April 6, 2020

My Work From Home Routine



Like a lot of you, I got an email from my job on March 16 saying that we'd all be working from home until further notice. I've worked from home plenty of times in the past, but usually on a once a week or as needed basis. Never full-time like this. But the transition of moving those 9-5 hours from the office to my dining room was surprisingly easy. What I struggled with was this: needing my usual routine to help deal with the chaos of everything happening but the extra free time without a commute plus being home all the time threw off entire said routine. I felt it most in the first two days when I was sleeping in a bit too long and finding it hard in general to be motivated to work. But then I sat down, wrote out a daily routine (excluding weekends), started following it and after almost three weeks of this, I'm fallen into a groove that really works for me and I thought I'd share what I'm doing! Keep in mind, at the end of the day you should listen to your own physical and mental cues as to what will work for you.

Writing out a daily routine (and maybe throw in a weekly meal plan too!)
My routine isn't anything crazy but just having it in mind helps me go about my day and gives me some much needed structure. I get out of bed around 6:30 and up until 9am, I use that time to shower, get ready for the day (I still do my makeup, hair and get dressed like I'm going to work), eat breakfast, and either read or watch TV. Of course, 9-5 is dedicated to my job. Then I use 5-6pm as my workout time, which is a mix of going on long walks (I live in a suburb) or exercising at home. And lastly, I cap my day off with dinner and a mix of TV, reading, playing games or blogging.

From there it felt natural to write out a weekly meal plan so I know when I need to cook versus eating leftovers and it's helped me to order from Instacart early too. Nowadays, you need to order 1.5-2 weeks in advance if you want to get a delivery. Not to mention that the act of preparing my breakfast, lunch, and dinner also gives structure to my day. But I treat myself to takeout on Friday and Saturday nights!

All that said though, I swear I give myself flexibility too. Meaning if I have trouble sleeping at night because I'm worrying, I let myself sleep in. Same thing with working out. Sometimes the weather sucks and I'd just rather sit on the couch, so I do that. I pay attention to how I'm feeling and will ultimately go with what feels right for me at the time.

Pick out an "office" spot 
For me, I associate my couch and bedroom with comfort so I immediately knew I wouldn't be able to work efficiently from either place. Technically I have a desk but again, my personal computer is set up there and to me, it's a personal spot too. I ended up at my dining table because it's where I spend the least amount of time (I typically eat my meals on the couch in front of the TV 😂), it's well-lit (perfect for all my Zoom meetings), and close to both an outlet and the kitchen (easy access to snacks, coffee and water). I taped up my routine/meal plan on the wall next to where I sit, put all my little must-haves on the table (more on that later) and it's been working out well.

Get up and move around
I'm so used to walking to the office, walking out to get lunch or stopping by a coworker's desk to stretch my legs and chat. Obviously, "shelter in place" changes all that. That's why I make a point to exercise multiple times per week (no more excuses!). But I also make a point to just stand up and stretch multiple times throughout the day, which I would never feel comfortable doing at work since it's an open space. I even use washing the dishes as an excuse to stand and take a little break (because my job is crazier and busier than ever with an expectation to very much be "on" during business hours).

Bring some of your before habits to your new normal
Like I mentioned earlier, I still get ready for the day and that helps me feel normal. Since my work laptop doesn't allow me to use iMessage, Gmail or Hangouts, I'm still on my phone or iPad to message friends and family throughout the day. I pretty much still read during the same hours: before and after work or sometimes during lunch. And since I can't get lunch with my coworker anymore, I did a FaceTime lunch recently with Alexa, DJ and Kristin, which was so lovely. I think the blend of new and old has been a good balance.


Now onto my 5 work from home must-have's that I keep at my work station:
  1. Brita pitcher | I keep this full and handy at my "desk" so I remember to drink water throughout the day. 
  2. Rifle Paper Co Notepad | I forgot my notebooks at the office so I've been using this pretty notepad every day. 
  3. Adjustable Cell Phone Stand | I originally got this months ago to use while I cook but I rarely used it. Now I use it all the time! My job has two methods for video conferencing, one that I have on my laptop but the other is only accessible by phone. The stand is super handy when I need to have the camera facing me but need my hands to give a presentation. This is also great for FaceTime lunches 😊
  4. Massage Ball Rollers | I've always dealt with neck and shoulder pain due to sitting at a desk all day. When my shoulders or neck feel stiff, I just take a few minutes to use the rollers and I've started to have less knots and shoulder pain but stretching in general helps too. 
  5. AmazonBasics 10-foot charger cable | I always have to charge my phone at least once throughout the day and this stretches perfectly from the outlet to my table. 

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I hope you found my little tips and must-have's useful, or
at the least interesting to read! 

What are some of your tips for working at home?

2 comments

  1. This was so fun to read!! Every night before I go to bed I write out a to-do list for the next day. It's so helpful to just wake up and know what some of my goals are for that morning! Hope you're well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Couldn't agree with you more on the exercising front. I'd say i do more of fitness stuff than before the lockdown (in Europe). Definitely helps to kill a few hours and to keep you sane :)

    ReplyDelete

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