April 10, 2020
I recently shared my top 5 work from home tips with my newsletter subscribers and as we’re all adjusting to working from home and finding new routines, I figured I’d share them here, too!
I’ve worked from home and have had to create my own daily schedule for almost 2 years. During that time, I’ve tried a whole bunch of different techniques and tricks to increase my productivity and make sure that I’m actually doing work. Let me save you some precious time and just spill the deets on what I’ve found works best!
These are the 5 things that I’ve found have a positive effect on my day. What works for me might not work for you, but it’s a place to start! If you have any great tips you’d like to share, send them my way!
1. GIVE YOURSELF TIME IN THE MORNING
I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier than when I actually need to start my day. For example, if I know I want to be sitting at my computer and going through emails by 8:00am, I set my alarm for 7:30am. This gives me time to make a cup of coffee, write in my journal (*new habit! more on that below), and plan out my day. The extra time allows me to ease into things and I start the day feeling calm and focused instead of frazzled and stressed.
*Back to the journal… This is a new habit that I’ve recently introduced into my routine over the past two weeks. Literally everything in my schedule has been thrown off since Hoboken was instructed to shelter in place and I was feeling unfocused and out of whack because of it.
In the past, I’ve tried and failed at keeping up with a journal because I usually don’t know what to write and it becomes too time consuming for me (and therefore, stressful instead of enjoyable).
But a gal pal (holla @Marliereneedesigns) recently told me about the Five Minute Journal and I decided to give it a shot. Fast forward two weeks and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s all about gratitude and it gives you morning and evening prompts to fill in (no more wondering what to write!). Starting and ending my day thinking about what I’m grateful for has completely shifted my mindset from negative to positive. Not to mention, it’s given me a solid morning and bedtime routine, which I need now more than ever. If you’re like me and have had trouble making journaling a habit it the past, I strongly encourage you to try this one!
2. MAKE YOUR BED AS SOON AS YOU GET UP
I know, I sound like your mom here, but a made bed sets an organized tone for the day.
You’re also far less likely to crawl back in once it’s made.
This quote literally says it all:
3. GET DRESSED
Even if you’re changing from one set of pajamas into another, putting on fresh, clean clothes always helps me feel more productive and ready to work. I don’t care if you don’t want to put on make up or do your hair (I haven’t done either of those things in the past two weeks), but I strongly encourage you to not stay in your bedclothes!
4. WRITE OUT ALL OF YOUR TASKS FOR THE DAY
In the morning, I grab a piece of paper and brain dump everything I need to do for the day. Then, I plan out my schedule in Trello by grouping the same type of tasks together (i.e. emails, contracts & invoices go under “admin work;” blog posts, newsletters and social media go under “content creation;” and then my creative work gets split up into “computer design” and “calligraphy work”).
Now that we’re all constantly at home, it’s a lot easier to work beyond the 9-5 hours and procrastinate on certain tasks because we have literally all day and night to get them done, so I’ve also been time-blocking everything. For example, Wednesday’s Trello day looked like this…
Psst… Have questions on Trello and how to use it to set up your weekly schedule? I found Ashlyn Carter’s guide to be super helpful! You can find it here!
5. CREATE A SPACE FOR FOCUS
For me, that’s sitting at my desk or kitchen table instead of in my bed or on my couch. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days where I’ll wake up and pull my computer onto my lap in bed or move from the bed to the couch, but when I’m sitting at some sort of table/desk, my brain goes into “work-mode” much faster and I’ve found that I stay more focused when sitting upright!
Find a good playlist that keeps you motivated and focused
Keep a bottle of water next to you
Take short breaks to stretch, get the blood flowing, and refocus (I usually do this when I’m switching tasks)
And remember: Give yourself grace! There’s always tomorrow, so if you don’t get to everything, try again in the morning!