Staying centred & home working
Virtual working (in some ways) feels less ‘busy’ with no commute to and from the office, less rushing around, fewer meetings on different floors and generally no office ‘buzz’ around you. But despite this, I can sometimes get very swept up throughout my day because I don’t have the usual cues to re-centre myself after a meeting or an intense stint working on a spreadsheet etc.
While normally you’d leave a meeting room, close the door and walk up some stairs (all the while processing the meeting and ‘resetting’), working from home means it’s incredibly easy to fall from one task straight into another without much breathing space or time to process one task before switching to another one. I think this affects me and my productivity more than I realise so I’ve made sure I carve out this important time to reset and re-centre.
Something that has really helped me is creating a ‘dynamic’ desk space – one that keeps my energy up with some tools to help me through the day. Here are a few…
- Objects for grounding: this could be anything really – a stress toy, a crystal, a pebble, a shell, anything that you can bring your awareness to if you need to get centred in the present moment. It can be useful if you are feeling anxious or stressed and you can even use these during a meeting if you’re finding yourself all-consumed by screen time!
- A plant (or three!): With all the wires and screens around me I find it refreshing having a plant by my desk to sort of balance out all the tech. It’s also proven to help stress and a nice way to break up the day when you water it! Here’s an article on some of the benefits … https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/31/plants-offices-workers-productive-minimalist-employees
- A doodle pad: I keep a small doodle pad nearby and have a little scribble in between tasks. This helps to decompress a bit and acts as a brain break before moving onto the next thing.
A mental container: this one is a bit strange, but it’s about imagining any sort of container on your desk (a jar, chest, box, tupperware) and then imagining putting your stressors and worries inside the box and locking it up until later when you can spend some time worrying about those things. I find this helpful for worries that aren’t to do with work; they will still be there after work but give yourself permission to put them away for the next 8 or so hours. Extra tip: If you wanted to really make a ritual out of it, you could even put a jar or box on your desk and open and close it when you feel you need to.
These are very basic things but really building them into my work from home life allows me to slow down a bit and be more present as I move throughout my day. When I slow down I find I can concentrate better and I don’t flit between tasks as much.
Author: Molly, The Wellbeing Advice Team
Posted on: 15th March 2021