As the architect of my routine, I use structure to create balance.
For many of us accustomed to a productive, reliable cubicle or cloistered office, Work From Home (WFH) has been really tough. For some it’s the distractions, for others it’s the lack of socialization, then there are those folks who can’t establish boundaries and are working round the clock, and I get it. WFH 24/7 is new to most of us. As for me, its been a blessing. I’ve had more time to spend with my husband and dog, more time to spend outside and getting in shape, more time to devote to writing, reading, researching, learning, and on. So when this whole WFH thing is over, will my winning routine be staying? You betcha!
I like to think I mastered WFH early by focusing on consistency and getting into a groove. From Day 1 of “safety in place” 10+ weeks ago I maintained a pretty strict routine, which paradoxically created flexibility. The structure I instituted during WFH has helped my mental health. I feel more stable and in control. My anxiety levels are lower without the chaos of commuting, running late, and toxicity (both literally from pollution and emotionally from toxic people). Physically, I have seen a major change in my fitness by incorporating on average 20,000+ steps a day combined with running. My days are more full by sticking to a regime that involves lots of “self” time. I wouldn’t call it “down” time because I stay very busy, rather I allocate more time to self-care. For every work call or Zoom meeting, I take a few minutes to get outside, breathe in some fresh air, and clear the mind. I’m balanced.
From better sleep to clearer skin, this is the routine that is helping me win the WFH game, and there’s no going back.
TYPICAL WEEKDAY WFH ROUTINE
7:00: Rise & Shine
7:05: Morning Skincare Routine (a routine within a routine) – visit my IG for my full skincare routine using Chantecaille, Darphin, and Joelle Ciocco products
7:15: Get dressed
7:20: Episode of “The Great British Baking Show”; Coffee 1
8:00: Kick start emails – prioritize EU emails and POLITICO; Coffee 2
8:30: 10 minutes MAX of online shopping – quick whirl through my favorite sites (yea, ok it’s not work but going through an hour of straight email sucks and you absorb significantly less content)
8:40: U.S. emails
9:00: Work Call or Meeting; Coffee 3
9:30: Work Call or Meeting; 4-Mile Walk 1 (I have a loop)
*Tip: take as.many.calls.as.possible on a walk. If you don’t absolutely need a computer, no one will judge you for not showing up to every Zoom call with video. I’ve been transparent with my colleagues about my healthy approach to calls that ensures I am not too sedentary. Take the opportunity to get out and reach that step goal.*
10:00: Work Call or Meeting (still walking)
11:00: Work Call or Meeting – I use the same bright setup everyday: our kitchen island, which is situated in an area that takes in the most light
11:30: Work Block 1 – quick 30 minutes to tackle some of my big rocks
*Tip: I like to work in blocks, especially when it comes to time-sensitive deliverables. I throw busy time on my calendar and knock.it.out! Check out the Management Center for more information on “rocks” and “blocks.”
12:15: Time to Run! – usually about 1 hour or 6-10 miles on weekdays
13:15: Post-run walk the dog; Email check-in
13:45: Work Call or Meeting
15:00: Work Block 2
15:45: Work Call or Meeting; 4-Mile Walk 2
16:15: Work Call or Meeting (still walking)
16:45: Email check-in
17:00: Work Block 3 to finish up the day
17:30: Ad hoc “self” time – probably a stroll to the wine store, trashy Bravo television, or even 4-Mile Walk 3
18:30: Dinner with Mi Amor
19:00: Let the MasterChef marathon begin! – from this point until bedtime is my free “social” time. Whether I’m dragging my husband on another walk, cuddling with the dog, or enjoying socially distant drinks with the neighbors, this is where I embrace the longer days, get in some socialization, and try to wind down.
9:00: Evening Routine – meds, skincare, set clothes out for tomorrow (my evening skincare routine is also available on my IG)
10:30: Bedtime!!! – which means Parks & Rec and falling asleep to the sweet sounds of Amy Poehler
I know words like “strict” and “regime” seem stifling, but if you give my WFH routine a try, you just mind find it freeing. One caveat, make it fit YOU. You’ll notice I include a lot of cardio activity in my day, but maybe you are more of a yogi, in that case, stretch and meditate. You’ll also notice I am missing mealtimes with the exception of dinner. I have been doing intermittent fasting for over a year. If you are a 3 meal a day person, take time to enjoy a hearty breakfast and healthy lunch. Point being, this is just a guide reflecting the weekday WFH routine that has brought me success. I hope parts of this can work from you too!
Ready to do it again tomorrow? I sure am.
Oh, one last thing. If you haven’t already, go order yourself some blue light glasses! They help TREMENDOUSLY to relieve strain on the eyes caused by screens.
The pair featured below are from Amazon.