Working from Home
Hello friends! This is my first blog post EVER, and I'm excited to be writing right now! I think everyone is in the same boat - spending more time at home by necessity. It seems like several of you are finding ways to entertain your family, care for your home, and maybe even make some new traditions. All of your efforts to find joy right now are inspirational to me! I wanted to do my part to inspire and stay connected by beginning this blog and promising to stay in touch. I hope it brings some inspiration (or just a moment of fun!) to you when you need it.
I've been working from home for almost four years now, so for the most part I've found my rhythm in going from work to lounge and everything in between all within my apartment. My art studio has been a section of my home for all this time but has evolved from a messy corner to something more practically incorporated into my space. So for this first blog post, I wanted to share with you how I do "at home" by giving you some of the techniques that have worked for me.
Going from an office five days a week with lots of people and activity around me along with a long commute to a quiet apartment by myself was a shocking change. One of the hardest things was waking up and just walking from the bedroom or kitchen to the studio to get into "work mode." I immediately missed a commute (which I didn't think was possible) for its ability to transition me from home to work. I realized I was preparing myself mentally for my day as I listened to NPR and drank coffee and watched the early morning sun driving into the office each day. The same was true of the evening commute preparing me to be back home, cook dinner, walk my dog Lu, and just unwind. Even in an office, there was a way I went from one task to the next that made me transition mentally to what I needed to accomplish.
At home, mental cues can be more subtle but just effective especially with practice. Typically my "cues" are accompanied by a physical action. In the morning, I make coffee (pour myself a cup of ambition as Dolly says!), walk Lucy, and sometimes turn on the BBC WorldNews podcast. I start by checking emails as I fuel up on breakfast and caffeine and then I start painting. But the very first thing I do when I wake up is change my clothes. Somehow this super simple task is one of the biggest cues to "time to start your day!" Maybe it's all the years of watching cartoons in pajamas and how that meant you got to eat cereal on the couch and relax all day. At the end of the day, cleaning up my brushes, paints, and even putting away the computer helps me to re envision my space as a home I relax in. Moving furniture to do home yoga and prepping for dinner are other cues that tell my mind and body it is time to transition out of work mode. My point is finding an action item to cue yourself into the next task can - with practice - help you to move from one thing to the next.
I hope you find at least one physical move that helps you mentally cue yourself from one thing to another. This is a super helpful skill to help you when you are doing multiple things in a single space. Practicing these actions have helped me to focus, relax, and energize while working from home.
BUT the other essential thing I lost when going from a busy office to a quiet home office was PEOPLE! And that was something you have to (especially now) get creative with. I have found that phone calls, emails, and coffee meetings help with at home monotony. Since in person meetings are out, try a FaceTime meeting! I begrudgingly did one the other day and it made me feel sooo much better and connected - which is the point! So make a call, send a letter, try a virtual meeting, and enjoy the sunshine.
Take care everyone :)
"True life is lived when tiny changes occur."
- Leo Tolstoy
My very favorite home yoga practice is Yoga with Adriene. I have been doing it for years and find it especially helpful right now. You can select a practice by length or area of your mind or body you would like to focus on. I also highly recommend the 30 day practices which are released in January each year.