It’s been about two months now since I wrote about how I was unemployed, and about a month since I announced that I was going to be blogging full-time. I am obviously still very new to this but I have learned a few things since then that I’d like to share. I may even write a part two to this post eventually if in a year or so I have more to add to this topic. But for now I have a few tips that make a huge difference on my mood and productivity of my day if I follow them so I know they will be helpful for anyone else working from home as well.
1 | Get Dressed Every Morning
This is kind of embarrassing to admit but I only just (like this week) figured this one out. Most days I was just staying in my pajamas all day, well because I really didn’t have a reason to change and I seriously love my pajamas, haha! It’s also because I only have mostly uncomfortable, corporate world clothes in my closet and I definitely am not going to wear those around the house. But I realized last week that not changing or “getting ready” for my day was absolutely killing my attitude most days. I felt lazy (even though I wasn’t actually being lazy), but felt that way just because I was still in pajamas. I realize this one tip really isn’t rocket science, you’re probably thinking well duh, but for me I had to learn this one the hard way.
So I have committed to changing every morning before I start working. This is also a key to most of my tips. If I don’t do most of these things before I start working, I won’t do them at all because once I get plugged into what I’m doing, I have a really hard time pulling myself away for something as small as getting dressed. So that’s my tip for you: Get dressed before you start your day.
2 | Eat Breakfast Early
Yes, this is also another common sense one but it is incredible how fast the time gets away from you once you’re on a roll working on something. My tip is to also eat breakfast before you start working. It honestly changes so much about my day when I do this. On the days that I start working with the thought of taking a break and eating breakfast, this break doesn’t happen until close to 11 am and at that point I am starving and really am not feeling very well.
Even if you’re like me and you really hate eating anything before you had your coffee, either just eat something small just to get it out-of-the-way, to make sure that you are going to be correctly fueled for the day, or have your coffee and do something small and then eat a proper meal before really diving into your work. Even if your meal is Cheerios or a yogurt. Honestly this is what I eat every morning because I really don’t like breakfast much, and it makes the world of a difference.
OH and it is also equally important to make sure that you are drinking water throughout your day. When I was working in an office building I always, always drank so much water and tea because it was just an excuse to get up from my desk and move around but I don’t have that pressure at home or care as much so I sometimes forget to drink water throughout my day. But forgetting this will kill your mood and your productivity and sometimes you won’t even realize why! My suggestion is to keep a water cup on your desk and refill it every time it gets close to empty. It sounds silly but it is so important and so easy to forget.
3 | Stick To A Routine
Try your best to stick to at least a general routine. For example, try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day. I personally still need to create more of a routine for my day because sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed when you don’t have to. If you have a spouse or live with someone, it may be helpful to wake up when they do so that it gets you out of bed at the same time every day. For me this doesn’t work because my husband wakes up at 4 am every day and that is just not going to happen for me, even if I wanted it to haha. But I think it really helps with feeling like what you’re doing is important if you stick to a consistent schedule.
Not only with your sleep schedule, but I also think it’s important to stick to some sort of work schedule as well. I am in the process of making myself one, where I am going to create times of the day where I write, do home chores, and take breaks. This is important for me because I am a creature of habit, and without having a schedule I feel a bit lost. If I know what is expected of me (even if I am the only one expecting these things of me), then I am more likely to get things done. I guess to put it simply, I feel more accomplished if I have a task list and check things off the list as the day goes on. It just takes the guess-work out if I have pre-made plans on what to do for the week ahead of time.
4 | Take Breaks + Move
In a job where you work outside of the house there are usually break times automatically scheduled into your day, but at home it’s much easier to skip over these very important break times. Some people may find it hard to stick to their work when they work from home, but I find the exact opposite. I actually have been over working myself ever since working from home. I feel lazy taking a break or think that I can do more because I’m enjoying what I’m doing, but it 100% of the time causes burnout if I don’t take breaks.
It could be something as short and quick as playing with your dog for 15 mins, or going for a walk around the block. Or maybe taking a little break to read a book. It may be hard to pull yourself away from a task, so maybe take small breaks in between tasks. Or it may also be helpful to schedule these breaks into your day, just as they would happen if you worked outside the home. Try both and see which works best for you, but make sure you get up and move throughout the day. You’ll feel so much better I promise!
5 | Get Out Of The House
The amount of times you do this may change depending on your personality, but it is so important to get out of the house during the week. I’m learning that I go a bit stir crazy and can’t focus on work if I stay inside for too many days in a row. If you’re an extrovert, you may need to get out of the house at least once a day. But if you’re an introvert like me, once or twice a week may be sufficient. Play around and see what works best for you. Going for a walk outside might be enough, while other people may need more human interaction.
Some ways to do this is to maybe go to a coffee shop and work from there if that’s possible. Running errands is a great way for me to get out of the house that really seems to break up the week. It’s also helpful for me that my husband comes home for the day around lunch time, so I really am not alone for most of the day. But I could see how if he worked until 5 or 6 at night, I would probably need to get out and talk to people a lot more often.
6 | Keep Your Home Tidy
Keeping my home clean makes all the difference in the world for my mood throughout the day. I feel stressed and like I have so much more to do if I had left the dinner dishes from the night before in the sink. I think it’s also important to keep a tidy home because if you think about it, a work environment outside of the home is usually very clean, so it only makes sense that you will feel more comfortable in a neat, clean environment. There’s a quote that says, “Outer clutter creates mental clutter”, and I believe that is so, so true. If we keep our spaces clean, especially the spaces where we are working, it will create a much more peaceful and creative environment to work in.
All of these tips don’t sound like much but they are important things that are quickly forgotten about when you don’t immediately have to do them. But they are things that make all the difference in the world when it comes to your mood and your productivity for the day. Do you work from home? Are these things that you struggle with? What other tips do you have that are helpful? I’d love to hear from you!