Over the course of the pandemic, people had to figure out how to efficiently communicate remotely. This included a need to rebalance work and home life. Are you sitting at the same disorganized desk with little motivation and constant distractions? Perhaps you lose focus from spending time with your family or working on projects? The good news, it’s easy to make your new virtual work environment more successful. Follow the four tips below to enhance stability and productivity in project management.

1. Redesign Your Space

The first step in becoming more efficient is organizing your space. Create different spaces or sections to distinguish between your work and personal areas. If size is limited, try hanging a curtain, or use a folding screen, to separate your desk from your bed. The addition of dual purpose items, like a file cabinet or computer monitor, can increase functionality. When redesigning your workspace for a virtual job, there tends to be a lot of sitting. Consider investing in a stand-up desk. The benefits of adjustable workstations run from lowering your risk of obesity and heart disease to reducing back pain. Also, consider buying a large exercise ball, which can improve your energy while strengthening your posture and balance. Make sure to check whether your lighting is sufficient during the day and night. Amplified lighting revives the mood and eases the strain on your eyes. Get innovative and enjoy the process!

2. Invest in Your Short and Long Term Plans

Consider separating your work commitments from personal obligations to minimize your stress. Schedule specific time on weekends for cleaning and laundry. This will provide you with some freedom during the week to allow for relaxation or exercise. Keep a note pad and pen in your kitchen to jot down when you are running low on cleaning supplies and food. On Sunday evenings, write down your schedule and specifics tasks on a stickie note so you can have the satisfaction of crossing things off. You can even get a head start on grocery shopping and meal prep. Since working remotely often blurs the days together, make it a habit to tidy your desk at night so you aren’t overwhelmed the next morning. Besides daily and weekend routines, at the beginning of each month, create a calendar with important events and deadlines to guide you in staying organized. By investing the time to plan, you will have greater daily balance!

3. Prioritize Self Care

When working virtually, burnout happens to everyone. Establish a routine for a self-care day or hour. Try a do-it-yourself spa day with face masks, or get creative with bath salts and essential oils. Consider honoring your feelings by setting aside time for journaling. With extra time at home, find inspiration in designing a meal schedule that incorporates new foods and variety. Start the morning with hot water and lemon to revitalize energy levels without the use of caffeine. Add cinnamon to some of your favorite meals or snacks (like oatmeal and cottage cheese) to stabilize your blood sugar. When you’re looking to shake off toxic energy, join a virtual fitness group or go on a walk. Also, appreciating nature can both calm the mind and rejuvenate the spirit before a new project. Carving out a mini-vacation for yourself will aid in achieving peak performance. Place your needs first and watch how you soar!

4. Strengthen Connections

Do something different to minimize social isolation. Consider making team interactions a priority. First, collaborate more with your coworkers. Start by scheduling a virtual coffee chat or lunch. If weather permits (and Wi-Fi is good enough), set up a meeting outdoors. And if outdoors is not an option, commit to sitting by the window on a sunny day — the boost of vitamin D has depression fighting benefits.

In addition, plan events for your squad to build unity. This could be as easy as setting aside 30 minutes on Fridays to discuss a newly released movie or entertaining podcast. Try networking differently with co-workers; consider instant messaging or other streamlined applications that automate routine actions. Building individual relationships with members of your team will make the group more cohesive and efficient. Using shared calendars or sending group messages, indicating availability, will bolster communication with co-workers. By enhancing connections, camaraderie will be heightened!

These four steps suggest ways for you to organize a virtual workday in your favor. Look at your current space and consider where you can create separate zones that support your lifestyle. Be strategic with time management by maintaining a calendar for deadlines. Make sure to replenish your mind and body with self-care. Finally, remove virtual loneliness by connecting with co-workers. When you sit down to start the next project feeling refreshed in your redesigned space, remote work becomes much more productive and enjoyable.