Productive Habits to Build During Your Quarantine.

I've been running my business from home for 5 years.  Even before leaving my job, I worked from home with my previous two employers.   I will never forget the day working from home.  I nearly had a panic attack because I didn't know what to do with myself.

Do I work from morning to night?
Do I clean my house in the middle of the day?
If I had to run an errand, was I stealing time?

Until I had somewhat of a structure in place, I had a lot of anxiety about working from home.   This nationwide quarantine has brought back a ton of memories of the early days of working at home.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I've strayed from a defined structure that supports the very best outcome of working from home.   Now is the perfect time to get back on track.

One of the absolute worst habits I developed over the years is starting work the moment I wake up.  I thought I was doing myself a service by having a jump start to the day. There are so many things wrong with that.  The biggest issue this created was that it caused me to completely eliminate some very necessary morning routines.  I no longer set aside time to meditate, visualize, set intentions, work out, etc.  You probably won't notice the impact of eliminating your "me time" right away but, trust me, there will be consequences.   Use the time that you'd use to commute to work as a time to implement a new morning routine.  You won't regret it.

 The other unfortunate habit that I developed was dressing down while working.  While dressing down to work doesn't seem too bad, it will ruin your life.  If you wear house clothes on a daily basis, it takes a little more effort to "dress up."  You end up wanting to stay home more cause it feels more comfortable.

Dressing up to work from home skyrockets productivity.  It seems like a waste of valuable time to pick outfits only to stay in the house all day. But this simple act has a huge effect on your subconscious.  When you look good, you feel good.  When you feel good, you're motivated to do your best work.

It's also a good idea to create some differentiators between work and personal time.  Working from home blurs that line between which can increase anxiety.  It's a good practice to have a dedicated area in your house to work.  I've worked in almost every area of my house.  Seemed like a good idea at the time but this type of activity leads to laxity in my performance.  If I work from the island in my kitchen, I get up more frequently for snacks. If I work from my living room, I'm tempted to catch up on my favorite shows.  But, after converting a room in my home into a studio/office, I can dedicate focused time to work and, when I step away from that room, I can fully relax and enjoy my home without guilt.

Once you've carved out productive work from home habits, you can now think about creating some habits that enrich your at-home experience.

Even though we're supposed to be practicing social distancing, that doesn't mean that we have to be in the house 100% of the time.  In fact, it's a good idea to venture outside to get a little sunshine during the day.  Vitamin D is a major player in many of our body's functions including boosting our immune system.  Not to mention that going outside and being close to nature is a feel-good experience.   I watched a video that talked about how being outside allows our eyes to have to focus on objects that are far away (in the distance).  By looking at things that are far away, we limit eye strain caused by looking at screens from a short distance.  Not only will walking help keep your weight in check, it'll help your body in ways that you may not even know about.

Over the next few weeks, I'm committing to decluttering on a regular basis.  Decluttering is such a calming activity that comes with high reward.  If you're staying home for the next few weeks, having a decluttered space will make you love being at home.  Trust me on this one.

One thing I'm really excited about during this quarantine is pick up a new skill.  There are so many mini-hobbies that you can pick up over the next few weeks. You can practice cooking dishes that you haven't tried before.  I'm contemplating brushing up on learning a new language.  My dad is 100% fluent in Spanish and I've always wanted to gain a basic vocabulary for when I travel to Spanish speaking countries. 

Another to-do on my list over the next couple weeks is to compile a playlist of makeup tutorials I want to try and play around with my makeup application skills.  The more I work on perfecting my technique, the better I become.  If you want to improve on your braiding skills, or wanted to learn how to slay a certain hairstyle, now's a good time to do it.   

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