I realize that while I’m used to working from home at this point, most of the country (scratch that, world), is not. I actually remember first working from home years ago thinking it was going to be this boujee mix of working out, making healthy lunches, taking mid-day self-care breaks, etc etc., and was quickly hit with reality. I mean, I technically can do all of those things…but I won’t actually get a productive amount of work done. What you don’t see behind the scenes is the struggle of motivation, ordering lunch out because I’m too busy/lazy to cook, juggling conference calls with Capri in the background, Paul butting in 100 times a day, and grabbing my phone or computer after Capri goes down to finish emails.
While I’m extremely grateful for the flexibility that working at home gives me, as you guys are probably noticing at this point during quarantine (if you’re WFH), it can be f*cking hard! All that being said, I do feel confident in what I’ve learned about working at home and mixing home life with productivity. I’m also grateful that WFH is an option for me right now. For everyone at home and struggling, here are my tips.
+ Create a routine
Just like when you were heading into work, you need a routine to feel sane. I wake up, play on my phone for 15 minutes (I set my alarm early to give myself that quiet time), pull myself together, eat breakfast with the family, then either workout or jump into work. Rolling from your bed to your laptop is not going to be productive and while it might feel good for a couple of days, it’s not a long-term plan. Set your alarm as you did for your normal job, get your workout in, and do whatever else BEFORE work that makes you feel human.
+ Find a space to work
This is an ongoing issue in our house, hence why we’re currently building an office in our backyard. While I know not everyone has the space to create a new room, find something that will work. A corner of your closet or bedroom, a make-shift desk in the garage or living room – just find a somewhat quiet place where you can focus. If you’re super limited on space, noise-canceling headphones and a table like this might be solutions.
+ Get somewhat ready
My working-from-home vibe can be anything from full makeup and a cute outfit if I need to shoot to bare face and loungewear. Depends on the day. Lately, I’m obviously not out shooting or having meetings and therefore I’m taking advantage of the loungewear trend. My advice here is to change out of whatever you sleep in and at least brush your teeth and switch up the outfit. It presents a shift in your mind/day from sleep to getting-shit-done mode. Don’t forget that I share my outfits here, including the current loungewear rotation. For a very basic but pretty makeup routine, see this video.
Pro tip: If you want to be in sweats and have a bunch of video calls, only pull yourself together waist up. No one has to know.
+ Manage your time
For everyone who is new to working from home, this is probably your biggest struggle right now. When Love is Blind is calling and so is laundry, a messy closet, and whatever other chores you need to get done, it can be hard to focus on solely work. What can help is time blocking. Literally set an alarm on your phone for anywhere from 30-60 minutes and put away all distractions, including your phone, until that alarm goes off. Once it does, give yourself a 5-minute break and then repeat until all tasks are complete. If you’re attempting to do some house projects before/after work, you can do the same thing with the alarm to make sure you’re saving time for actual work.
I’m also a big fan of batching tasks which Lauryn Evarts explains perfectly in this post. This is especially helpful when you do need to manage a home and work situation simultaneously.
+ Have go-to meals and snacks
In regular, pre-social distance life, this is a takeout salad or some sort of bowl like this. Right now, we’re making a lot more homemade meals and soups but they still need to be quick and efficient. Healthy, too! Keep about 3-4 rotating lunches in mind so that you can easily take a break to make something and eat without wasting too much work time. Snack wise, here’s what I love: veggies and hummus, fresh fruit, nuts, apple and almond butter, cucumber and tzatziki, smoothie, crackers + cheese.
+ Limit social media
Now that your boss isn’t watching your screen, you’re probably tempted to scroll all day long. DON’T. Limit yourself to the breaks I talked about earlier. Your brain will not be as efficient when it’s going from task to scroll to task and it ends up wasting time. Save the scrolling for breaks or before/after working hours.
Any other tips to add? Struggle points I didn’t address?
P.S. Shop my outfit here.