Newly working from home? You’re not alone.
Right now, you might feel . . .
Though I’ve worked from home for most of my adult life, it hasn’t always come easily. Over the years, I’ve learned tips + tricks to help create stability, peace, and a sense of focus. Creating simple habits & routines is a crucial first step. As a recovering “free spirit” in the work day department, I can tell you: Structure creates freedom, along with easing stress & generating powerful momentum. If you’re skeptical, keep an open mind. Here are five ways to jumpstart your work-from-home routine:
1. Establish a morning routine
It’s true: the way you start your day determines your day!
- Move your alarm so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off (a body in motion is more likely to stay in motion)
- Drink a full glass of water: Rehydrate those cells after a night of sleep!
- DON’T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE for at least the first hour of your day (your brain will thank you!)
- 30 minutes of movement: Walk the dog, do a livestream workout or yoga class, etc. (this will help you feel energized & focused throughout the day)
- Breakfast: Opt for something high in protein and healthy fats to keep you full longer. My personal fave? The Fab 4 Smoothie recipe by Kelly Leveque.
- Remember: Like any habit, this may take a couple of weeks to feel natural!
2. Create a devoted workspace for yourself.
- Rule #1: Work with what you’ve got! You don’t need a space fit for Joanna Gaines, you just need a dedicated space to get-shit-done.
- A space with a door that closes is ideal (i.e. spare bedroom, large closet, basement nook)
- Add elements that bring you joy:
- My top three are…good tunes, candles, and natural light.
- Enforce a closed door policy: At the end of your work time, close the door to your workspace, which signals the end of the workday until tomorrow. No further email checking, work calls, or anything work-related! These boundaries are crucial for your mental health.
3. Map out your week in advance + use time blocks
- First, set a timer for 10 minutes & “brain dump” everything that needs to happen in the next week.
- Next, prioritize everything on your list. I like to use the following categories: Priority, Soon, and These Can Wait. Consider using a free app like Trello for organizing (see screenshot below for how I use Trello for planning). Then, determine your daily top three. What three things absolutely need to happen in order for you to win the day? These items may change daily, and can be determined on a day-to-day basis. By completing your “Top 3” first you’ll build confidence, momentum, and self-accountability.
- Time blocking: Set timers + challenge yourself to get as much as you can done in the next 30, 60, 90 minutes — whatever time you have available!
- When the timer is up, move onto to the next task (THIS is is the key to how I’m able to manage three companies: By setting time blocks + sticking to them!)
- HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE HERE. Yes, things occasionally will come up, but by honoring your time blocks 99% of the time, you’ll get WAY more done in a much shorter amount of time. I promise!
Example of task planning with Trello:
4. Be vigilant about technology
- During work time (and honestly, during rest time, too!), put your phone on silent or do-not-disturb. Consider putting it in a drawer or place it in another room.
- Turn off push notifications for everything, and keep ’em off = Less overwhelm, more mental peace.
- Resist the urge to respond immediately to emails, social media notifications, etc. Nothing is that urgent.
- If all else fails, see rule no. 1: Stick your phone. In a drawer.
5. Have grace with yourself
New habits take time to form, so this may feel awkward for the first few days or even weeks. While this is a solid starting framework for anyone, figure out what works best for YOU, and commit to creating healthy habits around that.
You can do this — and remember, you are not alone!