– Originally posted at Leah Sylvia Creative
As someone who’s worked from home for the past three years, I know how easy it is to let things slip, feeling isolated both physically and mentally, struggling to draw the motivation you need to get jobs done and greeting that old friend procrastination with a big fat HELLOOOOOOO beautiful.
I’m here to make that transition as seamless as possible ✨
The week generally starts strong. “This is going to be the best! I’ll be tackling tasks with no one telling me what to do, no micro management, no commute, no traffic, total independence, just me, my desk and a pantry full of food for when I get hungry! Bring it on! 👊🏼”
By the end of the week you’re sleeping in, wearing trackies, a hoodie, feeling grubby, working from the couch, binging your way through some lame (but totally addictive) TV show and you guessed it…. your productivity is nuda, along with your motivation. You feel lonely, shut off from the world and completely uninspired to get your work done.
So…how to make sure you don’t slip into this slump this quiet season? Let’s get into it.
✨ Get outta bed at the same time daily
I know it’s exciting that there’s no need for an early alarm clock, but trust me, to retain some sense of normality, continue to set it (sure, give yourself an extra hour if you want) but get up at the same time everyday. This will tell your body and brain that it means business. Don’t get into the habit of working from bed either friends, you’ll think it’s the worlds greatest for an hour or two until your laptop makes you hot and sweaty, your neck hurts and you realise you accidentally just slipped back into watching The Bachelorette…. Just don’t do it.
✨ Get dressed and ready
To feel like less of a grub, get yourself ready for the day because can confirm, staying in your jammies or an oversized hoodie and tracks, feels gross after a while. This doesn’t have to be your general work attire of course, just wash your face, put on something comfortable and appropriate so if the postman comes, you don’t have to do the classic sprint to your room to throw your pants on. If you wanna go without ya pants because #FREEDOM then have a pair close at hand. I been caught out before okay!
✨ Make that morning routine happen!
This ones important and looks a little different for each of us but I urge you to develop a routine that’s consistent and enjoyable. I mean at the end of the day, you now have the freedom to map out your morning the way you want, so long as your get your work done right? So ask yourself…what’s your ideal morning?… Coffee? Journalling? Exercise? Reading the news? What time do you want to start work?
For me this generally means making coffee and being at my desk by 8am to go through emails, check socials and map out my work for the day. I generally spend half an hour here and move quite slowly. Then I crack into it with my most important tasks.
✨ Create your workspace
Personally, I need to be in a nice space to work creatively and get in the zone. This doesn’t mean you gotta clear out the storage room and create a beautiful workspace (though that’s what I did…but hey remember I work from home always) Instead, set up a desk in a little corner somewhere, or if you cant get your hands on one, the dining table will do just fine. Remember to cozy things up a little too, whether it’s a piece of art on the wall, a plant, your stationery, hand sanitiser 😉 and whatever else.
✨ Set your work hours
Make sure to set your work hours okay friends? This saves you from sitting hunched over your desk for hours on end. Working from home means you can try new ways of working and find what works best for you. For me, I work in 2 hour blocks, then I take a break for 10-20 mins. My lunch breaks are always a little longer (especially in summer) because I’ll make my lunch, grab my book and layout in the sun for 45 mins. But setting work hours, or time slots where you’re going to completely zone in, then taking breaks to just chill, meditate, call a friend, is key to staying motivated and avoiding burnout.
✨ Video call friends, fam and co-workers
This ones to keep yourself sane and hold your team accountable. Though I freekin love working from home, it comes with it’s feelings of loneliness and isolation. I’m a people person, I’m a talker and I’m someone who has a lot of energy to go around in my social circles. I guess it’s a little ironic I’ve created a life for myself that involves me being alone 80% of the day. Sometimes Bryn comes home and I’m like an excited puppy dog waiting at the window for him to come in and talk to me. To counteract this, keep in touch with your humans! Catch up for coffee or go for a walk and if things get worse and we end up in lockdown, make those catch ups online. We are so connected, even when working from home so don’t forget the power of the internet.
✨ Once a day, get outside
I don’t care how this happens for you, just make it happen. Once a day, get outside. Staying in the same place all day can have you developing some quick feelings of cabin fever. And cabin fever = zero motivation. When you find yourself going a little crazy, instead of sitting in the couch and flicking the TV on, get outside and go for a walk. 5 min, 10 mins, 45 mins, whatever you can afford to do. Can’t go far from your house? Meditate on the balcony, do some star jumps, put some music on and have a balcony boogie! Do something that gets the blood moving with some fresh air in the lungs.
✨ Set ground rules with the people in your space
You might find that you’re not the only one working from home or living in your space during this time. So… if you have flatmates or family members around you, just set some ground rules. Maybe it’s something simple, like asking if it’s a good time to ask a question or come for a chat. Maybe it’s explaining to that person that if your headphones are on that means you’re unable to look away from your laptop at that time. Just establish with whoever it is, how you work best so you can actually get your work done because believe me, I’ve been very easily distracted by people in my space and found myself working well into the night to catch back up, not ideal.
✨ Listen to podcasts and music
Another one to help with those feelings of 🎶“I’m all alooooone, there’s no one here besiiiiiide me”🎶 Silence makes me all too aware that I’m on my own, so podcasts and music definitely ease the feels. I find that when I’m writing emails, blog posts, or going through brand strategy questionnaires, I can’t be listening to podcasts as my mind tends to shut them out to focus only on what I’m doing. So music is my vibe during these times. Podcasts I love when driving to meetings, walking, or when actually designing concepts for clients. Whatever works for you team, but silence when working at home away from your team won’t have you feeling too happy after a while.
✨ Look after yourself and support those around you
Change is something that many of us fear and struggle with so being here in this moment in time with the world changing daily is a little bit daunting right? It’s okay to feel scared, sad and strange as we enter these turbulent waters but it’s important to look after yourselves and each other as we push on through. During this quiet season or this season working from home, let’s continue to support each other, look inward and refine our business processes, post helpful resources, inspo and past content, check in with each other, create free resources, upskill, read, create and stay positive ☀️
Have you got anything to add here? Please post anything and everything to the comments below and for anyone struggling to adapt, please please feel free to reach out and connect. We’re all in this together and from someone who works from home on the daily and is well used to it, I want to help make sure your transition is seamless.
KIA KAHA FRIENDS,
Leah & Bryn | F&A