Life gets really interesting when your work life and home life collide. Slash when you can’t distinguish between the two and they blur into the same existence. I feel extremely fortunate that I still have the ability to work from home, as I know millions of others – both nationally and worldwide – don’t have this luxury. I’ve been exclusively “working from home” for the past few months, and I’ve picked up a few helpful tricks along the way to make WFH feel less like working from hell.
15 Work From Home Tips
- I start my day by immediately opening the shades and greeting the morning light. Sometimes it’s been a challenge to get out of bed and stick to my morning routine. If I get out of bed and am immediately blasted with a little vitamin D through the window pane, it helps jumpstart my day. I then start the coffee pot and make my bed.
- Over my morning coffee, I’ll block schedule my day. Make a list of the most important things you need to get done, and order from high priority to low priority. I set out to do the high priority things first, getting them out of the way. And I definitely make sure to make a to-do list. Because if you don’t get to cross things off the to-do list, did you ever really accomplish them anyways?
- After coffee, I carve out time for morning mindfulness, meditation, or breath work. Even if you’ve never done meditation before, now is the time to start. In order to maintain a well balanced immune system, we need to focus on good sleep, good nutrition, movement, and stress relief. By scheduling out times for mindfulness and/or breathwork sporadically throughout the day, we can take the tenets and reminders learned there into daily life, therefore decreasing stress. I like Prezence app (a local Boston-based company offering free membership through April), Headspace (2 week free trial and currently free for healthcare workers), Simple Habit app (follow this link for a 1 month free premium subscription access), and Sanvello (free premium access during COVID-19 crisis).
- Eating a nutrient dense breakfast with fruits/veggies, protein, healthy fats, and slow release carbohydrates. That way I don’t have blood sugar spikes masquerading as anxiety. I’m loving these Vegan Morning Pantry Muffins as of late!
- Avoiding too much caffeine. I realized in PA school that too much caffeine led to some serious anxiety before exams. Heart racing, hands shaking, palms sweaty Eminem lyrics type anxiety. So rather than continue to guzzle the java, I instead reach for more hydrating beverages. Right now you can find me sipping on water, decaf tea, kombucha, seltzer, and bone broth.
- A few hours of dedicated, no-phone work before taking a break.
- A workout or some form of movement to break up the morning. I’m currently loving The Class (dance cardio and mat pilates mixed with guided meditation – first week free and 5-7 classes to stream live daily), Kelly Brabants live IG workouts (free and daily at 5:30pm), YogaWorks free daily streaming (100+ classes available per day), and EverybodyFights Live at home fitness for weight training (first week free and my local Boston gym)
- Lunch time followed by more work (see pattern above of few hours no-phone work followed by a little easy movement, even if just standing up pacing my apartment a bit and/or tidying up).
- An afternoon walk while calling a friend or family member
- Dinner – I’m loving this super simple butternut squash soup paired with vegan chili
- Putting my phone away by 9pm and reading a book before bed. Recently loving Commonwealth, The Great Believers, and I Capture the Castle.
Some other tips:
- Keep a journal next to you: As stated above, I’m processing a lot of emotions happening right now. Rather than getting caught up in them and letting them unravel my whole morning, I simply write them down then move on.
- Take little mini breaks after every 1-2 hours. I like to do 10 minutes of mini movement like organizing, cleaning, or vacuuming followed by a quick 5 minutes of writing down what I want to complete in the next hour or two. Or just 10 minutes of chair stretching. Re-organizing and re-committing to what I have on my daily to-do list.
- Do work at a table with your feet firmly planted on the ground. This helps to prevent poor posture that you get from working in bed / on the couch. Reserve and savor those spaces for non-work relaxation time.
- Keep a clean work space: declutter the space, declutter the mind.