How are you hanging in and navigating the coronavirus quarantine, babe?
Working from home is just one new challenge you may be working through right now. Totally understandable. Basically overnight, a LOT of people went from workin' 9-5 to an all-out free for all, like going buck wild during summer vacation back in the day! Late nights! Sleepovers! Sleeping in! What day is it?!
But now, we are adults.... so there's booze, snacks, Netflix, and weed (in legal states, of course!). Which is pretty damn awesome ....but also, your own private Temptation Island. Yikes!
If you're trying to get into a work from home groove but can't seem to get it right, it's all good. It's a work-in-progress!
Hopefully this topic isn't too rando to read on a sex toy website! But what gives US pleasure is helping you live your best life - so much that we created the Quarantine Self-Care Series, which you can read here! It's all for you. <3
An *ideal* scenario (aka my 'perfect day') looks like this - but feel free to take what really clicks with your lifestyle, and omit the rest.
Buckle up and settle down- this is a lot to sift through!
My name is Casey -- I'm the Marketing Gal here at Rock Candy, and have worked at home for about 10 years.
Sticking to a routine is hard some days - there are soooo many distractions that want to yank us in different directions. But when I follow this formula and commit to staying focused, I feel really, really good. And that reflects in other areas of my life and general mindset.
Disclaimer - am I still a hot mess from time to time? Um, yes. I have a tendency of falling back into old patterns, which feels like a broken record of self-defeating thoughts in my head. Anyone else feel the same? Bueller?
It takes continuous effort- day by day, hour by hour - to stay on track. Accepting this was huge - because we stop beating ourselves up over derailing. I know that I am not a lost cause, and there is no need to ask for 'forgiveness' from yourself or anyone else.
Luckily, there is another day to try again/get it right...and another after that.
I hope that by sharing these specific work from home tips, you are inspired to try something new, or leave with some hopefulness.
Benefits of locking in a daily work from home schedule:
*Discover ways to boost happiness, peace and pleasure
*Build an arsenal of tips to help you function efficiently
*Stock your PMA (positive mental attitude) toolbox with resources you can reach for in an instant, anytime
*Showing up for yourself allows you to operate at your highest level. Yas!
*Push through resistance, mental blocks, work through self-doubt! (And isn't that the purpose of life?! We tend to believe so.)
Are circumstances less than ideal during the coronavirus pandemic right now? Hell yes! Butttttt in the depths of overwhelm, the opportunity to uplevel does exist.
How to create a work from home routine, here we go!
SURPRISE! START THE NIGHT BEFORE.
If you are feeling like your work from home habits (or productivity habits) are stuck, and that you'll never change/figure it out, know that you can change your habits. Are you resistant AF to change for one reason or another (fear of change, fear of success, etc.)? Need to bust out the big guns? Ready to commit to being your most productive self during the week? Start the night before. This is such an amazing opportunity to improve our quality of life, to step up in a scary, uncertain time and develop an unshakeable sense of accomplishment.
1. SET YOUR BEDTIME
There are SO many temptations that working from home opens the door to - f*cking around and not going to bed until 2am is HIGH on that list. Set. A. Bedtime! and stick to it every night. (Weekends exempt.) Consistency is key when implementing positive habits. How committed are you? Some food for thought.
2. STOP, DROP, DISCONNECT
Get a wind-down routine in place an hour before bed (45 minutes or more works too). Put your phone away and don't look at it until tomorrow morning (*after mindfulness* - more on that later)! If you can, turn off the TV and read a book! Do your skincare routine. It is so, so important to practice self-care right now - and that doesn't always mean super fun stuff (!) - it can mean refilling your pill container with your vitamins & meds for the week. Packing your lunch and bagging up handy snacks. Setting up your coffee maker so it's ready to go in the AM. Clearing the clothes pile on top of your dresser.
(Ever feel like your surroundings are a reflection of the chaos in your head? Chip away at it. One thing at a time- so if that means committing to putting just one article of clothing or random item in its right place each night, that is okay. Every step matters. You're doing awesome.)
3. WRITE IT OUT
Grab your journal and braindump the things that may be giving you anxiety. Or simply jot down some tasks you want to get done tomorrow. Doing this helps an overworked brain to take a much-deserved load off, and enhances the quality of our sleep.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR WORKSPACE
Keep only what you need on your desk/table, clutter and distraction free.
This is when we have to re-create our office like we aren't at home.
PLEASE NOTE: Fake it 'til you make it 150% applies here!
Keep it stimulating. Soft light? A pink lightbulb? Essential oil diffuser? A plant friend? Outside workstation? Whatever keeps your productivity flowing. Just avoid your bed at all costs! And the couch too. RESIST TEMPTATION TO OPEN NETFLIX and resume your marathon from the night before.
We suggest making a few Spotify playlists that keep you energized throughout the day. Morning Mix, Afternoon Mix, Chill Mix, etc. *Or* create a shared playlist with a group of your girls and let everyone contribute. (Thank you Jenn, for starting ours!)
PS - DJ Angie Vee goes live on IG every day at noon PST, spinning hip hop and 90s jams (with outfits to match!). TBH, we really love the creativity & community vibes that this dumb quarantine has unleashed. Things like this remind us that we are all in this together.
DAY-OF! Alarm goes off: wakey wakey!
Whether you're a 'hop out of bed and get to it!' type, or the 'hit snooze for 2 hours' type - that's your jam and we get it. Whatever allows your body to feel the best, do it. But - we do suggest getting up 1-2 hours early so you have allll of the time to relax and get your mind right before starting your day. (Official tip from my doctor, too!) When you wake up, know *in advance* how much time you plan to designate to AM self-care (before physically getting out of bed.)
Do not check your cell phone!! This may be one of the biggest challenges because we are basically programmed to do it. But by jumping on it, it kicks us into OMGSOMANYEMAILS // MUSTRESPONDTOTEXTSASAP and then it's 30 minutes later and you're down an Instagram rabbit hole and/or frazzled because work is waiting. Just. (And we can't stress this enough.) Say. No!
Give yourself at least10 minutes (or more) to do one (or all!) of the following:
Look, I'm not the silent meditation type. It freaks me out, truth be told. Quick, guided meditations work best (for beginners especially). It's about making this as easy as possible on yourself so that a routine doesn't feel like another job. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Even if you close your eyes and ask 'what am I supposed to create today?' - that's cool!
B. Read a few pages of a book that makes your brain smile. The point, aside from not jumping straight into work mode - is getting in the habit of putting yourself first. Love Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein!
The womb is the center of ACTUAL, PHYSICAL CREATION. Orgasmic energy is creative energy. If you have a creative job ...or you're determined to have the best morning ever....have an orgasm.
Free write whatever comes to mind whether that is unloading worrisome thoughts, or focusing on the positive.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Why? Being thankful for the things works like a magnet. It alleviates mental stress. If you are having trouble finding things to be thankful for, that is okay. But do push yourself to fight internal resistance and list one. On tough days, look for the little, overlooked things...like having a full bottle of shampoo in the shower for example.
Up and at 'em! Once you get out of bed...
1. MAKE YOUR BED.
This reminds us to STOP. DON'T RUSH. Work will be there. You have the permission to do what you need to be your most productive. Your boss and co-workers will see the quality of your output either way; take personal time so that you're motivated and in a good headspace to work through whatever shows up.
Also, get out of bed! Don't bring your laptop in there! The bedroom is a stimulus for sleep and rest, so your brain will want to stay in a haze as long as you're there.
3. GET READY
Routine, routine, routine. *Just like you're going to work.*
Because you are; your environment is the only thing that's changed.
This is THEEEE most difficult thing to stay diligent about because it's really tempting to stay in pajamas -or work without a bra and/or pants, right? THE FREEDOM! We get it- that's what Pantsless Fridays are for! (Just made that up, run with it.)
Anyways, shower. wash\style your hair. Do the makeup thing. Point being: do the things that make you feel good/confident/presentable. This is what makes days feel like ACTUAL days, and not just one big run-on sentence.
4. GET SITUATED
Grab your coffee/tea. Grab your task list and everything you need to stay focused and get comfortable.
NOW: PUT YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE OR DO NOT DISTURB.
>>>>THIS IS A BIGG'N!<<<<
Make peace with the fact that you won't be looking at your phone for at least 25 minutes at a time. Tell whomever you need to that you'll get back to them soon. We are eliminating ALL possible distractions, for the love of all things holy.
This technique totally changed the structure of my day.
What it is: batching tasks in 25-minute chunks. Look at your list, prioritize time-sensitive items, and designate 25 minutes (or more) for each.
Why: Prevents your brain from sinking into the void mid-task. Decreases temptation to grab your phone and binge on memes. Makes a big scary task feel more feasible.
"The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks."
(Actual photo below!)
The better you get at this, the longer you can go. On a good day, I will set the timer for 45 minutes and take a 10-15 minute break.
In this case, I started writing this blog at 11am and it is currently 5:34pm!!!!
What I did right: FOCUSED LIKE A M'FR. Took ONE 5 minute stretch break. Used some toner to refresh my face.
What I did "wrong": Haven't taken a break to eat. I'm about an hour from being hangry and burned out. AND everything else on my list got pushed back.
Solution for next time: Realize that NOT EVERYTHING needs to be said in a blog, and stop when you need to! (Very difficult for me.)
6. STICK TO SET HOURS
Staying on task during the day will prevent you from working past 5 or 6pm, which is pretty easy to do. And that's when we enter the danger zone - letting work bleed into our regular life. Had I wrapped this blog up four hours ago, I wouldn't have to stay late to finish the other tasks on my list. Ask yourself, "would I still be at work right now?" - and keep the opposite in mind as well. "Would I do dishes or laundry if I was working right now?" Nope. Treat your space exactly as if you're clocking in and out every day. Your mental health (and partner, if you're shacked up) will thank you immensely.
See? Work-in-progress. I'm doing what I need to do. I've stayed in a creative flow for hours. It's going to be okay.
(See *IRL* photo below)
If you only take one productivity tip from this, let it be the Pomodoro Method! It really is a productivity game changer.
10-15 minutes each after your 25-minute intervals. The timer on your phone (or a kitchen timer) is your new BFF.
Learn it. Live it. Love it.
-Move ya body! Go outside for a walk around the block. Lay on your bed, or a mat and stretch! Sitting all day cramps up the spine and shoulders - the less we stretch, the more discomfort we experience (which hinders productivity)
-Snack it out! (Favorites: trail mix, cheese cubes, tuna salad w/crackers, cucumbers with lemon & salt)
-Splash some cold water on your neck/face
-Jump in a free online workout class. We adore Kadee Sweeney - she offers free barre bootcamp, stillness stretch and pilates multiple times throughout the week.
-EFT aka 'Emotional Freedom Techniques": Tapping for midday anxiety. Procrastination. Literally anything. Read more about the powerful benefits of EFT here.
-Go give your partner a hug! Mmmmmmmmmm oxytocin!
-Indulge in social media: Okay, okay we get it! Social media is life force for some. Just set a timer for 10 minutes - you have noooo idea how quickly 15 minutes goes by (maybe you do) until all of a sudden it's 4pm and 'well shit, I got nothing done today. Awesome."
Even if you are only half as productive at home as you are at work...it's basically the same as being in an office. Think of the small breaks, chatting w/co-workers and meetings M-F. Easily 35-40% of your day if not more.
Can you guess how many hours the average work-from-home employee ACTUALLY works? This is guaranteed to make you feel better. Find out here.
Start the night before
Live and die by the timer
Remove the unhealthy distractions (Listen to your gut. You know what these are.)
Track your progress- what works, what didn't
Take it one hour at a time, day by day
Go easy on yourself
-Keep a water bottle next to you ALWAYS. If you are tempted to look at your phone, take a sip! (A fun game that will have you running to pee all day)
-Invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Especially if you're in tight living quarters and your partner wants to watch TV/etc.
-If you have a separate office to work in, close the door and (sorry bbs!) keep the fur babies out of your room. (I say this because of constant interruption by cats who have no concept of personal space.)
-Remember to relax your shoulders! Take a breath. Identify the places you're holding tension and let it go.
From The Pattern today:
"Try not to judge yourself for not setting intentions, for not carrying them through, or for experiencing a different outcome than you expected. Right now, focus on the expanded awareness you have. There will be other times when you can implement the actions that you now know are worth taking."
Rock Candy & Casey