I’ll be the first to admit that working-from-home is not my strong suit. I live in a 300 sq. ft. box, get distracted easily, and have way too much to say during the day to be alone (and it is way too easy for my coworkers to ignore my hilarious messages all day long). It has also been hard for me to stay healthy (my fridge is just so close) and active while I’m home all day. But we’re on month #5 with months to go, and I’ve somehow figured out how to manage doing something I hated.
We often discuss nighttime and morning routines here, but now that I do basically the same thing every single day, it was high time I started a routine for during the day too. I wanted something that I could loosely follow every day to create some healthy, productive habits while also not absolutely hating my life all day long. Am I the most productive person ever? Absolutely not. There are days when I look at the clock at 2:30pm and realize I’ve ticked off nothing from my to-do list. But I’ve noticed these simple steps have helped me stay on track throughout the day with work and make my evenings a lot better too! Here are a few things I’ve implemented into my day that have made going through the motions of stay-at-home life a little easier.
As you can tell, I basically do anything I can to add little breaks in my day. Sitting at my desk and cranking out a ton of work for eight hours a day just isn’t feasible for me; I have to keep myself excited by working toward breaks and timing myself. One way I build that into my day is by doing chores. I’ll tell myself I’ll write for 45 minutes uninterrupted, and then I’ll wash the dishes. I am not normally one who looks forward to chores in any capacity, but knowing that I’ll be able to get up and listen to music and do something else for a little bit of time keeps me moving, regardless of the task I’m convincing myself is fun to do.
currently reading The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai!
Take a full lunch break
When I was working in an office, I almost never took my entire lunch break. I would work through lunch to keep my productivity up. But even on my busiest days now, I make a point to give myself that full hour-long break every single day. It’s not much, but it’s the oomph I need to keep going throughout the day. Some days I’ll go outside and read, and others I’ll go for a walk. Sometimes, I honestly just watch TV. But I make sure to close my computer and do something else.
Now that I’m at home, it’s rare that I fully meal prep a lunch to go straight into the microwave. I might cook all of my ground turkey or chicken breast on Sunday, but that’s about it. While prepping your entire meal might help a lot of people, I find that taking the time to prepare lunch is a good break in my day. Some of my favorite lunches to make include salad with some kind of protein (I always buy the salad mixes at the grocery store and add extra veggies and protein), sandwiches, bowls, and more.
These leggings are from Girlfriend Collective—they’re made from recycled water bottles, go up to a 5X, and have a secret pocket for my keys. I own in two colors, and I’m obsessed!
Workout/Go for the walk
I won’t lie and say I get a workout in every single day (LOL, most days is even a stretch), but simply walking anywhere is something I try to accomplish every day (at least when my day isn’t an intentional Saturday binge-watching Selling Sunset, of course). I’ll try to take my lunch break or a short coffee break to go for a walk around my neighborhood. Or if I know I need to go to the grocery store or pick something up for dinner, I’ll walk a little farther just to get some more steps in.
When I first switched to full-time WFH, I was getting maybe 2,000 steps a day, and if you’re someone who tracks their steps, you’ll know that is basically nothing. I had a hard time feeling like I could be productive all day long and move my body. Adding a couple of different walks throughout the day made it a lot easier, and I’ve even noticed that I sleep better and feel less drained at the end of the workday.
If I’m working out, it’s almost always on my lunch break and includes either an Obé Fitness workout or something from YouTube! I’m obsessed with MadFit’s dance workouts (this One Direction one gave me life), and POPSUGAR Fitness is also great for HIIT and barre workouts. I am still getting back in the habit of working out (I am a big “paying for a gym and having to walk somewhere motivates me to workout” person; I have little to no motivation to workout at home), but it helps to have a few workouts on hand that I know I enjoy.
Prioritize to-do lists
I make a to-do list every morning (sometimes the night before!), but I get to a point in my day where I have to prioritize what gets done and when. I’ll message my supervisors or anyone who’s waiting on something from me to ask if they need anything ASAP or let them know that I might get to something later in the day. While this maybe helps them, it’s more about keeping myself productive throughout the day and holding myself accountable. At home, it’s easy to say I’ll work on a project at 3pm, and then find myself invested in pop culture drama once 3pm rolls around with no end in sight. By telling someone I’ll have something to them at a certain time, I know I have to get it done.
Once I’ve done this, I’ll go through my to-do list and schedule when I’ll do them and what needs to get done versus what I’ll work on next. My to-do lists tend to get pretty lofty, which is likely a nightmare for anyone with perfectionist tendencies, but it actually keeps me motivated so I can have more time at the end of my day to get more done. But I make sure to mark which need to get done first by using the ABC system. A tasks need to get done immediately, B tasks should get done today but can be pushed, and C tasks are extras in case I have time. I used this before working-from-home, but it’s especially helpful now that my to-do list now contains random life tasks that I can now do during the day (is this my silver lining to WFH? perhaps).