Establishing a Work-From-Home Routine
There are more people working online now than ever before, and it’s no secret this is largely due to Covid-19, but this has given a lot of people a new perspective on traditional ways of working and an inside look at the remote work lifestyle.
Although, working from home can seem like a dream come true, you’re probably realizing it’s not as easy as you might have thought!
The consensus I’m hearing is that most people are loving the freedom and flexibility that comes along with working online but they’re having a difficult time adjusting and creating a productive routine.
Take it from me (someone who has been working remote for more than 2 years now, and not just working-from-home but actually working online while traveling the world), there are definitely a few things you need to establish that will help you be more productive and stay motivated while working remotely.
Beyond the typical – you need a laptop, good wifi, and a comfortable/ergonomic place to sit – I’m going to share my best tips and tricks for staying productive and inspired while working online plus a few things you need to establish in order to enjoy the whole experience :)
1. PLAN YOUR DAY
Whether you like to do your planning virtually or on paper, just make sure that you do it to keep yourself on task and on track! I always do my day planning for the next day at the end of the day, that way I know what I’m doing and I’m prepared for any upcoming meetings or deadlines.
My biggest tip for planning out your day is to write down the three most important priority tasks you need to accomplish and then create your schedule around those tasks. This way, once your tasks are complete, you can confidently know that your work is done, shut your laptop, and enjoy the rest of your evening.
Bonus tip: PLAN YOUR MEALS
When working from home you’ll either find yourself procrastinating and snacking all day long or working straight through until 4pm before you realize that you forgot to eat! So, maybe on the weekend or one day each week, try to batch cook a few meals so that your fridge is stocked and all you have to do is heat up your food and enjoy! Plus, I can guarantee that when you continue to eat healthy, you’ll have more energy and feel good about your body — which in turn, will help you stay focused, confident, and be more productive!
2. CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
We all know it’s important to have a high vibe morning routine and you probably hear this ALL the time, but I swear it’s even more important when you are working remote/from home!
I always enjoy my morning routine but I never really realize how much I need it until I don’t do it, and then my whole day feels off track. Opening up your computer the minute you wake up can be a huge productivity blocker. Instead, take some time to get in the right mindset by doing things that make you feel good and generate inspiration (before diving into work). That way, when you sit down at your laptop, you’ll feel like you’re bringing the best version of yourself to your work and your clients/customers.
One thing to note if you struggle with morning routines is that you don’t need to be super strict or rigid with this. It’s important to create a morning routine that you LOVE and that you look forward to. It doesn’t have to be the same every day – my morning routine changes from day to day. All I do is dedicated 1 hour to myself every morning before starting work. Sometimes I do yoga, sometimes I go for a walk, sometimes I meditate or journal, and sometimes I just listen to a podcast or facetime my mom while I drink my coffee.
Oh the joys and freedom that come with the flexibility of working from home!
3. GET DRESSED & FIX YOUR HAIR
Although pajamas are the comfiest attire ever, they don’t quite make for the most productive workday. Not getting dressed can make you feel like you’re not truly in work mode and it can negatively affect your productivity and mindset.
Get up, do your morning routine, eat breakfast, enjoy your coffee, and get ready for the day! Even if you’re no longer leaving the house, act like you’re still going out the door to your 9-5.
It’s something that is so simple and straightforward, but this works on our subconscious level and will significantly enhance your productivity and focus while working from home!
4. SET UP YOUR INSPIRATION ZONE
Maybe this seems obvious but your workspace is extremely important for being productive and staying inspired throughout your day.
Although it might be tempting to work from your bed or the couch, these spaces should never be used for your workspace. I repeat, as tempting as it is, never ever work from your bed. These boundaries are key! You want to surround yourself in an environment that motivates and inspires you. It’s important to make a conscious effort to create a space that excites you to sit down and get to work.
So, find an extra room, a little nook, or a space in your home to designate just for working. Once you’ve found your space, it’s important that you make it cozy and inspirational. I call this my “inspiration zone”.
Decorate your workspace with your favorite post-it note quotes, drawings from your kids, and anything that you would put in your cubicle at the office (if you were going into a workplace). Surround yourself with items that bring you joy, remind you of your purpose, and motivate you to crush your goals. I promise you’ll be able to stay focused longer and feel more inspired!
It can also help to change up your environment - I know when we are in lockdown or quarantine that isn’t always possible. Try to have at least three go-to places that you like to work from (this could be the library, a local café, a co-working space, etc.) so when you need a refresh, you have some options for a quick change of scenery. Your creative juices will keep flowin’ and you’ll be re-inspired with the tasks you’re working on!
5. BATCH YOUR TASKS
Batching (doing all of your similar tasks in one chunk) is a huuuge time-saver! How much time have you been losing and how much time can you save by sitting down and completing all of your similar tasks at one time??
So, let’s say you want to write and publish four blog posts each month. In the beginning of the month, write (or batch) all four at one time instead of doing one each week. That way, you know that it’s done and you don’t have to worry. This turns a weekly task into a monthly task!
Batching will help you improve productivity and save time because you’re focusing on one type of task and doing it in greater quantities. This will actually improve your ability to complete that task faster and more accurately while getting int a flow state.
Try batching and pre-scheduling social media content, batch your business work on certain days and client work on other days. Personally, I like to batch all of my Zoom calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This way, I don’t get pulled away from my work throughout the week, and I can be focused, pay attention, and make my meetings and discovery calls as valuable as possible!
There’s no need to do it all alone, girl! It’s so important to have an online entrepreneurial friend to keep you accountable to your goals, and to share the highs and lows of working online. If you don’t already have a girl boss friend in mind, then attend a local female entrepreneur meetup to find someone. You can also utilize Facebook groups to find virtual accountability partners!
Whether you’ve been working online for two weeks or two years, it’s so important to know what works for you and what doesn’t. Find what inspires you, work in a space where you feel passionate, and create a schedule that fits your life! No matter the obstacles that stand in your way while working online, having a flexible routine in place will keep you motivated, encouraged, and productive!