Our team is one of many that became fully remote in the last couple years, and we’re never looking back! While there are seemingly *endless* benefits to working from home, our editors are also realistic to recognize that there can be some drawbacks. That may look like unclearly defined work/life boundaries, or a tendency to use work hours to get other household tasks done (yes, we see you doing laundry while you’ve got your camera off on Zoom!). Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a list of our top working girl’s game changing habits to make the most of your workdays. To help you, literally, work smarter, not harder.
Image via MyDomaine
1. Find a scheduling system that works for you
Pomodoro method, batch scheduling, task management, oh my! There are hundreds of results that will pop up on any given Google search for efficient work systems. Our best tip is to figure out what works best for you. Some of our editors prefer to have specific time blocks of their day dedicated to specific tasks: they check emails for the first hour of their morning, then move on to social media content scheduling in the next hour, then edit articles, and so on. Sticking to one task during a given timeframe helps them maximize their efficiency.
On the other hand, a few of our editors prefer a “rewards-driven” philosophy, like the Pomodoro method : set a timer for 25 minutes to stay focused, and when the timer goes off, treat yourself to a short break. That might look like a refill on your iced coffee, a quick stretch, or a lap around your block. Take the time to test out a few different systems and find out which one makes you your best, most productive self. We guarantee you’ll be setting yourself up for success every work day!
2. Create a dedicated work space
You’d be surprised just how much of a game changer a dedicated work space can be! Especially for those of us working from home. This can help create firmer boundaries between work and your home life. That way you can mimic the feeling of being in an office space during work hours and “clocking out” when the day is done.
The key here is to work with what you’ve got! A spare bedroom that can be turned into a dedicated office for you would of course be the dream, but it’s definitely not a requirement. The next best thing is having a desk. We can’t emphasize an actual desk chair. That means no kitchen table chairs (trust us, your back will thank you for choosing something comfortable and good for your posture). If you’re working with even more limited space, we suggest a “work kit.” Get a tray you love from Target or Amazon and store your laptop, keyboard, planner, a notebook etc. on it. When you’re starting your work day, bring your tray to whatever work space you’re using (the kitchen counter, your couch, your patio, etc.). You’ll have everything you need for the day and a miniature office-to-go to keep you feeling productive!
Image via Blogilates
3. Add moments of movement wherever you can
Consider me influenced by TikTok: I jumped on the treadmill pad bandwagon and I’m never looking back. This piece of equipment is perfect for rainy days, and also quickly become a big part of every work day. I usually slide my treadmill pad under my desk. (Note: a standing desk is best, but I’ve been successful using my regular desk and an adjustable laptop stand). I keep the speed on low, for safety of course, so that I can walk while I work every morning. My workflow is typically to focus on emails and phone calls in the morning before I take a lunch break. I’ve found the treadmill pad is perfect while I’m working on these types of tasks. After a nourishing lunch (more on that in a bit!) I slide the treadmill pad away and stay seated for the rest of my work day. I’m able to get in my 10,000 steps (often more!) easily before noon each day!
The treadmill pad is definitely a major must-have for me. However, it’s not the only way to fit movement into your day. Spend your lunch break taking a walk around your neighborhood with your favorite audiobook or podcast. You can even squeeze in a 30 minute workout class in your living room. I love obé but there are endless apps and options out there. You can even bring out your mat and have a quick yoga session. The goal here is to make sure you’re getting small bits of movement into your day. This is especially important if a majority of your work is spent sitting in front of a computer.
4. Prioritize healthy meals
Working from home creates so many possibilities for nourishing, fueling meals to keep you feeling satisfied. It also helps you stay productive throughout the day. If you prefer to use your lunch breaks for tasks beyond eating, like reading or fitting in one of those quick workout sessions, meal prepping will be your best friend. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing every day. I love to “semi-meal prep” each Sunday by doing things like chopping vegetables into bite-sizes for snacking, cooking and dicing chicken, or steaming brown rice so that I have the beginning stages of various lunches started, but I’m not committed to eating the same meal each day. For me, being able to create a meal that is based on what I’m craving that day, not what I decided to make 3 or 4 days earlier, makes it easier for me to avoid ordering takeout!
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Let’s keep this one short and sweet! Dehydration = serious brain fog. While everyone on our team has gotten on the Stanley Cup train, use whatever method works best for you to ensure you’re getting enough water throughout the day. It really does make all the difference in the world in keeping you focused and energized to be your best working self.
Image via Green Healthy Cooking
Are you a fan of our working girl’s game changing habits? Be sure to also check out our 5 tips for working from home.