Working from home. Everyone’s doing it. Well, not everyone. Shout out to all the healthcare workers, grocers and so many others out there on the front lines making sure humanity doesn’t disappear altogether. SO much love to y’all!
I travel for a living, but obviously all that’s off the table as airlines continue to thin out their schedules and tourism vendors continue to close their doors for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19. When I’m not traveling, I’m working from home. WFH. It’s been in my vocabulary and on my schedule for many years, six to be exact. When I quit my job in Argentina to start The Road Les Traveled as a full-time blogger, I logged hour after hour in my living room trying to build a business. Many of y’all are used to going into the office. You’re around co-workers, printers, set schedules, business attire and the like. Coming from someone who has literally worked from every surface of her home, I’m here to tell you it takes a lot of self-discipline! Here are a few things I’ve learned through the years…
Get into a new morning routine and stick with it. You already had one a week ago, but I imagine it looks very different now. Time for a refresher! I wake up around 7am every morning, I eat breakfast and catch myself up on the daily news (Pacific Standard Time always makes me feel behind on the day since we are three hours behind EST). I’m answering emails by 8am most mornings after putting on my WFH uniform consisting of yoga clothes. Again, I travel for a living so I don’t have pets and I don’t have a baby. Perhaps your routine looks a lot different depending on your responsibilities. Maybe you do well with morning workouts or a journaling session. Everyone is different.
Create a space for yourself. I can’t stress this enough. For me, supercharging my space gives me a jolt of creativity. If I sit down every day to a dull, messy corner, that’s not exactly going to get my juices flowing ya know? I’ve found that greenery, a dry erase board, colored pens, my crystals and candles – definitely candles – make for my type of space. For you, maybe it’s using a pilates ball over a traditional office chair or opening all the windows to bring the outdoors in. It doesn’t have to be a complete remodel by any means, but even a nice pop of color or fresh flowers will make for a brighter, creative mind.
Alone time is the best time. I love my fiancé, but the best thing we ever did was to separate our offices when we moved into a new place together. It’s amazing how just being in the same room offered so many distractions and thus, wasted time. I’d have a phone call or he’d be trouble shooting a drone for an upcoming shoot. I’d ask him his opinion on a photo which threw him off his train of thought. Having boundaries helps keep everything on track.
Make To-Do Lists. One of the most satisfying feelings in the world to me is marking off an item on a to-d0 list. AhHhHhhhHh. THE BEST. I don’t know where I’d be without my Notes app or better yet my Erin Condren personalized notebooks. They keep me in check and help me prioritize my daily tasks like nobody’s biznass.
Limit distractions as much as possible. It may be tempting to have the TV on in the background, even if it’s on mute. Yeah, no. You gotta cut that out because the next thing you know…BREAKING NEWS: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE pops up and boom. It’s all over from there. I think it’s a great idea to keep your phone out of reach as well since this always throws me off my work game. I’ll reach for it to look up something on my calendar and the next thing I know, I’m three months deep in someone’s Instagram photos.
Set a time to leave the house. There are some days when I don’t get around to this, and it’s no bueno. Getting out of your home (office) is important to feel like you created space. If I only walk from my desk to the couch to the shower and to my bed in a day, I feel claustrophobic. Taking time to carve out a run by the beach (a great lunch break) or have happy hour with friends (end-of-day treat) is imperative to a healthy WFH lifestyle.
The below schedule is one of a million different ways a WFH day could actually end up for me. I may have brand calls or sunset shoots, but this is a sample day in the life of me 🙂 Hopefully you find this helpful as we continue to navigate these crazy times together. How are you doing WFH? Let me know if you do things differently!