In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners worldwide shifted their operations online. Even as the pandemic recedes, the remote work setup appears to be here to stay for many business owners.
This shift to working from home has provided business owners with significant time savings thanks to the elimination of the daily commute. No longer needing to go into the corporate office, work from home life presents opportunties for business owners to better themselves and their bottom line.
The average American spent an estimated 35 minutes on their daily commute to work prior to the pandemic, which adds up to a total of 19 full work days spend travelling to work each year.
Imagine how much you can accomplish in 19 extra workdays, not you’re running your business from home. You can make the most of this extra time before your workday begins by accomplishing useful tasks, devoting time to personal enrichment, and preparing yourself mentally and physically for the day.
Schedule Your Day
Before your workday starts, take the time to schedule your day. Time blocking is a useful technique that involves dividing your day into blocks of time to dedicate to specific tasks. Scheduling your day using time blocking ensures that you’re able to optimise every hour of your day and accomplish all your necessary objectives.
Go for a Walk
Getting some exercise in the morning before you start work is a great way to get your blood flowing and prepare your mind for a productive workday. A brisk walk has been found to heighten energy levels, improve your mood, relieve stress, and increase creative output. Plus, adding a regular morning walk into your routine will help you stay healthy long-term.
Another way to prepare your mind for a productive day is by meditating. Like exercise, meditation has been found to increase blood circulation, relieve stress, and improve your creativity and focus. Take a few minutes before you begin your workday to sit quietly, clear your mind, and concentrate on your breathing. Practising mindfulness will boost your energy, sharpen your focus, and help you maximise your productivity at work.
Stream a Success Podcast
You can also use the time formerly consumed by your commute for self-improvement by listening to a podcast about how to be successful in work and life. School of Greatness is an example of a prolific podcast that analyses successful icons, providing the knowledge you can apply to your life to achieve your own success.
And you may also be inspired by the POWER to Live More podcast.
Declutter Your Workspace
Set the stage for a productive workday by tidying up your workspace, whether it’s a desk in your home office or your dining room table. Decluttering removes distractions so that you’ll be able to start work with a clear mind. The process of decluttering also helps to relieve stress. With a tidy workspace, you’ll be able to focus better and be more productive.
Brew Some Ginseng Tea
Start off your day with a cup of ginseng tea to boost your brain functions. In addition to health benefits such as strengthening your immune system and reducing inflammation, ginseng has been found to improve mental performance and mood. Drinking ginseng tea can not only help you feel calmer but also navigate tricky situations and work more effectively.
Catch Up on Industry News
Another productive use of your extra time on weekday mornings is to inform yourself of trends and developments in your industry. Read relevant blogs and websites to stay on top of the latest business news and developments you can apply to your own career, without having to take time out of your busy work schedule.
Listen to a Productivity Audiobook
Another way to maximise productivity during former commute time is reading or listening to books on productivity strategies. Whether you prefer reading a physical book or listening to an audiobook, there are plenty of excellent resources available. One example is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This New York Times best-seller provides practical strategies for building positive habits.
Although you may enjoy the freedom to work from home in your pajamas, there are plenty of benefits to dressing like you would if you were working in the office. On one hand, you’ll look professional for any video calls or meetings you may have. More importantly, dressing as if you were going to work will boost your confidence and help you maintain a professional mindset.
Complete a Puzzle
Warm-up your brain before work by completing a challenging puzzle such as a crossword, sudoku, or another brain teaser. This quick habit will enhance your problem-solving skills and prepare your mind for a productive day of work. You can easily find a variety of puzzle apps and games for your phone to incorporate this strategy into your morning routine.
Organise Your Finances
Another productive use of your former commute time is staying on top of your finances. Use your extra time to manage your budget, pay your bills, and keep track of where your money is going. Whether you’re managing only your personal finances or expenses for work, you can still benefit from this time to evaluate your finances and plan for building wealth.
Brainstorm New Ideas
Before the distractions of work begin, take some time to brainstorm ideas and goals. Write down fresh ideas and concepts you can apply to your work, flesh them out, and create new goals for yourself and your business. Carving out time simply to think and brainstorm is a productive way to repurpose commute time and improve your career.
If you’re one of the many business owners for whom working from home is the new normal, don’t let your former commute time go to waste. These strategies are excellent ways to repurpose your extra time in the mornings so you can improve your physical and mental health and make each work day more productive.
About the Author: Stacy Walden is a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media. She covers topics related to career development, leadership, and networking. When she’s not writing she enjoys going hiking and spending time with her family.