Top 5 Tips for Working From Home (without losing your sanity!)

Most of the population is going through major changes to their “office space” and now working from home. While the idea of this probably seemed amazing at first, I’m willing to bet that by now, reality has set in and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When I first left my full time, monday – friday office job to stay home with River, I was stoked. I was convinced that I would have so much more time to cook, to keep the house clean, and be able to devote so much more time to photography… now let’s all laugh. My house is definitely NOT cleaner than before, I’m still cooking the same quick meals I was before (taco’s forever!) & most of my photography work still gets done in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep. It was a challenge for me at first to accept that everything I thought was going to change in my life went the exact opposite direction, and that staying at home all the time was not as fun as I imagined. Instead of feeling like I could accomplish everything, I felt like I couldn’t get ANYTHING done, and it definitely took a toll. Along the way, I have figured out a few things that help make me feel better!

1. Get fully dressed every day.
Okay okay, hear me out. Staying in your pjs every now and then is absolutely necessary & I love doing that too still.. But something about waking up & getting dressed for the day really just makes me feel like a functioning member of society still. It gives me a “start” to my day. I don’t cringe when I pass by a mirror & think, “holy hot mess.” Looking put together on the outside will instantly make you feel better on the inside. So, when in doubt, pick out a cute outfit, brush your hair & put whatever makeup on (or none at all!) Take a selfie & remind yourself that you still got it. That Miss America needs to watch out because you have arrived! All jokes aside though,
just get dressed. I promise you it works wonders.


2. Sit outside for at least 5 minutes & get some sunlight.
We recently got rocking chair for our front porch & they were worth every single penny. I sit out there multiple times during the day just for a mini break from everything, and when I come back inside, I just feel refreshed. Before we got the chairs, I would just sit on the porch steps, so no excuses! Getting some sunlight will always brighten my mood & help to reset my motivation for the day. Lets say you don’t have a porch/yard. Go sit in your car. Put the windows down & play some music for a few minutes. I promise you, it will help. Sometimes you really need to remove yourself from your current surroundings in order to refresh your mood!

3. Make a legitimate to-do list and check things off.
This may sound silly, but I have a to-do list in the notes in my phone at all times, and I live by it. I put even the smallest things on there along with the big ones. Being able to check things off really makes me feel like I am getting things done, even if its something as small as “put clothes on,” because you bet thats on there. My list normally consists of anything from cook eggs for breakfast, to clear inbox, to clean out closet. At the beginning of the week, I actually make a big list of everything I want to accomplish that week, then separate it into days & add some daily tasks in there too. Sometimes the list gets cleared, sometimes things get moved to the next day or even week. Balance!

4. Make a new reasonable work schedule & stick to it.
When I first started staying home, I was so excited to have 40 extra hours to devote to my business and let me tell you.. that is absolutely not what happened. Being at home just meant that the house got messier, faster (thanks to my favorite tornado toddler) & that I had an entire other human to take care of as well as myself. There were no more “lunch breaks” and there was no uninterrupted work time. I quickly learned that I had to let go of the fantasy of working from 9-5 at home. My work hours now vary depending on the day and the needs of the household, but generally I check my inbox & work on behind the scenes tasks (editing, marketing, tracking business expenses, writing blog posts such as this one, etc.) during nap times, & a majority of my work gets done after 8pm when the kids are tucked into their beds. So basically, if you get an email from me at 11pm, just know that you are super important to me, but my kids just needed me a little extra that day! That being said, also know when to log off. If you have completed your daily work hours, LOG OFF. Just because you now have forever access to your work does NOT mean that you are required to be on 247. Set boundaries for yourself!

5. Pick your “top 3” and do them daily.
I honestly do not remember who introduced me to this concept but it is honestly super simple & extremely effective. To put it blatantly, you choose 3 things that make you feel the most productive, and you do them daily. For me, going to sleep with a clean sink is a necessity, so one of my three is to do the dishes. I love waking up to a clean kitchen, it’s like having a clean slate to my day. My second thing, which I’m sure you could never guess, is to put on clothes! Believe me when I tell you I fail at this one a lot, but when I do it, I definitely notice a difference in myself. My last has changed recently, but it is getting a 30 minute workout in and drinking water. I have NEVER been someone who looked forward to working out, but on my quest to getting back in my pre-kid clothes, dieting just isn’t enough anymore. I started incorporating exercise, and some days I knock it out first thing in the mornings, and sometimes I drag myself to the elliptical at 9:30 at night. On my morning workout days, I get SO much more accomplished because it fully wakes me up & once I get moving, I want to do ALLLLLL the things. Now, my top three will likely not be the same as your top three. These are just what makes me feel most accomplished, and like I haven’t wasted away all day long. For yourself, you will need to sit down and think about what the most important things are for you to accomplish each day, then make a conscious effort to check them off. So simple, but I promise it helps a LOT.

I hope everyone out there is staying safe & making the best choices for yourselves (because I fully believe that everyone’s circumstances are different & that everyone’s choices during the Corona craziness will be different as well). Hopefully, these tips will help a little bit, because mentally, the work from home life is JUST as hard (if not harder sometimes) than working from an office!


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