1. Stick to a daily schedule & workday routine
Just because you’re working from home (W.F.H.) that doesn’t mean a routine isn’t necessary. Over the past 5 years that I have been WFH, I have quickly realized like everything else I do, I crave a routine and structure. Whether that means I get up daily by 7:30am and start looking at email by 8am and start conference calls by 9. Whatever works for you, create a weekday routine just like you’d be held accountable if you worked in a corporate office.
2. Make your bed
I’ve read a statistic about the kinds of people who start the day by making their bed. It shows that you can about your home and want to take care of the things in your life. It also sets your intention for the rest of the day to not be lazy. It also leads to better productivity according to “The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg. According to the author, daily bed-making becomes a keystone habit, something that kickstarts a chain of other good decisions throughout the day, and gives you a sense of taking charge. Duhigg claims that these keystone habits cumulatively lead to “a greater sense of well-being and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” Pretty impressive results, simply for taking a minute or two to pull up the sheets and comforter.
3. Start your day on a positive note
After attending Tony Robbin’s Unleash The Power Within Seminar I learned some really great habits about productivity. The main takeaway is your attitude and viewpoint going into the day or even having a call with someone can make or break the outcome. The moment I decide to get out of bed, I do my best to do my gratitude journal where I note 3 things I’m thankful for daily. If I forget this one day it’s ok, I don’t beat myself up over it, but the days I do it reminds me how lucky I am to be employed. Have a roof over my head. Have living parents, siblings, nieces and nephews… Try doing it a few times a week and trust me you’ll get so much joy out of it and really start having a more positive attitude about what you HAVE, not what you may not HAVE and want…..
4. Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or whatever jumpstarts your day
I start my day with a cup of my favorite N’Espresso coffee even in my favorite Pink Year & Day mugs and just that first step makes me happy. I usually glance at my email then turn on NPR as I’m making my coffee to get a head start on the news and know what’s happening.
5. Schedule your workouts
I have already learned if I don’t calendar my workouts (I have a repeating yoga and pilates class 2-3 days a week) they don’t happen. Protect the workouts as if they’re a business meeting that you can’t miss. This will ensure you workout 5-6 days a week, your mind and body will be in great shape and you’ll be more productive in everything else you do. Don’t you notice that when you don’t work out you don’t sleep well, you don’t eat well and it really impacts all elements of your life (at least it does for me)….
A few of my favorite workouts remotely (since I’m currently under Shelter in Place) is my Peloton Bike & their yoga and other fitness classes (use my referral code: F3HE3V to save $100 if you purchase a new bike on any Peleton Accessories), my Body Chemistry Pilates Classes & programming through the AssemblyAnywhere App.
6. Create a workspace (even if at home) and use it
Part of feeling like you’re at work is “being at work” even if at home. I have two set workspaces I work from. A desk in my bedroom with a HUGE IMAC and at my dining room table with beautiful views of greenery and natural light. I spend about 85% at my dining room table but it works. I am productive, I can make tea while working. If I want a quieter space with no distractions I’ll use my bedroom, close the door and it’s hunkering down more for me. When I hear people who work on their sofas I find that hard to believe as to me sofa time is R & R, DVR, blog writing, not where I’d be “working”. See what works for you and stick to it.
This is Ernie in my office in my bedroom. She’s taking our work very seriously.
7. Keep a to-do list
I have two to-do list’s my daily one which is a journal these days I’m using the Shinola Detroit Journals (Purchase online here) which I love because I can monogram them. I also have a more long term to-do list on Asana.com which is great so it’s organized by project, task, blog, business…. If you don’t know or use Asana I highly recommend it. Speaking of great work tools I have a blog post on Emily Martin events sharing all the business tools we use daily to keep Emily Martin Communications & Events going…. Read that blog post here.
8. Use timers to keep track of meetings times and conference calls
I find that without an office neighbor to remind me, hey Emily we have a team meeting, or an alert to pop up on my desktop I can easily miss a meeting (I don’t have sound alerts on my phone during the day except for calls or phone calls) as calendar alerts drive me nuts. So instead, when I start my day I look at all my calls and meetings for the day and set an alarm on my phone for 2-3 minutes before. That gives me enough time to finish what I’m doing, hop on the zoom call or give my client a call. I also prefer to be the person who calls on a conf call (vs. them calling me). That way I can be ready to go, set up in a good work spot vs. them calling me a few minutes early when I’m not ready or late. This also keeps my schedule on time as I’m punctual vs. some people who may call you 5-10 minutes late for a call possibly putting your entire day (as I group calls back to back). It may be the control freak in me but who knows, it seems to work.
9. Schedule breaks and or walks
I took a great work from home class last week with Six Degrees Society (A fabulous female-founder business networking organization) and my friend Lindsay of Marka Health who is a Physical Therapist gave a tutorial about healthy ways to work from home. One great takeaway I learned was every 60 minutes get up and walk around and switch your position. This way your body doesn’t get used to one position it continues to adjust and stay balanced. I’ve started trying to do this (with another timer of course). Book a session with Lindsay online here and be sure to tell her you learned about her from her friend Emily, the JSF.