[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Morning Routine Hacks When You Work from Home
We’re starting to welcome the new normal but the pandemic has changed our morning routine hacks. We have all had to adjust to new ways of living and getting things done. Not only digitally, but many of us are working remotely, starting a home business, or doing freelance work. Everything can be done from home!
If you’re new to work-from-home life, you might find that you struggle to get organized and energized for the day. The good news is that you now have the option to create a brand new morning routine for work that sets you up for a successful and productive day.
Here are 15 morning routines from me to you – that will help you put together the perfect work-from-home routine.
Start the night before
I usually go to bed around 9 or 10 pm now. If you have kids, the more you can do the evening before, the less you’ll have to face in the already-hectic morning. Lay out your clothes for the next day, make sure your workspace is prepped, pack backpacks, and prepared your kids’ school clothes the night before can go a long way in making your morning smoother.
Wake up early
While it’s important to get to know your own natural body clock and what works best for you, waking up earlier can help you accomplish everything you need to get down before work. Many of the most successful people in the world wake up earlier than the average person. Set a recurring alarm and give yourself enough time to go through a morning routine before the workday begins.
I wake up around 7 am and as someone who works from home, it might be tempting to sleep in until the last possible minute since you don’t have to worry about a commute. However, sleeping in will also likely leave you unprepared for work.
Make your bed
I notice that I’m the opposite of my mom. I make my bed after waking up while she will do it after finishing the household chores. I like to see my bed tidy and clean before leaving my bedroom. It’s such an easy way to start your day with a win.
Drink some water
I don’t drink coffee in the morning. I always fill up my water bottle the night before because I have had a habit to drink in the middle of the night since I was a kid. As you’ve been sleeping, your body has been fasting. Before everything, make sure you drink some water first. Hydrating early in the day will help you to avoid fatigue later on.
Move your body
Not everyone has the time, energy, or desire to exercise first thing in the morning. However, it does feel good to move a little bit before you sit down to work. If possible, try to get outside for a few minutes in the morning. Take a few minutes to stretch or go for a quick walk. I bring my dogs for a walk every morning and evening. This is a good way to get your blood flowing so you can feel a little less stiff and a little more alert.
Do some chores around the house
Set aside some time for household chores after moving your body at the beginning of each day. After getting outside, I sweep and mop the house before feeding my dogs. This can help you to get focused and not have to worry about tidying up while you are working. Set a timer to avoid getting carried away. Do what you can in the time you have, then stop.
Anyone who works from home has fallen into the trap of procrastinating. Before you know it, it’s three hours later and you have to rush to get your task done. Take some time to “get ready” for the day before you start working. Take a shower, style your hair, and apply makeup if you typically wear it. You don’t need to put together a glamorous look just to work at home, but spending a few minutes on yourself will help to put you in the right mindset.
Wear real clothes
One of the many benefits of working from home is being able to wear whatever you want, including pajamas. But one of the best morning routines for freelancers is to actually wear “real clothes”. Dressing in “real clothes” can help you feel ready to tackle the workday and feel more professional.
Instead of staying in your pajamas all day, change into a new outfit. It doesn’t mean you have to wear clothes that you would wear to a regular office job, but you can change into something fairly casual and see that it does for your productivity.
Have a healthy breakfast
I used to skip my breakfast as a college student. After started working in the office, I regularly have breakfast around 8 am. If you’re working from home, it might be tempting to skip breakfast and jump straight into work. Eating a nutritious meal first thing in the morning can help to balance your blood sugar, though, and set you up to make healthier choices all day long. If you’re not a fan of breakfast, have your tea, lemon water, smoothie, or whatever you like, but make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Set up your workspace
Do you ever find yourself scrambling around the house looking for things throughout the workday?
To avoid these situations, spend some time setting up your workspace each morning. Gather all the supplies you’ll need for the day and tidy up so things like notes and important papers are easy to find.
Set 3-5 goals to accomplish that day
Before you begin working, sit down and write out some goals for the day. Go over your to-do list and give yourself 3-5 realistic goals you want to accomplish that day.
Whatever your goals are, put them in writing. Then, place the paper somewhere that’s easy to see as you go about your workday. This will help you remember what you’re working toward and will keep you in the right mindset, even when things get difficult.
Prioritize your tasks
For me, there are usually a couple of tasks that keep getting postponed. Mostly, there are small tasks that I easily forgot to complete. Speaking of forgetting important things, make sure you’re prioritizing your to-do list, too. When I have a transcription project, I’ll make sure to work on it first in the morning before diving into the blogging tasks. This will help you avoid spending too much time on smaller tasks and will make it easier to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Close all irrelevant tabs
I don’t enjoy seeing many tabs on my computer. When working on my translation projects, I limit the tabs for the client’s software or my own translation tool, an online dictionary, and one tab for references. When writing on my blog, I only need to open one tab: WordPress.
The practice of keeping a bunch of tabs open nudges you to jump back and forth between a lot of things and can easily distract you. For example, if I’m going to engage on Twitter then I just need to open a tab for Twitter only, no Instagram, no WordPress, or any new tabs.
Set up a perfect playlist for intense focus
I prefer to work while listening to a calm melody like piano or guitar (thanks to Spotify for that!). Some people like to work in complete silence, so they put on noise-canceling headphones to escape their surroundings.
Set your working hours and establish boundaries
Unlike office workers, a freelancer does not have to stick with 9 – 5 working hours. However, they do have to alight with their most productive times of the day and suit the desired work-life balance. If you work from home, make sure you’re establishing boundaries for the workday with your family. Let them know your work schedule and how important it is for you to be left alone at the workstation. This will minimize interruptions so you can stay focused and productive.
The above routines might not always work for those of you who have families to take care of so just remember to create a morning routine hacks that works best for you. You might not be able to overhaul everything all at once, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Take a look at your morning routine and see what areas are a constant source of frustration for you and if a little change might help. Those little things—like eating a healthy breakfast—might just be the small change you need to improve your mornings. The more you repeat your routine, the easier and more habitual it’ll become.
What’s your morning routine look like when you’re working from home? I’d like to know yours and perhaps, I could add it to my routine as well!