Last week, for the first time ever, I talked about working from home like the end-all rather than as a temporary thing. And I even opted to work from home instead of going into the office when I had the choice. After 18 months of manifesting going back to the office, I’m finally at a place where I can accept and appreciate some of the luxuries of working from my living room (and the bedroom, kitchen, and occasionally bathroom). But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting a little sick of sitting in the same spot all day every day. My work routine is in desperate need of a refresh.
Working from home, a once novel idea that then became temporary and is now what most of us consider normal, isn’t the same crux it once was, but it still comes with some questions, namely: How do I feel inspired when I’m stuck in the same place all the time? I started implementing a few tricks to keep me motivated and make my routine feel fresh again, and they’ve made a major difference in my productivity.
1. Try blue light glasses
One of the biggest hurdles I faced when I started working from home was figuring out how to stay productive. When my phone, the TV, and the kitchen are right there, I’m keen to get distracted. I tried afternoon walks, more coffee, and putting my phone in the other room, but nothing worked. Then, I got down to business and really focused on adding function to my routine, and WearMePro’s blue light glasses have made a huge difference in making me feel productive and actually be better at work.
Blue light glasses are designed to protect your eyes from the continued exposure to the blue light we get from our phones, computers, and TV—which we’re all getting tons of if we’re sitting at a computer doing work all day. If you notice sitting in front of a screen for a long time gives you headaches, strains your eyes, or makes it hard to fall (and stay) asleep, blue light glasses help improve all of that. I tried a pair from WearMePro—a small, independent, family-owned business based in Arizona—last year, and it made the biggest difference in my productivity.
With the glasses, I’m able to look at my computer screen for a while without getting headaches, and I end the day with my eyes feeling so much better and less strained. But overall, the act of putting my glasses on just makes me feel ready for the day, the same way I feel after putting on a button-down or making a cup of coffee.
The best part: WearMePro’s glasses look super cute in all your video calls without costing you a pretty penny. All products are under $35, a pretty decent price that’ll make getting through the workday a bit easier. Plus, a portion of every eyewear purchase goes back to the Arizona Humane Society to help animals in need, so you get some while you give some—something I love.
2. Change up your beverage
If you typically drink the same iced coffee with almond milk every single day, varying your morning coffee order or making something else every now and then might be the extra flavor your day craved (no pun intended). I notice that drinking too much coffee is not the best for my body, so I started drinking alternatives like matcha and using add-ins that made me experience the ritual of coffee without the adverse effects. We all know the big change we feel when doing the annual switch from iced to hot drinks or when we can finally get our favorite seasonal flavors—imagine what that might do for your productivity if you feel that all the time?
3. Schedule out your morning routine
Instead of jamming your morning routine into those few precious hours you have before signing onto work, schedule them throughout your day. The one luxury of working remotely is flexibility. Maybe you do a lunch break workout and get ready in the afternoon before your calls rather than at 7 a.m. when you’re groggy and unmotivated. You could do your journaling in the afternoon to take a quick break from the computer screen. I always leave the chores I would normally do first thing (usually washing and putting away dishes) for a break in between signing on for work and lunch to give myself a quick moment to listen to a podcast and recharge.
4. Decorate your desk
I used to live in a very small studio that only allowed for one desk, so it became a vanity/desk/dining table/buffet hybrid that really just became a catch-all for every single thing I owned. When I moved, I finally had a desk of my own to do work from—and then I really just started using that as a catch-all for everything I owned. Once I finally organized it and made its place as My DeskTM, I noticed my productivity skyrocketed. I finally had a dedicated place for everything—including things that would help me be more creative—and I was able to make the space my own.
I added a lamp to use when it starts getting dark out at 4 p.m, inspiring photos of my favorite magazine layouts, lots of notebooks to write down ideas, and obviously my blue light glasses. Now, I don’t do anything at my desk but work, but even if I was still living with the makeshift vanity/desk/buffet situation, I’d definitely make it feel like a proper workspace while I’m working. When I wake up in the morning, my makeup brushes come down and in go pencils and pens.
5. Schedule weeknight events
Remember when we used to go to happy hours and events and have things to do after work other than catch up on the latest episode of your favorite Real Housewives franchise? There’s something in the air when you know you have plans or somewhere to be after work that inspires you to work a little harder, have a little more creativity, and not stay on your computer all night working. Whether it’s a get-together with friends, watching a new movie, a video chat with your family, a walk through the park (Sex and the City style), or a date out with yourself, having something to look forward to after a long day of work breaks up the monotony of your day and entire week.
This post is sponsored by WearMePro, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.