Even before most of the world began working from home, Morgan and I both have been working from home one to two days a week. Every week, we have our team meeting on Monday where we go over all of our projects, what’s coming up for the week, what needs to get ordered, etc. Throughout the rest of the week, we both try to batch our meetings into one or two days during the week and then work from home later in the week. This helps us create a consistent schedule, even though we are doing something different every day. It also helps with drive time and running around between client homes, the office, and showrooms.
Since we are used to working from home, we’ve gotten questions before about how we work from home and still stay focused. Or how to still be productive and not just want to clean our house or do the laundry. So today with a lot more people working from home during this crazy time, we wanted to share some of our tips for working from home.
Use Online Communication Apps
While you might start to feel disconnected or not as productive when working from home, these are some great online communication apps we use on the daily that you can start to incorporate into your business to connect, stay on task, and conduct business (almost) like usual.
Slack is our favorite app for internal communication within our team. You can create separate channels to chat with one person, two people, your whole team, etc. or name them based on projects you’re working on to keep all communication in one spot. We also love that there is an app and desktop version so it can be up during the workday or accessible on your phone if you’re away from the computer.
ClickUp is another favorite of ours! You can assign tasks to specific people with due dates, notes, links, and more. It’s a great way to organize your tasks and gives you that sense of accomplishment when you’re able to check one off.
We’re also big fans of Zoom and FaceTime for being able to connect with brands in different parts of the country, our team when we are at home, or meeting virtually with clients for e-designs. These apps also allow for multiple people to join the meeting, which is helpful for a team or group of people. Even though we may not be able to have group gatherings for a while, we can still stay connected and have our meetings online, rather than in person, which is so helpful!
Create an Inspiring Work Space
Creating a space you feel inspired by makes a big difference when working from home. Although it can be tempting to want to sit on the couch and have the TV on, making a spot designated for work helps keep a balance between your home and work life too. When my husband and I bought and moved into our first home this past fall, I knew I wanted to create a space to work from home that would be inspiring and my designated spot for work. The sunroom off our living room was the perfect spot and we used a live edge piece of wood and metal legs to create a desk, and have a full tutorial on how we made it HERE.
I love to light a candle, my favorite is the Cedar Magnolia from Hearth & Home and have music going, like this Totally Stress-Free playlist from Spotify. Even if you don’t have a desk right now, consider working at your kitchen table with a candle lit, water bottle by your side, and fun playlist or podcast in the background, rather than in bed or on the couch, to keep your productivity up.
Time Block House Work
As we were talking about this, we realize that for many people, it’s easy to get distracted from your work when at home by the laundry stacked up, dishes in the sink, or cleaning that needs to be done. Both of us take one afternoon or night a week to prep our house for the week ahead. I like to use about an hour on Friday afternoons to clean my house, figure out what groceries I need for the next week, and get laundry started. Morgan does the same thing, but on Friday nights so she can focus on the fam during the weekend, and be ready for the next week by Sunday.
Especially during this time when you maybe want to organize your entire house, deep clean everything, and clean all your clothes, set a specific time for those tasks. This will ensure that you know you have time blocked off to complete those tasks, without being distracted by it every half hour and taking lots of breaks from your work.
Dress for Success
Morgan and I have also both talked about how important it is when working from home to still treat it as a normal day and get ready for the day, even though it may be a bit cozier. Putting makeup on, doing your hair, and actually wearing real clothes instead of pajamas all day helps to feel more productive. Here are some of our favorite working from home outfits that are comfy, but also help us feel ready for the day:
Establish a Routine
Another important part of working from home is establishing a morning routine. This will ensure you start your day well, which will lead to a more productive and better day overall. Here are both of our routines when working from home:
Since I feel more alert and productive in the morning, I like to get up and get going early in the morning. Having a routine no matter if I’m working from home, heading into the office, or have client meetings later in the day helps keep consistency. Like what Morgan mentions below, my work varies from day to day, but consists of: new lead emails, setting up meetings, sending out bids, ordering client materials, talking to clients, working on mood boards + selections + floor plans + renderings, creating graphics for the blog, writing blog posts.
6:00 a.m. – wake up, start the coffee, put dishes away, make the bed
6:15 a.m. – get ready for the day including hair & makeup
6:45 a.m. – drink coffee and read my devotional & journal
7:00 a.m. – make a list of what I want to accomplish that day & get to WORK!
7:10 a.m. – check emails, order materials, update pipeline doc
8:00-12:00 p.m. – work on client work – mood boards, selections, renderings, floor plans
12:00 – lunch & move around for a bit (vacuum, take a quick walk, clean up the kitchen)
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. – more client work
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – blog posts, graphics
I’m also a big believer in making the bed every day because you start your day already having done something productive!
Each day is a little different for me. I am a big fan of batch working which means, each day of the week I focus on something different. My different days of the week consist of: writing social posts, writing blog posts, physically creating the content, admin/paying bills, marketing c2s, online client work, styling/shoots. I like to also be very intentional about my mornings. That is when I have the clearest mind so I focus that first hour on writing, whether that is writing a blog post, writing in my journal, or writing up processes for c2s.
6:00 a.m. – wake up, put contacts in, make coffee
6:10 a.m. – sit down and write
7:00 a.m. – get boys up, dressed, fed
7:30 a.m. – get ready
8:00 a.m. – get boys to school
8:15 a.m. – check emails
11:00 a.m. – eat lunch
12:00-5:30 p.m. – do whatever I have time blocked/batch worked for that day
6:00 p.m. – pick up boys & family time
Give Yourself Grace
This is uncharted territory for a lot of companies and people. There are also kids at home and a lot going on in our homes right now as we are in them more than usual. Give yourself grace during this time. If you’re feeling bogged down and tired, get up and take a walk around your home. Throw on some music and have a mini dance party to lighten the mood. Remember to take breaks to recharge and feel inspired and then get back to it and keep plugging away.
We’re thinking about all of you and hoping these tips help you as you embark on this new journey of working from home!
Morgan & Jordan