In a previous post, I discussed my stages of coping with being overwhelmed. It involves a ton of wine/donuts, some Beyoncé and I usually end up with more on my plate but feeling like I can take on the world. Now that I've released into the universe that I'm turning this blog into a business, I'm going through the stages just about every 24 hours. Somedays are better than others when it comes to giving myself permission to take it easy. I literally asked my #workwife for permission to go to the doctor after a series of unwanted prego leaks and creaks. The baby is fine (of course she is, she's tiny Bey), but the doctor suggested I put my feet up and work from home a couple days a week.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of my tribe when it comes to this matter. From my own family to my harem of #workwives, I've found inspiration, grounding and a good kick in the ass from these people. I suggest finding those who know when to push you and when to tell you to sit the f*** down.
I've talked about not being an alone person, and I mostly blame my OCS (only-child syndrome). The thought of losing human interaction for a day or two is frightening. The few times I've tried to work from home, I've been sucked into TV scum, searched for the perfect bored gifs to send to my friends at work, and bought everything on Amazon Prime. Next thing I knew it was midnight, and I was just wrapping up all the things I didn't do during the day.
With eleven weeks left of pregnancy (or FOREVER), I needed a new system to make this WFH thing more productive. After a week of testing, I think I finally figured it out.
Budget Your Time
When there are so many meetings to run to in the office, I easily allocate my time in between to prep for them or pay attention to other items. It's a different story at home without physically running from meeting to meeting.
When I'm at home, I wake up at the same time I would if I was going to work, and use the time I would have spent putting myself together and driving to budget my time.
I block my calendar with specific deliverables for each section. I know it sounds totally OCD, but it helps me keep track of everything that needs to get done for the day. I don't worry too much about finishing early, going over my block of time, or getting pulled into something else completely. The little meeting reminders just serve as a guideline to move on. Sometimes done is better than perfect anyways.
Take a Break
There's no way I could sit for ten hours a day in the office emailing non-stop without a break in between.
When I'm at home, sometimes I go for a quick walk, most of the time I eat a poptart or four. Either way, I step away from my computer, stretch my legs and clear my head. Do not try to take a break on social media. You will be sucked into a vortex of doom.
You know when you wake up at 6am, start checking the socials, and five minutes later it's 8am? You may know the top 10 ways to shave your legs while pregnant, but you've made zero progress in turning your swamp monster body into Beyoncé.
When working from home, I try to use one device at a time. If I'm not on a call, I put my phone elsewhere. I get texting to my computer, so I can communicate in all the ways from there. Too often I find myself wanting to detach my arms after a mindless hour of scrolling.
Shut it Down
Maybe some people can do it, but I cannot get anything done with the TV on. I'm a sucker for TV scum like Hoda, Housewives and Court TV. All of these things make me judgy and mean, so don't cross me on a weekday afternoon. Unless your job requires you to watch couch garbage, shut it down.
It's easy to work later at home than you normally would in the office because you're already there. Though in advertising, you're always working, so what's the difference?!
Just like I budget my time to work, I budget my time to walk away. It actually helps that I have a kiddo who needs to be picked up by 6pm and goes to bed at 7:30pm. I have to be present for at least that hour and a half.
Take them or leave them, these things have worked for me. With a little practice, I've gotten more productive at home and end the day feeling accomplished. It's going to be a long eleven weeks, but at least I've mastered the art of getting shit done.