HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE WORKING FROM HOME
In between modeling jobs I usually have several creative projects on the go that I work on from home or when I’m traveling, but I’ve struggled with establishing a consistent work flow without structure. So here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful for creating a productive work environment and routine for all of you creative non nine-to-fivers out there!
1) Create a consistent routine for sleep/wake, meal times, break times, and work times.
Try to go to bed and wake around the same time each day. Ask yourself when you feel the most energized or inspired to work—is it early in the morning, afternoon or at night? And if you’re a night owl, is it realistic to maintain that schedule and still feel energized and healthy in your day-to-day? Once you set your work hours, stick to them and try to designate a time outside them to take care of other “life to do’s.” I also like to stop and take the time to eat my meals as opposed to having a working lunch. When I worked in Italy and France it was imperative that everyone on set stop working to enjoy their meal. I like to be consistent with what time of day I take my lunch at so that my body clock - and mind can get into the flow of the routine. I usually work in 1-2 hour increments and then take a short 15 min break.
2) Create a work space that is functional and supportive for you.
I like my desk at home to be in a quiet corner by a window, so I get lots of natural light and can look out the window while I think. I have a ritual to begin work where I clear off any clutter on my desk, have a cup of hot tea, and light the candle on my desk or turn on my diffuser. Sometimes I will put on music as well.
3) Set up a work board.
I am a very visual person and need to be able to look at the projects I’m working on. If you know you’re similar, set up a big white board, chalk board, or cork board and divide it into columns for each of your creative projects. Mine has a different column for scripts I am working on, blog posts, modeling, acting, wedding planning, and general to do’s. Under each column, write down what stage of development the project is in right now, the tasks that need to be completed, ideas, and short and long-term goals. I like to leave space to put creative images under each one as well, so it acts as a functional work flow board and source of inspiration. When I am traveling, I also do this in a planner so that I can keep it consistent on the road. Everyone’s brains work differently, so create a layout and work flow that works best for you and try to adhere to that.
4) Dress for work.
If you are working from home and you don’t HAVE to get out of your PJ’s, it can be tempting to stay in them…but don’t! Instead shower, get dressed and get ready for work like you would if you were going to the office (sans the dress code). I feel like it helps with my productivity and self respect (LOL) to get dressed!
5) Take breaks.
Go for a walk around the block, get your blood flow going and stretch out any tension you might be carrying in your body. I like to put the kettle on to make a hot tea and do my stretches while the water boils.
6) Be aware of distractions at home and find a way to avoid them.
Turn off notifications on your phone, set boundaries for only checking social media/non-work websites at specific times. If you get a personal call during your set work hours, don’t take it until you finish your work.
7) Set deadlines for yourself.
I find that this is one of the hardest things to do when it doesn’t necessarily “need” to be done by a certain date and it can be hard to know how much time it will take you to complete. But do your best to set a deadline and stick to it.
8) Take yourself and your work seriously.
I really struggle with this when I am creating my own projects and yet I am so passionate about starting things from scratch and like to work for myself, at my own pace. What I have learned is that if you don’t believe in your work, no one else will. Whenever a doubt enters my mind, I try to notice it and reinforce it with a positive encouraging affirmation. Trust yourself and follow through until it’s done. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the way and try not to focus too much on making it perfect—you can edit or change things down the road once the project is finished. When I hit a road block or lose motivation, I try to think about what inspired me to start the project in the first place. What was it I wanted to say? Remember to go easy on yourself and celebrate the little things you accomplish each day.
9) Have someone you check in with.
A business partner, friend, family member, life coach, therapist—anyone who you trust. Lots of times we tell ourselves we’re going to accomplish something ,but don’t tell anyone else because we fear we might not succeed or follow through with it. Having someone as a sound board or support system can encourage you to be accountable.
Sending productive vibes!!