Ahhh, the #WFH struggle might be getting reeaalllly real for some of you! As someone who works from home on the daily, I put together my top tips for those of you finding yourselves in a new environment and trying to adjust. Add any tips and tricks that work for you in the comments too!
- Keep a Consistent Routine: I know it’s this weird limbo world where it seems like you’re partially on vacay and can sleep in and stay up late, but the best thing is to keep your routine consistent. For me, this means getting up at the same time, working out at the same time, and getting to work on my client projects at the same time every day so I can be as productive with my time as possible– and making sure I get good sleep! I’m a notorious night-owl, but have been working on going to bed at a decent time because I know how important sleep is! It’s way too easy to get distracted and off course when you don’t have the right game plan in place! If you and your spouse are both home and have kids that need assistance, work out a schedule together that allows one of you to work completely uninterrupted for a couple of hours while the other is helping your kids and then switch. Come together at lunch time– I eat at 12:30pm every day– and then get back to it!
- Separate Work Life and Home Life: It’s difficult to separate when you’re always at home and it took me a bit to figure it out– mainly because I love what I do! Step One: find a dedicated space to work! Some of you may be dealing with both adults home and only one home office that’s not quite big enough for both of your conference calls. If it works to share, that’s awesome! But if it doesn’t, maybe one of you can set up in a guest room or playroom. Step Two: Set work hours and stick to them. I’ve created time block systems for myself that enable me to structure my time so I’m fully present and focused on my family when I should be– it cuts down on so much frustration rather than trying to have divided attention when I should be focused on them! During the day, it’s typically all work (when I have some help watching Jackson right now). Then from 5pm-8:30pm, it’s family time. After our son goes to bed, there are a few nights a week that are designated for work if needed and others that are purely for Rob and I to have quality time, and it’s all been designed so he is on board with it too.
- Stay Healthy, Don’t Raid the Fridge: Oh man, with all of the food that’s stocked in homes right now, this is a biggie! Snacking can easily get out of hand when you’re so close to the pantry and fridge all day long. If you go to grab something, ask yourself if you’re hungry or bored– because typically, you’re bored. We haven’t bought any food that we normally wouldn’t– no extra junk food, no extra snacks, no “comfort food.” You might not be used to making a lunch for yourself most days either, so you justify the lack of lunch with snacking, but we all know that staying healthy starts with what you put in your body! I’m eating the same kind of breakfast, lunches and dinners that I normally would. We just have to make sure that we’re properly prepped for lunches too– leftover dinners to eat during the day, lunch meat for sandwiches, and soups or salads are easy go-tos for my normal lunch menu.
- Take Breaks and Move Your Body: Sitting at a desk for 4 hours straight isn’t what this is about– it’s not even good for your body! Take a break about every hour, get some water, stretch, or move your body for a few minutes. You’ll actually be more focused and productive if you do this! Set an alarm on your phone for every hour if you need to so it reminds you to get up. It might sound dumb or a bit extra, but you’ll realize how long you’ve been staring at the same thing when those alarms go off and you haven’t really gotten much done! Besides taking breaks throughout the day, get your workout in. Maybe you’ll workout in the morning, maybe it’s at lunch, maybe it’s after work, just make sure you move. I literally get out of bed every morning and immediately put workout clothes on. I know that if I’m in them, I’ll do it– it’s motivating to be in them and also makes me feel like I have to– like, I can’t take them off without them being sweaty or I cheated myself. Moving your body will only make a positive impact on your mental and physical health– a win-win especially in these circumstances!
- Get Ready: If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, take a shower, get dressed and get yourself ready like you normally would– in a normal amount of time too. It’s totally fine to not get “client-facing-ready” everyday and it’s awesome to have the option to wear sweats while working, but sometimes, it’ll drag you down for a really unproductive day that would have been better binge-watching a show. Wash your face, put your makeup on, do your hair, whatever helps you feel awake. You’ll be so much more productive when you feel put together.
BONUS: Give Grace, Be Flexible, Have Fun: Remember that no one signed up for this– and we’re all in it together! Keep your perspective and outlook on track with inspiration boards to make you smile and music on in the background– not dance party level, but something to keep you happy, upbeat and productive. Realize your work days aren’t going to play out the same way every day, and that’s ok. You might not get as much done as you’re expecting to some days– just give yourself some grace (and your new coworkers too!) and try not to take it out on those around you– whether your family or the person on the other end of the conference call! And speaking of conferencing, stay connected with your co-workers and friends by sending funny memes you find while scrolling during one of your breaks! We’re all trying to make the best of it! Scroll down!