I love life hacks. There… I said it. This is for two reasons mainly:
One reason is that I love subtly genius ideas.
The other is the feeling of rebellion.
Even if the life hack is just a new way to peel a banana, I am going against societal norms. Becoming a maverick with the ability to change world order one banana at a time. That’s what you call power.
However today, I am not talking about new ways to consume your fruit. I am talking about cheeky little life hacks that you could bring to your home working setup!
For this list, I am going to present you with several common challenges that come with home working, and then like magic, I shall proceed to hack your life. You’re welcome!
Challenge – I struggle to focus and maintain energy and regularly feel drained.
Life Hack – Buy new smells
Now of course, we have spoken on this very blog before about maintaining focus and energy, with regular advice including to take regular breaks and get outside.
However, this blog is about all those things you have never considered, so let’s talk about scents.
Do you know that different scents can have different impacts on you far beyond just your sense of smell? I didn’t.
If you are partial to a candle, wax melt or potentially even a spray, then look to pick up one which is scented with lemon, peppermint or cinnamon. These scents are just three of many that could break you free from fast fatigue, meaning you can be productive for much longer.
Challenge – My house has too much background noise, and it gets loud during meetings.
Life Hack – Try soundproofing
If you have disruptive children, loud pets or just a very busy household, you will know how frustrating all that excess background noise can be. It could make it incredibly hard to concentrate, and potentially even interrupt meetings.
One solution could be to apply acoustic seals in the gaps between your office door and the door frame. Whilst this will not give you full soundproofing, it will potentially stop some of the volume leaving other rooms of the house.
Of course though, with this hack comes a cautionary warning. Stay vigilant. Slightly soundproofing is great, neglecting stuff that urgently needs your attention, such as children, is not.
Challenge – I keep daydreaming and then struggling to refocus and switch back on.
Life Hack – Embrace distraction
Seems strange to say that the hack to this challenge is to not challenge it, however it is really effective.
You may see things that tell you to eliminate all distractions and to be military in how you focus your time, however does this actually work?
When you cannot sleep, do you force your eyes shut and frustratedly toss and turn until you wake up in the morning, or do you do something to help you switch off?
Forcing yourself to relax can be as difficult as it sounds, quite like forcing someone to have fun. It does not work like that.
On the other hand, embracing your lack of serenity and doing something about it is usually much more productive.
A good book, warm milk, or perhaps even some ambient sounds could cut your time in an annoyingly wide-awake state considerably. This metaphor is taking longer than I expected.
Moral of the story, you could force yourself into focusing to very little avail, or you could allow occasional distraction to enter your day, refreshing and reframing your thinking before you get back to task. You don’t always need to arm yourself for a fight over your own attention.
Challenge – I struggle to be creative when at my desk.
Life Hack – Change your surroundings and record any ideas
You cannot explore new places if you keep placing your feet into yesterday’s tracks.
It is impossible. So, spare a thought for your mind, which is searching for innovation in a place that it has seen continuously for some time now.
When the time comes to get creative, get up and out of there.
It could be for a walk in the wilderness, a drink at a coffee shop or wherever you feel that you produce your most inventive thoughts.
As long as you have your phone on you, then an idea brainstorming session does not need to be static.
There are plenty of apps out there, such as Otter, which are made for recording and transcribing ideas so that you can have them ready for when you need them.
Challenge – I feel incredibly tired after work and my eyes feel strained.
Life Hack – Wear blue light blocking glasses
Screen fatigue feels like receiving a giant slap to the eyeballs from a hand slathered in shampoo. It’s nasty.
Much of this feeling is down to the blue light, which is emitted from your screen, which can lead to physical issues such as blurry vision, eyestrain and dryness of the eye.
This can be avoided though by investing in a pair of blue light filtered glasses. I personally use these, and I cannot recommend them enough.
Before, I used to have to re-wake myself at the end of the working day, because my eyes felt awful.
Now, I feel just as fresh at 8pm as I do at 8am.
Challenge – I don’t have a filing system and my notes get jumbled.
Life Hack – Smart reusable notebooks
Do you like physically writing notes, but hate how paper ends up in so many different places? You can never find that page that you need!
I was amazed to discover that there is such thing as smart reusable notebooks.
Most of these will give you the same sensation that writing ink to paper gives, however they allow you to upload and categorise your pages so that they are all stored in one place.
You can then simply wipe clean and use the page again!
Challenge – I never feel good in my home office.
Life Hack – Re-paint your walls
You have to feel good in your home office. Especially if it is where you are spending a huge bulk of your time during the working week.
There are easily introducible items that you can add to your space to make it better for you.
Plants for instance are great for this, as they can bring immediate vibrancy and life to the dullest of places.
Let’s strip this back further though and take a look at the foundations.
Could a colour change to the walls around you be the catalyst to turning your home working frown, upside down?
I am not a psychologist, but there are people who are… and they say that colours can evoke different effects in the mind.
Pink can be a booster for your energy and motivation, green can deliver a mental refreshment reminiscent of the outside world, and yellow has the capability to improve your mood.
These are just a few possibilities.
Just remember next time you are decorating to look beyond the aesthetic and to think about the mental benefits of a colour. It could make a huge difference.
Do you have an ingenious life hack that your fellow home workers deserve to hear? If so, please get in touch and tell all!
Maybe we can make a sequel and continue to change the homeworking day one hack at a time.
If you liked this blog then be sure to check out our video summary:
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2022, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.
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