Machete Creative 14 April, 2024 Grant in the Groove:

Grant in the Groove:

Some Personal Tactics to Make the Not-so-New Normal More Pleasant and Productive

If there’s one thing that the last year has taught just about all of us, it’s that adjusting to working from home can be challenging. While it’s true that you do have a certain amount of flexibility and autonomy, the distractions and lack of supervision and camaraderie can definitely put a damper on your productivity.

Of course, no one is there at the water cooler to talk your ear off, and you’re probably not being called in to quite so many meetings, but you also have to deal with the siren call of other distractions that come with working from home. According to productivity and organization expert Lisa Zaslow, “The home office is the worst of both worlds. You’re not at home just watching TV, and you don’t have the really good office resources and environment of being in the office.”

Senior Art Director, Grant Caithness, has shared some of the ways that he’s been keeping happy and productive during the ‘new normal’.


If you can get a personal trainer to work out a routine for you, that’s the ideal way to see results in my opinion. Pay for a couple of sessions and ask for the routine to be supplied to you.

Cardio, like jogging and walking to alternate with a gym routine, works too. Stretching is one of my favorite things to do at the gym or at home, some days it’s all I will do if my energy levels are down.

Having the world’s shortest commute may seem like a great thing, but research has actually shown that active commutes raise your blood, glucose and oxygen levels, keeping them high, which is good for your productivity.


Regular healthy meals and healthy snacks to avoid the 3pm hunger guzzle.


Let your pets join you in your workspace, they are great companions if you’re working from home in the new normal.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, playing with your dog while working from home may help you get more done. Employees who worked with their dogs had lower stress levels and higher workplace satisfaction, according to a 2012 report at Virginia Commonwealth University. Pet owners are also less likely to be alone, so if you don’t even have a canine companion, now may be the right time to get one.


Uplifting music is a great mood enhancer. I play Kfm online on my machine and you can keep up to date with news events.

Of course, the jury is still out whether or not music can help or stifle certain kinds of intellectual activity, but music is definitely good for when you’re doing shallow-focus administrative work.


Try doing something new with the help of Youtube tutorials or watch a TED Talk. There’s an incredible wealth and depth of learning available today.


Routines work for me and I love my daily meditation that keeps me energetically strong and happy.

Clean out:

Get rid of useless stuff cluttering up your home space / home office. Only keep the stuff you love and use. It’s also a great way to increase your cash flow with a free online site like Facebook Marketplace. Even better, giving your clutter to people who need it is an awesome way to feel good!

Machete Creative 14 April, 2024 Grant in the Groove:

Art Director Grant Caithness’ homemade work-station: a fold-out desk/cabinet, custom-designed to accommodate an iMac, keyboard and a few accessories.

Taking breaks to structure your day is huge help. Whether you go for a run of vacuum the house, this gives provides variety to your activity while allowing you to process the previous few hours’ work.

It will also give you the opportunity to clean up your desk and workspace. A Princeton University study discovered that clutter makes it impossible for the visual cortex of the brain to concentrate effectively. You know what they say: a clean desk equals a clean bonus at the end of the year.


Last but definitely not least, make lists of what you would like to accomplish in your day. It’s incredible how quickly you can work through a list once you get into the habit. It’s also fun to scratch them out.

The structure of the workplace has changed as a result of remote working. As sociologists and companies debate the benefits and drawbacks, as well as the effect on culture and the corporate sector, an increasing number of people around the world are working from home. If you’re one of those people, follow these work-from-home tips and prioritize your fitness (and sanity) and stay as productive as possible.

Nic Shepherd About the author
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