Illustration of people working remotely
By Alyssa Brown Apr 1 2020 Blog

Working From Home 101: Creating a Daily Routine

Have you figured out a daily routine for working from home yet? If not, I have some tips to share about the importance of creating one!

I’m Alyssa Brown, Senior Digital Specialist at Centro, and I’ve been working remotely for three years. I’ve found that a daily routine both reduces stress and keeps me focused throughout the day. See my top suggestions for implementing a routine below! 

Create a Pleasant Workspace

My daily routine actually starts the night before. I wipe down, clean, and declutter my desk when I shut down for the day. As I’m sure many of you are realizing, it’s easy for dishes, papers, and trash to fill up your space throughout the day. Walking into a fresh space every morning really helps me feel put together.

Pro tip: Fill your workspace with things that bring you joy. I usually have a favorite candle burning, a live plant in the room, ideal lighting—whatever makes you happy!

Establish Working Hours

I constantly have to resist logging on at 7:30-8am. I wake up early because I have a toddler—so I am caffeinated, dressed, and ready to go by 7am most days.

Taking some time for myself in the morning helps to center me before I begin my workday. Enjoy those 1-2 hours you would otherwise spend commuting, and create a new WFH routine that starts your day out right!

Have Separate Routines for Morning, Noon and Afternoon 

  • Morning: First and foremost, don’t stay in your PJ’s all day! Work out, shower, get dressed, take a walk—whatever you have to do to mentally prepare for the day. I also always say “hi” to my team first thing in the morning. 
  • Noon: If at all possible, DO NOT eat lunch at your desk. It also helps to do one non-work related task over lunch. This might be meal prepping for dinner, tidying up, calling someone you don’t work with, or (under normal circumstances) running to the store or the coffee shop.
  • Afternoon: When possible, in the afternoons I like to do tasks that are less “social.” In my case, this means optimizing campaigns, pulling research, filing emails, responding to vendors, drafting emails, etc. This is when I try to relax and listen to music or a podcast and reset my tasks.

Stop Working when the Day is Done

Actually sign off at 5 pm or when your work for the day is completed, and separate yourself from your workspace. I often find myself lingering later than I need to doing non-work related things, or doing work things that aren’t urgent just because I’m there.

Limit Daily Social Media Usage

Instead of scrolling, use that time to get up and MOVE. I use the iPhone Screen Time feature to set a 20-minute time limit (per day) for my social media usage. Not having social media in my daily WFH routine is what actually DOES get me up and moving. If you have ten minutes of downtime, do something productive!

Factor in Daily Socialization

Listen to your favorite podcast while you work on something where you can multitask. If you’re like me, podcast hosts feel like “friends” and can help you to feel less isolated (shout out to Ashley Flowers and Britt from the Crime Junkie podcast for being my virtual BFFs!). Remember to keep in close contact with your team and reach out regularly to connect. And speaking of teams… check out these daily routine tips from some of my WFH peers here at Centro:

“Run your day similarly to how you would organize it if you were in the office. Take a shower in the morning and build in a lunch break. It’s not a vacation, so keep to your usual M-F schedule as much as possible.”—Holly Maine

“Simulate your commute. Get up, get ready and LEAVE THE HOUSE for at least 30 minutes. If all you do is drive around the neighborhood, so be it. Just get out of the house and then return ready to work.”—Andy Alvarado

“Pretend you’re still going into the office to see other human beings. Give yourself time to wake up, have coffee, get a shower, and get dressed—you’ll have more energy throughout the day. If you’re a parent, try to meal prep in the evenings for the next day so you aren’t scrambling.”—Kelly Wittmann

Try to stick to your normal office routine as much as possible!  If you would normally get up, shower, snag a protein bar, and hit the gym before work, you should do exactly the same before firing up your computer at home. One thing you want to avoid is changing up your daily routines for the worse, i.e. staying up late or sleeping in. As they say, bad habits are tough to break!”—Rich Brown

I hope these tips are helpful to anyone working from home during this time. Overall, a bit of structure goes a long way for maintaining productivity and contentment! Now, time for a lunch break…

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