I’ve been working from home for nearly three years now. It was definitely challenging at first, but over time I realized that’s because I was trying to listen to all the “best practices” out there around working from home, and it turns out many of them didn’t work for me.
Right now, with all the coronavirus craziness, people are putting out a lot of revamped “best practices” to work from home. The thing is, though, that these are often very personal to the writer, so it’s important to take them with a grain of salt and maybe try them out but be open to the fact that what works for them may not work for you.
So I thought I’d tell you my daily habits – not as a list of best practices, but simply what works for me – in case any of them resonate with you.
1. I do not wake up with an alarm clock
Unless I have an early meeting, I’d rather wake up refreshed, and therefore be more productive, then be up at exactly 8AM. Yes that means sometimes I sleep in until 9:30, but if my body needs rest, I give my body rest. Otherwise I’m tired all day, not as productive, and it takes a physical toll if done for an extended period of time.
2. I stretch and warm my body up before I get up
A combo of yoga & calisthenics: child pose, bridge pose, mini chaturanga 10X, bow pose, plank, some stretches – it takes about 7 minutes but I’m totally warmed up when I get up.
3. I have a shake virtually every single day for a boost of vitamins, fibers, sugars, etc. in the morning
2-3 whole fruits chopped (apple/banana/pear/orange), some spinach, 2 tbs of nuts, 1 tbs of oats, cinnamon, turmeric, yogurt, coffee, water – all blended.
4. I dress comfortably – none of this putting on a tie and suit thing at home
I think it’s silly to (a) dirty dress clothes unnecessarily and (b) be uncomfortable at home.
5. I get up every 30 minutes or so
I’m ok with opening up the fridge for 10 seconds, staring at it, and going back to my desk empty handed. It gets me up and that’s what matters.
6. I stick to a meal schedule and don’t snack
Otherwise I end up having no full meals and feel crappy in the end… I’ve been there
7. I work wherever I need to – on my bed, at my desk, on my couch
Lots of companies have flexible work spaces because people sometimes need to move to stay productive or be creative. I don’t force myself to sit at a designated desk all day. I try to be self-aware and do what my mind/body tells me – I’m often more productive that way at the end of the day.
8. I open my window a few times a day, even if it means I need to wear a sweater if it gets cold
Offices move air around through huge air ducts – at home air tends to be more stale. Make sure you’re breathing fresh air, even if it’s winter! I just put on a sweater and open a window, even for 20 minutes if I have to. It helps me feel more refreshed.)
9. I clean my desk or any work areas when I’m done
We take for granted that offices are cleaned after hours – if I let my home get messy because I leave a notepad here, a sweater there, etc., as I work at home throughout the day, I’ll create clutter and may get stressed out. Therefore I clean up as I go to (a) keep my home from getting messy and (b) accomplish small tasks as I go throughout the day.
10. I take my time to eat during the day, unless I absolutely can’t
When I worked in an office I would eat at my desk and just inhale my food. At home, I can take my time to make the food, not be distracted while eating it, even if only for 15 or 20 minutes, and clean up after I’m done so dishes don’t pile up. It’s a nice mental break from work AND studies have shown that “connecting” with your food – whatever that means to you – is healthier.
11. I don’t always disconnect at 5PM
I take time during the day for myself and sometimes need to finish things up later. A lot of people here are saying to stick to a 9-5 schedule, and that just has never worked for me. When I have to, I start at 9AM and end at 5PM. When I don’t have to, I take control of my time, which makes me happier, allows me to take breaks during the day and do work when I’m at peak performance, thereby using my time as efficiently as possible.
Well there you have it – these are my daily work-from-home routines. Some of them are physical routines, and others are mindset routines. Either way, I hope some of them may resonate with you.
Please reach out or comment below if you have thoughts, questions, challenges or otherwise want to discuss!