1 May 2020

How To Keep A Routine When Working From Home

How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog

It's been 6 weeks since lockdown began in the UK and we all created our own worlds at home. Through this very strange time for most, those working from home day to day (entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers, bloggers) were the quickest to bounce into a routine because we're already used to working from home and eliminating distractions to maximise productivity at home.
I have been working for myself for over 3 years now and every single day is more productive when I work from home. There are no distractions you get in in your typical office or studio which include small talk with coworkers about topics you really don't care that much about; loss of concentration and time; your daily projects quickly shifting or being changed by your manager which means you're constantly chasing your tail. There is no 'mute' button in an office, whereas at home you are in control of the time you have. I invoice my clients for the amount of time I spend on their projects so for me every minute counts. As well as working to tight deadlines and many of them, I simply wouldn't have the time to waste. Please read this as my personal experience, I know some people absolutely LOVE the office environment and thrive in it, but not me. I also always felt like the lights in the office gave me a migraine and I spent most of my time avoiding being in the actual studio just to stop the headaches developing.

How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog

At home I have created my ideal working environment. And trust me it was months of trial and error from setting up my table just like my studio desk when I worked for a creative studio; to working from the sofa whilst watching films in the background; to having days working under the duvet on my bed; and finally purchasing a functioning desk to set up with how I personally feel the most creative and energised to do produce my best work.

Some of my desk essentials include fresh flowers, a lit candle (I'm a fire sign so having a burning flame calms and energises me at the same time!), a fresh coffee or herbal tea, and crystals to channel the energy I need to feel that day. My current crystal is labradorite which encourages courtesy and full attention to my clients, full focus on business, and lessens any negative emotions like anxiety. In my opinion having an inspiring workspace is so important to productivity! Would you agree?

How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
what I'm wearing: dress* FemmeLuxe // jewellery* Reborn Jewellery // belt River Island

My desk is something I look forward to getting to every morning because it's a space I love. I start my routine by waking up to my alarm which goes off at 5:30am and then I hit snooze for 30 min drifting in and out of sleep before I finally get up at 6am. I know this isn't the best habit but I do reach for my phone and have a quick snoop at what's happening before I head to the bathroom and dressing room to get ready for the day ahead.

Downstairs I'm greeted by a snoozy sprollie puppy who is quickly eager to get outside and have a play with her ball as well as with her doggy pals. The morning dog walks wake me up and energise me for the day ahead - I won't lie when it's wet and cold it's certainly not as pleasant but refreshing none the less! When we come back, Jessy has her breakfast and I prep my coffee and a small bite to eat before sitting down at my desk for the day.

The first thing I do is check emails and social media messages before cracking on with the to-do list for the day. I split my routine into 2 halves:

8:30am-12noon Morning work
12noon - 1pm Lunch
1pm - 5:30pm Afternoon work
6pm - Cut off for the day unless previously agreed for a project

Having a cut off point is so important because it's too easy to carry on working and ignore much needed breaks. I ensure I take regular breaks to go and make a coffee, let the puppy out, and just give my eyes a break for a moment or two in between projects. As a serial overworker and someone who has experienced serious burnout twice I no longer compromise on my wellbeing vs business. You can read about my first experience with burnout here.

How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog
How to keep a productive routine working from home | Dalry Rose Lifestyle Blog

Here are my 5 top tips on how to keep a routine when working from home:

1. Stick to a routine when you wake up and when you go to bed. Strangely since lockdown my routine is amazing - I feel tired by 10pm and go straight to sleep; and I wake up fresh as a daisy at 6am! I no longer feel like I even want a lay in, even on the weekends!

2. Create a working space that inspires you. Whatever works for you - there's no judgement when you work from home. Some people produce their best work when they're dressed up and sat at a desk; and some work better in loungewear with a messy bun sat on their bed. I'm definitely a mix of two depending on moods and also time of the month!

3. Take regular breaks. As tempting as it is to try and get through as much as possible without taking a break, your concentration will break and you won't produce quality work. Quality over quantity every day and I won't be taking anything else as the truth!

4. Spend some time outside whether it is before work, on lunch, or after. Connecting with nature and the outside world is so important for your body and your mind. After a day working away there's nothing better than recharging your batteries outside on a walk!

5. Have a cut off point. Whatever that time is, be strict with yourself to say "that's enough for the day" and turn everything off. This is so important for you to come back to work the next day feeling refreshed and ready; instead of feeling tired and resentful. I will always remember what one of my directors said to me at my last creative agency - "You're not a heart surgeon. No one is going to die if a project is late, or if you're taking a break." and I remind myself this on a daily basis to keep my sanity.

I'm really excited for the future as I feel more people will begin working from home following the lockdown which has forced us to develop healthier and more productive habits! The impact commuting has on the environment, plus the amount of wasted resources which go into running busy offices can be greatly reduced by having less 'office' workers and switching to remote working, and I honestly believe productivity increases!
What helps you stay productive? Do you love working from home or find it hard to focus?


*This post includes gifted items in partnership with FemmeLuxe. All views are my own.
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