If you’ve spent a few days trying to adjust to working from home, you might have noticed that it’s not quite the walk in the park everyone thinks!
When I started working from home (5 years ago) I had JUST gotten married and it was a period of a lot of adjustments. Working from home takes equal part discipline, motivation & positivity.
The myth: you’ll have so much MORE time, fancy lunches, pyjamas all day….. insert eye roll here.
Here’s my philosophy when it comes to WFH: home is normally associated with your ‘comfort zone’ which can get kinda tricky when you’re trying to kick-ass in your career. It’s easy to fall into ‘relaxation’ mode when you’re spending all day, everyday in your pyjamas with your laptop on the couch. That’s why it’s crucial to create structure, good habits and routine in my day. I believe it’s the little actions (which become habits) that add up to big growth over time.
I’ve talked at length over the years about time management, productivity and self-care when working from home (loads of resources below) but I thought I’d break down my notes here for anyone struggling to adjust.
MY TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
To avoid going stir crazy at home, I’ve developed certain habits that have really helped me manage my time and feel my best. I’m outlining them here as a resource. Everyone is different but this is what works for me!
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t have structure. I think a common misconception about WFH is that you have all this extra time, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, you have to manage your time even more carefully (bc it’s so easy to waste). Even though you can technically work from the couch in your favourite jammies, you should continue to work off a calendar as you would normally. But of course in a much cuter and more comfortable environment!
Each Sunday, I like to put pen to paper and plan out my entire week. I account for things like wake up time, skincare, workouts, meals, writing, walk breaks etc. If there’s something I want to do, I put it in my calendar so I have a plan of attack. I’ve tried going with the flow and doing things on-the-go but it’s never served me. Here are a few things that have:
+ setting my alarm at the same time each morning & getting up right away
+ planning my workouts ahead of time to keep myself accountable
+ block out time for tasks (writing, emails, phone calls, organization, skincare, exercise etc). This gives me less anxiety just knowing it’s in the calendar and that time is accounted for.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to move. Daily, if possible. Not only does this help maintain good health and vitality but more importantly, it keeps my mental health in-check. Since we’ve been on quarantine, it’s the one thing that’s been the hardest for me to adjust to. I’m use to splitting up my day [by leaving the house] with a workout in the morning. Since I can’t go to the gym RN, I’ve had to adjust to also working out from home – which if I’m being honest, isn’t my jam.
That being said, it’s only short-term and in the mean time i’ve been doing lots of yoga videos, outdoor runs and trying new fitness apps you guys have been recommending.
SET-UP A WORK SPACE
Not everyone has the luxury of having an at-home office space and quiet frankly, you don’t need one. However, I do feel like it’s important to create a space in your home that’s dedicated to your work and has the vibe to match.
I’m a big believer that your surroundings affect how you feel, so find a quite little corner and set-up what you need to get the job done. Doesn’t need to be crazy, either. You could set up a temporary desk space in your bedroom or spare den. Living in a condo ourselves, I understand space can be an issue so here are a few little things to help create a feel-good space, no matter the size:
+ try to sit somewhere with lots of bright, natural light
+ add a beautiful candle
+ stack your notebooks and notepads to start writing out plans & ideas
+ gather your favourite pens in a jar
+ rip out some images that inspire you & create a mini vision / mood board on the wall. Here’s how I did mine.
GET READY, REGARDLESS
The act of getting ready in the morning alone can do wonders for your day. I’ve tried the whole pyjamas all day routine and honestly it’s a no-go. There’s a mental shift that happens when you switch from your pyjamas to another outfit — even if it’s still loungewear. To help me get out of ‘relaxation’ mode and into work mode, I’ve made a whole routine of my morning. Here’s what that looks like:
+ wake up, wash face & put on robe
+ have coffee in robe
+ once I’m more awake, I’ll go change into a sweat set or something comfy that’s a bit more put together. Even if I’m not putting on makeup for the day, the act of putting on my earrings, brushing my hair and doing my skincare helps me feel more alive for the day.
Over the years I’ve really become obsessed with my morning routine and setting up my day for success. What helps, what doesn’t and what I can do better to become better. A topic we discussed in depth on the last podcast episode I recorded with What Day Is It? You can listen in on that episode here. Knowing what a hot topic this is, I’ve outlined my current AM routine for you here:
MY DAILY MORNING HABITS
+ I normally get up at 7am & immediately make my bed
+ I wash my face with water & apply serums, moisturizer & SPF
+ I feed my dog & have a coffee
+ while I have my coffee I sit for 15 mins to read to get my mind going
+ once I’m done my coffee, I get dressed (out of my robe) & take Xavi for our morning walk. This really helps clear my mind. This is also when I set my intentions for the day.
+ we get home, Xavi goes down for a nap & I drink my morning smoothie.
+ I go do a workout (these days, at home)
+ once I’ve completed my workout, I make my Apple Cider Vinegar or a lemon collagen water & I’m ready to tackle the day!
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