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Be 10x More Productive Working From Home

I'm Katrina!

I’m a lover of all things beach, beauty, and branding. I’m also a mom, wife, fitness founder at Tone It Up, and I love helping women ignite their creative brilliance! 

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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

8 HYDRATE

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.

READ HERE!

I hope you loved this post and found it helpful!

What are your top productivity tips working from home?

- Katrina

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  1. Monica Guiles says:

    I love this post and I love your blog!!!! I can’t wait to read more! I’m so happy you decided to start a blog.

  2. Mariah Del Sesto says:

    Love that you called it “Glow up real quick”!! I have been working from home for the past 3 years and I was totally guilty of the roll out of bed and work in my pjs with messy hair and a dull face in the beginning. Then I realized that even though I was working on my own time I still needed structure to be as productive as possible and a little mascara and bronzer is essential for me. A girls gotta glow!

    These are all such great tips! Thank you for starting the blog and for sharing your beautiful aesthetic. I love seeing all your photos and getting new ideas on how to spice up my neutral colored life.

  3. Annie says:

    Love everything about this! A huge help for me to prevent that stir crazy feeling at home is choosing one meeting (usually a webinar or one where I don’t need to participate as much) and taking it outside for a walk – helps me hit that reset button and focus better!

    Love the blog, love you!

  4. Petra says:

    Hi Kat! What an amazing site! I am looking forward to all your blog posts and podcasts! Thank you for doing the world more beautiful! Many greetings to you and your family from the Czech Republic! Petra S.

  5. Mary says:

    Hi Kat! I’ve always loved you on TIU, but you’ve now leveled up HUGE with your new podcast and this awesome site!!! Love your blogs, love your purpose, and I’m now a fan for life 🙂 I decided to start my own business this year, so this productivity blog and your all-around biz blog are my faves. Congrats and can’t wait to see what’s next!!

  6. Renee says:

    Love this blog post so much and I can relate to many of them – love your new site and podcast. You have inspired me so much over the years – thank you!! Sending lots of beautiful love all the way from the Gold Coast in Australia. Xoxo Renee.

  7. Kayla Nelson says:

    OMG, this post is literally a dream. I needed this so badly, thank you!!! I have been so stressed with all of the obligations of my job (I even finally typed out a list of all my current tasks to give to my manager so we can discuss; I let her know I was overwhelmed and felt like I wasn’t doing well at my job!) I cannot wait to start implementing these tips. Again, thank you!!!

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If we’ve never met before, I’m so happy you’re here and that we’re connecting. I’m the creator of LiveBeautifully.com, a personal place of inspiration includes Home life, Work life, Mom life, and beyond and I’m the co-founder of Tone It Up, a fitness community for women where I’ve been featured in Forbes and business insider for building a fitness empire and on the Today Show for my work in Body kindness and postnatal self-love. 

I’m a mom, a passionate female founder, and a creative brand builder *that just so happens to love squats.

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