If you recall, last Friday was a rough day. In fact, it was a rage-filled day. I had worked from home, and I’ve noticed that I often struggle on these days. The irony is that I always look forward to them! I love the quiet and the freedom to organize my day however I please. No commute to take up my time. No interruptions. No need to dress up. I look forward to it, but sometimes by the end of the day I’m a cranky, miserable mess.
And cranky, miserable is not a good state to be in leading up to a no-wine Friday night.
So, if I’m in charge of my day, why does it turn out so badly? Good question. I apparently get in my own way somehow. Hmmm… do I sloth too much? Make poor choices with food? Spend the entire day in jammies? Think that working from my bed is a good idea? Um… maybe.
Which leads me to my experimental recipe for a great day of working from home.
- a to-do list (of a reasonable length)
- food containing protein
- two large cups coffee (but no more!)
- comfortable clothing (not jammies)
- sunlight or happy light
- a comfortable work space (not bed)
- sober blogs, other uplifting reading
1. Begin day with coffee and sunshine. Fake sunshine is fine. Bed is a lovely place for this. Read sober blogs, write if inspired. Avoid looking at news articles, especially politics. One hour max.
2. Change into comfortable clothes. Create at least the illusion of cleanliness. Full on showering is optional.
3. Eat something, including some sort of protein.
4. Move to work space. Bring water. Create comfort – fuzzy socks? a candle? soft music?
5. Begin by “eating your frog.” This means doing the worst task on the to-do list (see Mark Twain quote). Then reward yourself with a break.
6. Repeat step five as needed if there are multiple frogs (this is known as an “army” of frogs) 🐸 🐸 🐸 🐸
7. Don’t forget to eat lunch, including more protein.
8. Continue working on to-do list. Cross tasks off as completed. Leave easiest, least important, or least time-sensitive items for the end. If you can’t get everything done, circle the unfinished tasks and try to plan when you will get back to them.
9. Do at least one household chore. This is a benefit of working from home and you might have regret if you don’t take advantage of the opportunity. Do one load of laundry, make a bed, clean something.
10. End your work day with enough time to transition to evening without becoming overwhelmed. Plan this out! Will a change of clothes or a shower be necessary? Will a quick grocery run be needed? Do what you need to do to prepare for a great evening after your great day.
Note: If the cranky feeling starts to develop, nip it in the bud. Find the source of the irritation and resolve the issue. Annoying email? Put a note about it on your Monday to-do list and then put it out of your mind. Feeling frumpy? Take a quick shower or apply makeup. Hungry? Eat!
And there you have it. My personal recipe for a great work-at-home day. I’m in step one at the moment and have just ten minutes left, so off I go. I’ll report back later to share how it went!
jenwithoutwine (with to-do list & fuzzy socks)