1. Being productive while working from home
I’ve gotten this question a lot lately and I’m not sure I feel the best to answer it since I’m certainly not the guru at working from home. But I have made a lot of mistakes over the years running an online business & private practice and through those mistakes I’ve learned what actually works and doesn’t work for me. This is what works for me, so if it resonates for you – great! But know there are many ways to organize your days so you feel focused and purposeful in your work instead of lost and frustrated. Not everyday is a productivity win, but overall I feel like I’m in a good place. Here’s a few things that have helped me most.
- Boundaries with email – I check email for about 10 minutes three times a day – in the morning, after lunch and before I wrap up in the evening. That’s it. Most days I stick to that. I love the Elle and Co. blog for business tips and after reading her post on keeping your inbox at zero I’ve implemented that system and never looked back. Having Connie manage the [email protected] inbox has been a HUGE time saver as well. Email is sneaky because it makes us “feel” productive, but it actually doesn’t help accomplish goals.
- Tucking my phone away – My phone doesn’t stay near me, it’s in another room when I’m working. I’ll check my phone a small handful of times throughout the day, but it’s not on me all day. I find that heavily distracting. Whether it’s seeing a text come through or having a knee-jerk reaction to check social media because I’m procrastinating work…having my phone around isn’t helpful. I typically check my phone when I check email and give myself 10ish minutes to check in on social media and answer any urgent texts (aka texts from therapists/physicians, urgent client texts, etc) If I’m walking somewhere I’ll briefly check my phone and answer texts, but overall I respond to personal texts after work hours.
- Plan out the next day the night before – before I wrap up in the evening (around 6:30ish usually, I look at my planner and my Google calendar and loosely plan out the next day. I’m a rhythm person not a routine person so it’s loose. I choose my top three things I want to get done the next day and set aside time outside of client calls to get those things done. Anything over that top three is a bonus. Planning my days the night before makes it so when I wake up, I’m not trying to figure out what I need to do that day, I already know.
I am certainly not a type A, super organized person – that would be nice some days 🙂 But I hope these tips are helpful. I’m happy to expand on this if you more questions – leave them in the comments!
2. Enjoy Where You Are Now
I pinned this quote above last week. With all the change happening this year I’m finding myself wanting to race ahead. I also have all these ideas about where I want to see the business/practice go and where I’d like to grow as an NP which are all good things….I love to dream! But I’m finding myself thinking about the future and what I hope “will be” versus enjoying and being okay with where I am now. Maybe you’re in recovery from and eating disorder, working through intuitive eating, or learning to tolerate and accept your body. Maybe you’re in a season of career growth or maybe you’re in school wishing you were starting your career. Maybe life feels mundane and unexciting right now and you’re waiting on that next adventure or big change.
Staying present in the here and now is HARD. So I hope this little reminder is helpful. Sometimes, depending on how I’m feeling, I like to replace “enjoy” with “be okay” because it feels more realistic and fitting. Also speaking of Pinterest, we have done a total revamp of our Pinterest, which was long overdue. I cleaned up a bunch of boards, made new boards that I hope serve you and we are adding pins daily. So if you’re looking for some life giving quotes, support in your ED recovery/body image/intuitive eating journey, easy and delicious recipes, hormonal health or other fun things you can check it out here! We’ll continue updating and adding to the boards – my/our goal is to continually provide resources to help you (and me) live a better life.
3. Meal Plan for This Week
I very loosely “meal plan” – anything more than what I do now feels stressful and not fun. This week for lunches I made a big pot of this corn chowder since summer is winding down and the weather is cooling off. It’s a version that’s less rich than traditional chowder because although I love corn chowder, I’ve learned that richer, denser lunches can take a hit on my motivation to work in the afternoon. This version looks super tasty and something that will likely keep me feeling good – mentally and physically – all week. The one change I made was adding in some rotisserie chicken to make it more of a meal and we’ll eat it with a simple salad…and by that I mean throwing mixed greens into a bowl and drizzling with olive oil and vinegar.
For dinners this week, we made a batch of these Thai turkey meatballs. This is a recipe I found a while ago on Pinterest and they are so good. And they freeze really well too. Eat them over rice (I prefer that) or any other grain you like. Noodles would be awesome too. We’re eating them with rice and sautéed greens, but roasted broccoli would also be tasty! Also if you’re interested, here’s a post on meal planning and intuitive eating that I hope you find helpful. I don’t spend more than 45 minutes to an hour in the kitchen on Sunday or Monday cooking for the week because I don’t like to. So cheers to delicious and satisfying food with minimal effort!
4. Cycling App
I’ve had some pelvic/pubic bone pain lately so have had to take a break from long walks and other forms of movement that create impact. I loathe spin classes, but biking I enjoy – preferably outside, although biking outside isn’t realistic right now. Lately, I’ve been enjoying getting on the stationary bike a few times a week and listening to a short podcast. But after a while, I got bored of that and wanted to mix it up a bit. I found this app called CycleCast and love it! I’ve found (so far) that the instructors aren’t annoying (yelling isn’t my jam) and there is zero talk about calories, toning up, and stuff like that. I haven’t listened to every class, but so far I’m into it and appreciate the absence of diet talk. I find anything over 30 minutes too long to cycle – a spin class that lasts 45-60 minutes feels too long for me. So I love that the app offers 20 minute and 30 minute options – perfect amount of time for me and a fun way to take a break from work. I don’t enjoy spin classes, but I am really liking this app and it’s been a good way for me to find movement that I do enjoy when options I have found enjoyable in the past aren’t options right now.
Happy Monday! Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments!
emily vardy says
I definitely do not think I’d have the self-discipline to work and home and actually get anything done…I’m way too easily distracted!
I have friends that feel the same way!
Staying in the present is so hard! Thank you for the reminder, Robyn. Have a great week!
Have a wonderful week too Julie!
I’m a lot like you, I work from home & need just enough structure to keep me on track & motivitated but not so much that I get overwhelmed (: Love the glimps into what it looks like for you!!
I hear you Jen – I feel the same way!
Hey Robyn, I don’t think the Thai turkey meatballs linked. Would you mind linking it? I would love to make it!
Oops! It’s linked now – enjoy!
Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says
Loved so many things in this post! I seriously need to put my phone away when trying to work on something…it gets so distracting!
I also really resonate with point #2…the biggest life lesson I’ve learned over this past year is to be present in the moment instead of always looking to the future (which I always tend to do!).
It was so hard to make the switch to less phone but I feel SO much more calm and less stressed
Emily Swanson says
Ok that’s super cool that you found a cycling app that enables you to do classes on your own. I personally love working out on my own and an occasional with someone. Also I appreciate what you said about boundaries with phone and email; the more I’ve been intentional about that the more I’ve found that I’m able to focus and be productive and less scattered or anxious.
It’s certainly takes more discipline to be more intentional but it makes such a difference – glad you’re experiencing that for yourself Emily!
I’ve been wanting to implement a better, organized routine with my schedule and my blogging. What wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing!
I hope you find them helpful Emily!