Creating a Consistent Routine WFH
Photographed by Bliss Katherine
I usually have several creative projects on the go that I work on from home, but I’ve struggled with establishing a consistent work flow when I don't have structure. So here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful for creating a productive work environment and routine for any of you that might be working from home.
1) Create a consistent routine for sleep/wake, meal times, break times, and work times.
Try to go to bed and wake around the same time each day. If you have set work hours to adhere to thats great - and if you are setting your own work hours, stick to them and try to designate a time outside of them them to take care of other "to do's.
I also like to stop and take the time to eat my meals as opposed to having a working lunch. I like to be consistent with what time of day I take my lunch so that my body clock - and mind can get into the flow of the routine.
2) Create a work space that is functional and supportive for you.
It can be helpful to choose a space in your house that is quiet, and has natural light. I have a ritual to begin work where I clear off any clutter on my desk, have a cup of hot tea, and light the candle on my desk or turn on my diffuser. Sometimes I will put on music as well, setting the mood for a clean, productive, inspiring work space.
3) Set up a work board.
I am a very visual person and need to be able to look at the projects I’m working on. If you are similar it can be useful to set up a big white board, chalk board, or cork board and divide it into columns for each of your projects. Under each column, write down what stage of development the project is in right now, the tasks that need to be completed, ideas, and short and long-term goals. I like to leave space to put creative images under each one as well, so it acts as a functional work flow board and source of inspiration/mood board. Everyone’s brains work differently, so create a layout and work flow that works best for you and try to adhere to that.
4) Dress for work.
If you are working from home and you don’t HAVE to get out of your PJ’s, it can be tempting to stay in them…but don’t! Instead shower, get dressed and get ready for work like you would if you were going to the office (sans the dress code) in something comfortable. I feel like it helps with my productivity (and self respect haha) to get dressed!
5) Take breaks.
Go for a walk to get your blood flow going and stretch out any tension you might be carrying in your body. I also like to put the kettle on to make a tea and do some stretches while the water boils.
6) Be aware of distractions at home and find a way to avoid them.
Turn off notifications on your phone, set boundaries for only checking social media/non-work websites at specific times. If you get a personal call during your set work hours, don’t take it until you finish your work.
8) Take yourself and your work seriously.
If you don’t believe in your work, no one else will. Whenever a doubt enters my mind, I try to notice it and reinforce it with a positive encouraging affirmation. Trust yourself and follow through until it’s done. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the way and try not to focus too much on making it perfect—you can edit or change things down the road. When I hit a road block or lose motivation, I try to think about what inspired me to start the project in the first place. What was it I wanted to say? Remember to go easy on yourself and celebrate the little things you accomplish each day.
9) Have someone you check in with.
A business partner, friend, family member, life coach, therapist—anyone who you trust. Lots of times we tell ourselves we’re going to accomplish something but don’t tell anyone else because we fear we might not succeed or follow through with it. Having someone as a sounding board or support system can encourage you to be accountable and keep you feeling motivated.
Sending productive vibes!