Remote Work Mornings

Remote work is disconnecting us from our bodies.

And it’s a problem!

Can you feel your feet right now?

I bet it took you a moment to shift your attention from reading this and redirecting it inward. One of our big challenges as human animals is to spend less time in our heads and staying connected to our bodies.
And for remote workers this challenge has become even more difficult.

When was the last time you were out of breath?
While our jobs required us to leave the house we had to acknowledge that we are not just our brains and thoughts but also this physical being that needs to be taken care of. Having gotten in touch with stairs, busses that we needed to catch and colleagues that expected us to have taken a shower kept us from letting us go completely.

Now, we are free to be as messed up as we want.
We can stay in bed till the meeting starts, skip the shower, maybe put on a presentable shirt for the morning stand up. Or just keep the camera off.

And that might be cool for a day or two but if your behaviour is that of a depressed person you should not be surprised to find yourself depressed.

Building a better work-life balance is one of the biggest arguments for remote work. But if we don’t take the opportunity, the freedom becomes a risk.

I have fallen into the comfort trap myself while working IT projects from home,

ending in a mid-sized burnout.

I now successfully use these 3 strategies to keep myself sane and enjoying life as well as my work.

  • Analog first
    The best way to make sure you are not neglecting yourself is to frontload as much life as possible into your morning. The bigger you can make the gap between opening your eyes and your laptop in the morning, the more human you will feel in the evening.
    No matter if you work out, clean the kitchen, take a walk or just sit and enjoy a coffee, starting the day with things that happen in the real world will keep you grounded.

  • Leave the house
    Not walking your dog outside is animal cruelty.
    Even though you can use the human toilet, you also need to leave your house in the morning.
    Not just for need of sunlight and fresh air but also to remind yourself that the world outside exists. Otherwise you leave the house the first time in the evening, feeling like a digital zombie while shopping groceries.

    Put on some pants, throw some water in your face and at least stand on the balcony for a few minutes.

  • Workplace ritual
    After you build yourself a nice, real life morning it is important to clearly distinguish it from work. The further away life and work are from each other conceptually, the easier they are to balance and the easier it is for you in the evening to do the reverse habit and try to keep work where it belongs.

    It can be a small habit like a breathing exercise, reviewing your todo list for a minute or logging into a dedicated work account on your laptop, as long as it happens regularly it will help you switch in and out off work mode.

Take back your mornings!
Living a little bit of life before your work is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health and sanity, just by experiencing the world with our bodies before we crank up that old idea machine.

Give yourself some space and keep moving!