an hour or two working and 15–20 minutes getting things done from my second list, whether it is doing dishes, laundry, or preparing coffee. This not only helps you get items done from both lists but also balances intellectual and physical work.


A sedentary lifestyle has an array of adverse health effects which I’m not going to list. Walking is the best option for those who are not big fan of working out. Even if you work out twice or 3 times a week, walking 30 mins a day will boost your energy and help you relieve stress.

Finding a walking buddy is always a good way to keep your workout engaging. Photo by Nicky Lloyd

Thank you for reading!

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