Notes on my work-from-home routine
I’ve been working from home full-time for the past six months or so, and full confession: I love it! Although I did it in small doses in New York City (once a week when I worked at ONA, and then sporadically at Vimeo and Gimlet), this is my first time being totally remote AND being far away from my team. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I also feel like it’s a really nice fit for me: I’m good at managing my own time and priorities, I actually get a lot more work done without being distracted by office chatter, and not having a commute basically gives me two glorious hours back in the day. And I can spend more time with my pug!
Highly recommend this article if you’re looking for some excellent advice and insight on how to work from home, but also wanted to share a few of the things that have worked well for me as I’ve settled in this WFH life.
My usual schedule
I usually wake up between 6:30 and 6:45am, take a quick shower, and then meditate for 20 minutes. Between 7 and 7:30am, I take Gertie on a walk to Balboa Park while listening to The Daily. I try not to check emails or texts while I’m on my walk, but it’s nice to get a quick sense of the big headlines in the world–my phone is kept on airplane mode from about an hour before I go to bed. When I come back, I have a glass of water with apple cider vinegar and then a bowl of overnight oats (I usually make a variation on this recipe every night, and top it with sliced banana and flax seed).
I try to be at my desk with a cup of coffee by 8am, although I usually check Slack and email when I come back from my walk to make sure that there’s nothing that needs urgent attention. I check my to-do list for the day (I usually write out the next day’s priorities before going to bed) and then start tackling the top items on my list. I take a break around noon to take Gert for a walk around the block and make lunch, which is usually some variation of avocado toast with scrambled eggs (having eggs for lunch is one of my greatest WFH joys).
I get back to work after lunch, and then I usually head out around 3pm to do a workout class, run some errands or just generally take a screen break. In the evenings, I keep an eye on emails to make sure nothing urgent comes in, but that’s usually when I focus on blog work (writing and scheduling posts, editing and uploading photos, answering emails, etc.) while sitting on the couch with my laptop. Around 9 or 10pm, I close my laptop, make sure the kitchen is straightened and then head upstairs to take off my makeup, have a cup of tea and read my book in bed (aka my sleep routine!).
Honestly, having a separate and dedicated home office feels like the greatest luxury of living in San Diego. It has made it SO much easier to be productive when working from home. I used to always be perched with my laptop on the couch or the bed, and having a place where I can a) sit up straight and b) use an actual keyboard and mouse and monitor has worked wonders.
Our desk is an Ikea hack (originally inspired by this and this!): we each have one of these drawer units (that provide a surprising amount of storage) and these oversized tabletops, and our printer is balanced on this trestle.
David loves all of the gadgets, so he’s leaned into making our office all sorts of tech-savvy. I especially love the wireless charging pad to charge my phone easily and within eyesight, the two Sonos speakers (out of a total of five in our house, which I find a little ridiculous but also I use them all sooooo no complaints), this giant monitor that makes it much more pleasant to stare at Excel sheets all day, and my keyboard that is legit powered by the SUN.
And in terms of decor, I try to keep my desk pretty organized and streamlined–but I love being surrounded by books and plants (no surprises there!). I especially love my Ideal Bookshelf print: I chose the Girl Star one, that features classic with an amazing girl as the protagonist. I read most of them as a kid (A Little Princess was my favorite!), and I have several of my original childhood editions stacked on my desk. I’m also obsessed with my Le Labo candle: it’s a splurge, but I usually burn it as a treat whenever I have to hunker down and get some writing done. It’s a good motivator! A few other things that are always on my desk: my .bando planner, my Artifact Uprising calendar and a can of coconut LaCroix (the best IMO!).
My favorite tips and tricks
Switch up the scenery. I don’t love working out of coffee shops, especially since we have a nice, quiet, dedicated space (and I have a husband who makes the best coffee in town). But! We’ve made a pact to do one morning a week at a cafe. It’s a nice change of scenery, and I often get a lot more done if I have an hour (or one latte) and nothing else to distract me. (Also: there are so many cute coffee shops in San Diego, so I need an excuse to check them all out!)
Find time to go outside. I’m so grateful that I have Gert as part of my work-from-home life! She forces me to take a walk outside before I start work, and to take a break from the screens in the middle of the day. But even if you don’t have a pup, taking a walk in the middle of the day can be a great way to get some exercise (especially if you don’t have any commute steps!) and stir up some creativity.
Have a to-do list every day (I’m partial to mine on a yellow tablet), and don’t be afraid to get some of your personal to-do’s done along with your work to-do’s. I feel like I’m being extra productive when I’m doing laundry while answering emails!
Get ready for the day. Even though I admit that I wear Outdoor Voices 90% of the time (aka leggings and tees) and don’t wear makeup nearly as often as I used to, I still shower as soon as I wake up and “get dressed” for the day.
For other people who work from home, do you have any tips or tricks to share?
p.s. our full apartment tour here!