Top Five tips to Rock Working from Home

It’s a bad habit many of us have to let our routines become chores. We just kind of accept that the routine is going to suck but, what are you gonna do? You gotta work, right? With many more people working from home during the pandemic and a number of companies exploring longer term work from home policies here’s a few ideas for creating a work from home routine that doesn’t suck.

  1. Lunch time: This is the easiest answer to where some mid-day you time comes from. Lunch hours are there because it’s no secret our brains need breaks. Humans are just not designed for 8-9 hours of focused work. So leave your work station during your lunch time. Even if it’s as simple as moving from your office space or computer desk and sitting in your kitchen to eat. In a small space like a small condo or apartment just make sure you’re in a different seat that allow your body to relax and perhaps facing a different direction – like out a window – so you’re not just staring at your computer from another angle.

2. When the work day is done, Shut down. Walk away. Be done. This was my absolute biggest challenge working from home. Work was always right there. I could just pop in to the office and… and, and, and… it never ended. I was always just a thought away from work mode and it made life difficult. I couldn’t really relax and just focus on the time and people I was with. Don’t get sucked in to the vortex of always working just because it’s right there.

3. Find a task management system you like. It’s easy to finish a work day and wonder what you even did all day and where the time went. Whether it’s an old fashioned to-do list, a task management app you’re loyal to or a time-tested strategy like the Pomodoro system – find a way to manage your tasks that you will like and use, and that will allow you to know you got done what you needed to.

4. Don’t forget to move and hydrate. If you’re like me and wear a fitbit then it will remind you to take a minimum number of steps per hour. Apple watches have a similar feature but it’s also just as effective to set hourly reminders on your phone to have a stretch, pace around a bit, look out a window… anything that means you aren’t stuck in one position all day long. Same with hydration. There’s apps that will remind you, as will simple phone reminders or drink wear with time-goals on it. Regardless of how you go about it don’t get sucked in to a work vortex and forget to look after yourself.

5. Stay connected. If your workplace has work-approved methods of staying in contact like an employee chat then use it. If they don’t have this type of set up then go ahead and reach out to text your colleagues from time to time. Whether it’s to pick their brain the way you would if they were just the next office over or for a little water cooler chat don’t let working from home become extra isolating.

Overall, think about the parts of your workday that you enjoy the most and how you can build a schedule and routine that flows and balances all of your needs. It should include focus time and allow you to be a badass powerhouse but also should include time that nourishes you and boundaries that let you be so much more than a workaholic.

Drop a comment with your fave work from home tips, tricks and routines!

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Introducing more Creativity to how I look at Fitness

This post has been updated. =) Read on for an in-depth look at the topic.

As I was planning out my week I started thinking more about how I wanted to incorporate workouts and good food.  I did really well throughout October in terms of working out often and making little changes to my eating habits.  The start of November though has seen a lot of that fall away and old habits proving their strength. As strong as those old habits are, I’m fairly certain my determination to improve is stronger.

Update: This is a continuous pattern I’m still working on – a big part of it, I’ve discovered, is teaching myself not to think of eating healthy as hard or complicated.  Eating a few clementines for breakfast is just as easy as grabbing a bowl of cereal with lots of empty carbs.  Making a smoothie or frying an egg for a simple breakfast sandwich is as easy, if not easier, than frying bacon and cooking up a pile of breakfast potatoes.  However, if we let ourselves stay in the mindset that the junk food is an “easy option” then we’ll continue to think of that instead of teaching ourselves options for every energy or effort level on the healthier side of things.

This is actually the first week I’ve truly planned out what my fitness and food looks like based on reflection for what I want.  Usually, I am working more closely with a program like the Anna Victoria Body Love app but I sort of got bored with the repetition of that program. I enjoyed it, in a lot of ways, but for a number of reasons I had trouble making it stick.

Update: I’m back with Anna Victoria since the app has been updated to include improved work outs for home (Hello, COVID), as well as adding additional programs and trainers to keep it fresh. 

I’m realizing that maybe what I’m lacking right now is creativity and taking the time to listen to what my body and mind actually want. I know I want to be healthier but I’m thinking of how that looks for everyone else. I see all the “fitness gurus” and “health experts” that post gorgeous photos of their salad and encourage you to commit to their workout program.  While that works for some people, it hasn’t been working for me.

It’s really easy to feel like a failure when what works for everyone else isn’t working for you.  If it works for all those people then maybe I’m the problem, right?

Every other aspect of my life seems to be taking off and fitting together.  So what’s missing with fitness?

Creativity.

In every other aspect of my life, I’m engaging those cliches like “follow your heart” and “be yourself”.  Creativity is the common thread guiding my work and improvement.

So this week, as I plan out my creative projects like writing, social media and content creation I’m including fitness.  I ask myself questions about my work and projects such as what I have time for, what I’m interested in, what I’m craving and feeling.  This is a big part of how I develop my writing especially, and how I determine what I want to broadcast on social media.  It’s acknowledging what is happening in my life, what is happening in the world and the direction I’m interested in developing towards..

Now, I want to apply that to my fitness strategy.  I’ve developed a plan to incorporate focusing on different parts of my body with focused workouts each day, similar to how I did with Anna Victoria but open to more creativity in the actual movements and routines.

I’ve also planned to include yoga in my day because it allows me to reconnect mind and body and celebrate a movement that feels good.

Update: I’ve continued to bring creativity in to my fitness routine.  Recently I’ve been exploring how a routine doesn’t have to limit creativity – and actually can improve it – both in my creative work and my fitness.  I always kind of felt like working out on a program limited me to just that program.  I’m seeing now the opportunities to modify the program slightly when needed – swapping out moves that don’t work for me and including moves that address the same muscle groups.  I’m also recognizing that I can actually go “above and beyond” – which maybe should have been obvious but it hasn’t always felt obvious.  For example, adding extra cardio, extra reps, extra moves that feel good.  

What popular strategies have you tried and hated in self-improvement and fitness?