Working from Home: Five Ways to Elevate the Experience with Touches of Zen
When the crisis outside is done and dusted, one day, hopefully soon you will emerge from your home like some Yeti from a cave, but until then you have to nail the art of working from home.
WFH can be ideal; with it comes the freedom to take things at your own pace, but with enough binge-worthy TV on tap to steal your attention away from the important tasks, the experience can sometimes take a little fine-tuning.
Here are five tips to get you going on this new adventure.
01. Set the Right Ambience
To get things started, it’s a good idea to set the right ambiance in your home. Clear away some of the clutter, get your space organised. Next, why not try an inspiring scent? Traditionally used in temples to aid in focus during meditation, zen monks used incense to assist in bringing their wandering minds back to the breath. Why not use a bit of the same ancient wisdom to help keep your work on track. Shoyeido have been supplying temples in Japan since 1705 - their premium agarwood scents are just the thing. For those that prefer a modern take, try Tokyo Kodo’s exquisite fusion of French perfume and traditional Japanese incense.
02. Take Short Breaks
Psychologists agree that taking breaks is one of the keys to staying productive. Without the pressure and routine of the office, it’s on you to figure out when its time, and how frequently to take breaks to optimise your productivity. Our tip; when you notice yourself zoning out and loosing focus, that can be a good indicator to get up, make a brew and perhaps just use that time to focus on your breathing, or read a short inspiring piece from one of your favourite magazines or books. These micro breaks are perfect for restoring your balance, so you come back to your desk refreshed and ready to tackle the important tasks of the day. To assist with the process, this pour-over coffee maker from Kinto lets you savour the aroma and ritual of making coffee. It is the perfect way to mindfully brew a delicious mug of coffee whilst getting back in touch with your five senses again. If coffee isn't your thing, why not try your hand at your own version of the Japanese Tea Ceremony with this traditional teapot from Azmaya.
03. Have the Right Tools
Having the right tool to hand is critical to the successful completion of any task. Whether that’s a fancy laptop or good oldskool pen & paper for the analogue minded folk. Sometimes getting away from a screen and heading to the sofa armed with a notebook, pen and paper is just what you need to refresh your mind and get some ideas flowing. These ‘writing tools for life’ from Ystudio could be just the thing.
Surrounding yourself with things you love is one sure fire way to keep your creativity flowing, and this mini glass terrarium from 10¹² Terra might be just that very thing; a carefully chosen cactus will happily live hydroponically inside the glass beaker, making for a charming new desktop companion. These classic wooden waste-paper baskets from Saito will help to keep your space clutter free, aiding in focus, whilst Hayashi Kougei’s washi-paper lamps will add a touch of both elegance and warmth to your late-night working sessions.
05. Take Time for Yourself
In his pocketsize book Mindful thoughts for Walkers, Footnotes on the zen path, Adam Ford writes “One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to go for a good walk. It is one of the most natural activities in the world, exercising the body and stimulating the heart, while at the same time freeing the mind to become more open and alert”. Walking whilst focusing on the breath, paying attention to the sounds and sensations around you, is a great way to unwind and realign your thinking. Alternatively, in these uncertain times, nothing can be more certain than the relaxation gained from taking a slow, refreshing bath. Used in Onsen hot springs throughout Japan, these traditional Hinoki wood buckets make perfect caddies to keep your bathtime essentials in whilst having a relaxing soak.