When lockdown first kicked in… I thought to myself, ‘Okay, just a few weeks of this— ’round the clock zoom calls, all the quarantine snacks, PJs all day every day, and then we’ll be back normal in no time’. After some time.. I realized I needed a better routine. I wasn’t getting dressed for the day, I didn’t feel productive at all, and it was pure chaos with Bella running around. Some days I wouldn’t even shower (yes, even after very sweaty live workouts), because I would jump into 6-7 hours of back to back calls right after teaching. On top of that I was never really eating regular meals.
1. FILL YOUR OWN CUP
It’s so important to wake up before the emails, work, and household need your attention. Whether it’s to wake up and journal, practice yoga, meditate, workout, walk with your coffee listening to a podcast, or to head out for a quick jog, you’ve gotta fill your own cup before you give to everyone else all day. I always wake up before the house to workout in the Tone It Up App, walk with my coffee, or to write… I’m actually writing right now at my counter with my first coffee of the day. I was never a morning person, but as soon as I made it my routine, it’s now my sacred time.
2. GLOW UP REAL QUICK
There’s a big difference between the me who gets to shower and get ready for the day… and me who is chasing a toddler at 4:30p still in my PJs with my hair in a mom mop. Quarantine wasn’t anything new for moms. We’re used to being stuck at home, not being able shower, being available around the clock, and grabbing anything possible from the kitchen to eat before a zoom call or to save your child running towards a staircase. * literally me every day. As soon as I figured out that I’m a much more productive, happier, pleasant person with my brows and lip color on… with fresh arm pits, I decided that hygiene had to be a priority. For some of you reading, you might be wondering how does one forget to shower, but IYKYK… and it’s not like we forget. It’s that our needs come last. So before you hop on zoom for the day, shower (I actually have to pull Bella in there with me some days), spruce your hair, lather on that vitamin C, and put on your strong brow and power pink lip stick to take on the day. Click here for my every day make up must haves.
3. TOP TO DOS
Make a to-do list before your first meeting. I like to make a long to-do list (I mean, it’s always long, right?), but then I set just 3 top priorities of the day. Sometimes when we have a million little things to do, we never tackle the big to-dos! I’m guilty of procrastinating the most important projects, because I know they need all of my creative energy, so this is a big one for productivity– so that leads us into the next tip…
4. BOSS BOUNDARIES
If we’re always available and we’re always taking care of the little things… then we’re never truly tapping into our creativity and working toward our dreams and achieving our big goals. * insert marketing lingo ‘move the needle’ * So even if you’re at home, make sure to close your office door for certain hours and open it for your ‘open door policy’. Block off time in your calendar for you to get shi* done. An amazing tool that I’m going to start using is calendly (I’ve heard great things). It allows you to share your calendar with everyone with blocks of time that they can ‘book you‘. Try to limit all meetings to 30 minutes or less. This way you can block out productive hours in your calendar for yourself. If you can, turn your phone on airplane mode too. I can’t do this because of Bella, her monitor, and emergency calls, but if you can for this, it helps!
Bonus tip.. set alarms before your day starts for important zoom calls. I had to start doing this, because all of my calls run over and I miss others. Calendar alerts just aren’t loud enough when you’re deep in conversation in another meeting.
5. BATCH TASKS
This is a simple one that I had to learn how to do well… batch your tasks. For example, set three times during the day that you: check emails and respond in bulk, check DMs on Instagram (this is part of my job, so I do this), respond to texts, and send voice-notes in response to people. Voice notes can be much more productive than long drawn-out phone calls. That way each person can reply when they are available than playing phone tag.
6. DECIDE + DELEGATE
Is it really productive for you to be key-wording your posts, checking for typos in documents, or creating a deck? Maybe it is… but for me, I know my strengths (and I’m still getting to know them) and I also know my weaknesses. If you’re able to delegate, it can make you so much more productive, because your energy is on the things that you do BEST! If you don’t have employees, there are a lot of young and hungry interns that would love to work and learn from someone like you! If you’re at a company where you’re not the deciding factor on new hires, put together a job description for an intern or an assistant and bring it to your boss. You never know what they’ll say– if it works out, that intern could land your job and you move up in the company! * as I’m writing this I realize I don’t have any employees for my blog… so if you spot any typos, IT ME.
7. BRAIN FOOD
Apparently when we’re well fed… we’re happier and we perform better *shocker. If you’re go-go-go, you can forget to eat and then poof, you’re moody AF and you just wrote ‘per my last email‘ in a response… don’t be that person. You need brain fuel! Research shows you need about 25g of glucose in your bloodstream to be highly productive. To make sure you have balanced balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day, healthy meals are key. If you constantly have high sugar/carb snacks, your blood sugar levels will actually spike and then take a deep dive, aka crash. In order to have steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, you need to have frequent balanced meals. To have healthy meals readily available, meal prep is KEY. Brian and I meal prep on Sundays- chopped veggies, salads, lean protein, protein muffins, etc. Check out the recipes and meal plans in the Tone It Up App!
Bonus tip: Did you know adding protein to your meal balances the glycemic index of your meal, preventing a crash? It’s amazing! Add a scoop of protein to your morning pancake, your afternoon smoothie, or just shake in almond milk. * Tone It Up Protein is clean, plant-based, gluten-free, and non GMO
This seems like a no-brainer (pun intended), but being dehydrated affects our brain. When we’re dehydrated, our brain cannot function properly and we can’t think straight. This leads to cognitive problems and we make rash decisions.
9 FOR THE PARENTS
If you don’t have childcare, it’s so hard to be productive if you’re both trying to work. When you’re both home, communicate a schedule for the week where you each can dedicate 100% attention to work or you’re with the kids. Alternate one to two hour time blocks. I know this seems impossible, but you’ll actually get more done if your work has your undivided attention. If you’re a single parent or you’re home alone with your kids… bless your heart! I literally have no idea how you do it. Days where I know I’m going to be with Bella, but I have to work, I usually have to wake up before her and really crank through her naptime and allow her to watch cocomelon next to me during my really important meetings.
10 WORK BEAUTIFULLY
Creating an inspiring work space is key to productivity. You’ll be more organized and comfortable. There have been many days moving from the counter, to the sofa, and back to the counter… and my lower back wasn’t happy.
I put together an entire post here on creating a nice WFH space! Whether it’s in your kitchen, bedroom, garage, or basement, it’s important to have a space where you can focus and work beautifully.
I hope you loved this post and found it helpful!
What are your top productivity tips working from home?