How to work from home - tips from a seasoned pro
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Here's the truth about working from home: it's both great and sucky at the same damn time
This elaborate assessment comes from a seasoned pro: I've been working from home for the past 6 years sooo one could say I know my way around a home office.
I can tell you from personal experience that working from home can go one of 3 ways ways:
you're either killin' it because you got your schedule all sorted and you're a productivity queen;
you have moments in your day when you're super productive, then there's a lull and you end up making your way into full chill mode;
or you're maxin' and relaxin' all freaking day and have no care in the world.
What's right or wrong for you depends on what you're trying to achieve in your career or business.
If you're just trying to do the bare minimum to get by and that works for you, kudos darling! Option #3 sounds absolutely fantastic!
But if you've got some goals to achieve and some big dreams you're following, you might wanna be in category #1 all.the.time.
Here's how I do it:
1. I'm very clear on where I stand
I know where I'm at in my career and what I need to do every day to be in alignment with that.
A few years ago I was the one who simply had to get her assigned tasks handled every day and not have to worry about anything else. That meant I could Netflix & Chill as soon as those tasks were done.
Now I need to go above and beyond every single day in order to get myself closer to my goals. So my days are planned accordingly (and Netflix & Chill happens only for an hour, before I go to bed).
2. I have a morning routine
And I stick to it every day. I wake up at the same time (I allow myself an extra 30-45 minutes on the weekends, but no more than that), I have my warm lemon water, I meditate, I journal, and then I look over my daily schedule and get started.
If working from home is just temporary for you, then I recommend waking up at the same time as you normally do when going to the office. If you stick to your normal routine you won't have as hard of a time adjusting to working from home, and going back to work when the time comes.
I know it's tempting to wake up 5 minutes before you're supposed to start work but take it from someone who did that for years: it just sets you up for failure.
3. I use a planner
My Plandemic Planner, to be more exact. I've used it for about a year now and it's been nothing short of life changing: I block out time for different activities, I set up my priorities for the day, I review what works and what doesn't, and (my favorite part) I check off the things I've accomplished for the day -so damn satisfying every time.
4. I get dressed
And wash my face. Yes, this needs to be said.
I was the one who stayed in my pj's all freaking day and yea, it feels great, not gonna lie. But this was telling my brain that I was still in relax, sleepy mode, and my productivity was suffering because of it .
5. I have a designated work area
This will help provide boundaries, both for you and for those you live with. You will all know that when you're in that space it's work time -not play time, social media time, do-nothing time, or hang-out time.
6. I give myself breaks
For starters make sure you set up a time for your lunch break. When that time comes around leave your work area and go have your lunch in the kitchen/dining room.
I also like to give myself walking and standing up breaks every hour. I have a reminder set up on my Apple watch that tells me when it's time to get up, but you can also use a timer on your phone that tells you when an hour has passed and you need to move around a bit.
7. I'm realistic
If this is a temporary situation for you, do yourself a favor: don't expect to be as productive as you are when in the office -it probably won't happen (especially if your family is staying home too). There will be interruptions, times when you want to go and be with your loved ones in the living room, times when you just can't focus. Remember: all of this IS NORMAL.
Give yourself permission to be with your family and try to leave any feelings of guilt aside. It will take some time to adjust and fully grasp the working from home flow, but it would also be a shame not to take advantage of this time to be with your loved ones: social interactions are super valuable and they keep us sane.
8. I prioritize
I get this hack from my wonderful biz coach Laura, who uses A's, B's, and C's for setting up her day. What you do is write down a list of aaaalll your to do's (including stuff like showering or brushing your teeth) and then organize them in the following way:
A's are the really important stuff that HAS to be done today no matter what;
B's are less important and they could wait until tomorrow if you don't get around to them today;
and C's are even less important and could wait some time to be completed.
9. Find the hacks that work for you
Approach this like a detective and ask yourself what are the obstacles that are keeping me from being productive?
Is it the noise made by your family in the other rooms? Grab a set of headphones and play some relaxing music.
Are your kids bursting in every 5 minutes - even while you're on conference calls? Create a door sign (heck, involve them in making this sign -make it a fun, creative, DIY project) that tells them when mommy is not to be disturbed and explain to them how it works -turn it into a game with prizes!
Are you spending too much time on social media? Create time blocks in your Plandemic Planner for important tasks and put your phone in another room during that time.
And remember: for every obstacle there is probably an easy, fun fix. Stay open minded and flexible and soon working from home will feel like a breeze!
10. Make it fun
If there's one big advantage to working from home is that you can take some time every day to really do whatever you please, and have fun while you're at it.
Here are some ideas from my personal vault:
Take a fancy, candle-lit, Epsom salt bath one day during your lunch break: it'll make you feel like you're on top of the world, and it will relax you like you wouldn't believe. Tip: don't make it too dark in there or you'll fall asleep...trust me;
Take reading breaks: set aside 10 minutes once every hour (or less often, depending on your workload) where you walk away from your computer and go read a few pages;
Have dance parties when you're feeling a bit overwhelmed: set up that Away status and go party for 5 minutes - turn the music up and dance those worries away;
Work out while you work: do 10 squats when you're on that conference call, sneak in some lunges in between answering emails - just.get.moving.
personal grocery & supplements list
tips on how to eat anti-inflammatory foods and help your immune system stay strong
and the planner that will help you make your quarantine days extra productive and fun!