Working from home can be difficult, especially if you have never done it before. According to BLS, as of 2018 only 24% of the US labor force worked some hours at home during the average day. This means that a lot of us are new to the Zoom wardrobe — sweats on the bottom, business casual on the top.
Working from home means setting your own boundaries and figuring out what works best for you. Whether it be staying away from the bedroom, getting properly “dressed” for the day or texting all of your family members, “please no yelling” before logging onto conference calls. We are all collectively figuring it out, but some people have mastered the art of WFH quicker than others. The fate of their company depends on it, after all.
Sunday Riley, Founder and CEO of Sunday Riley
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I was pregnant with this girl when I started my business, and would work through the night because my toddler was asleep and I could get more done. We had moved in with my parents because we were pretty much so broke. I would sleep-in a few hours in the morning and talk to my baby in my stomach, telling her that she had to forgive me for the sleepless nights because I was building something to change our future. When she was born, my office was my bedroom and she would sleep next to me while I worked on my laptop. I rarely let anyone take her away from me, I was enchanted with her. She’s beautiful, she’s academic, she’s magical, and she’s very weird. She is exactly my cup of tea. ✨ I’m running late to a work Zoom because I just attended her graduation Zoom. Weird world, but she and I are always partners-in-crime. 💕
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My life is fundamentally different now than it was last year. I set up a separate bedroom/office for myself because I work until at least 1 a.m. every day, Monday through Saturday. As CEO, I signed up for a hard job – I agreed to be the one that steers the company through crises, and this is my time to step up. So a lot of balance for me is on the back burner because I have a commitment to my team that comes first. I also have four kids and we are all home right now, so it has been a lot. My secret is that I try to multi-task as much as possible. I walk a lot. I’ve walked 450 miles since lockdown began, about 90 minutes a day, seven days a week. During my walks, I take work calls so I’m doing two things at once. I also sleep well, that’s a non-negotiable. Without adequate sleep, I’m non-functioning. I started buying flowers and place them on my desk, my bedside table, everywhere. I want to be surrounded with beautiful pops of nature and color. And finally – I meditate, once at night and at least once in the day. My nightly mediation is a little longer, but I’ll just close my eyes and meditate for 3 minutes throughout the day when I need it. In reality, there are days that are really hard, but I have visualizations during my meditations that really help. I visualize putting the problem in a room and then slowly shutting the door on it, so that it’s locked inside. I then visualize walking into another room, sitting by myself on the floor, and enjoying the empty, white space. It works for me!
Stephanie Park, Founder of Wylde One
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Chillin at the coolest clean beauty & wellness shop @shopgoodco in San Diego😍💄🌿✨ So excited to now offer @wylde.one products here! Stop by for a facial at their holistic spa and pick up some Adaptogenic Elixirs & clean beauty products💫
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Planning and prioritizing is key for me! I do this at the beginning of each week so I know what my goals and priorities are and what each day is dedicated to. I batch similar tasks and activities together so I’m not constantly switching between tasks and losing mental energy. I also try to schedule my days for more deep work – long blocks of time with minimal distraction to focus on the most important and challenging work. I turn my phone alerts off and don’t browse social media or news during that time. I find that I’m the most creative and productive that way. For me, it’s so important to exercise and move my body, especially when WFH. It helps me get out of my head and instantly puts me in a better state – I’m happier, less anxious, and more energized and clear headed. I love unwinding with one of our adaptogenic lattes, either the Golden Glow Up or Chill AF Cacao, which is amazing for stress. I’ll light my favorite candle and hang out or watch Netflix with my fiancé. I also take magnesium every night which helps me get better sleep.
John Sherwin, Co-Founder of Hydrant
Staying properly hydrated is a key to keeping up productivity as it will increase one’s energy level and ability to think clearly! One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to ritualize it and add a pack of Hydrant to your daily wellness routine where you can easily tie in drinking a glass of water, such as taking supplements, sipping coffee or eating a meal.
Jules Miller, Founder of The Nue Co.
You can’t talk about productivity without talking about stress. I find that if I’m stressed, I usually struggle to focus and often suffer from mind fog. The reason this happens is that prolonged periods of stress (like what we are experiencing now), has the ability to negatively affect the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Stress also manages to strengthen the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for high emotions. This makes us irritable and more susceptible to stress. For me, the easiest way to improve my productivity is to exercise (meditation or 45 minutes Peloton), which has been clinically proven to help rebuild damage to the prefrontal cortex. I clean up my diet too since sugar adds to my irritability, and take two NOOTRO-FOCUS each day. NOOTRO-FOCUS has been clinically proven to increase cell regeneration in the brain, aid in memory and recall, and help manage anxiety – particularly increasing alpha waves to reduce stress and beta brain waves that keep you alert and focused.
Melanie Travis, Founder and CEO of Andie
In order to stay productive working from home, I’ve created a daily routine. I do the same things I’ve always done first thing in the morning: I wake up, have coffee and breakfast, then take my dog on a nice walk around the neighborhood. After my walk, I sit with the Headspace app and do a meditation in my bedroom. After meditating, I shower, get dressed for the day as if I was going to my office and then go over to my workstation. I’ve created a workspace in my living room, and I try not to spend time there unless I am actually working. I make sure to take a break for lunch, and at the end of the day I go for a jog or take an online yoga class. It’s important to have a transition after the workday, so that evenings (and weekends!) feel different. Then I don’t go back to my workstation until my day starts the next morning. I find that, actually, I’m being far more productive than I ever have been – it’s really working!
Molly Hayward, Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Cora
The early transition to working from home full-time was hard for me, as I had always tried to treat my home as a sanctuary where I could leave work and the stresses of the outside world behind to simply rest and go inwards. In order to maintain some semblance of that, it was crucial for me to create a dedicated workspace for myself, away from other spaces like my living room or bedroom that I knew I would still want to use purely for relaxation. We converted one of our guest bedrooms into my office, and I spent time picking furniture and details that still felt soothing and warm like the rest of the house, with things like an antique farm table for my desk, a comfy rattan chair, a cozy rug, soft lighting, and lots of plants. Having this dedicated space allows me to be focused and productive all day long because I actually enjoy being in this space, not to mention comfortable given calls and meetings are all happening virtually and incorporate no movement or change of scenery, which can be tough on the body. As a team at Cora, we depend on all of the usual tech tools to stay connected, including Slack, Asana and Google Hangouts. We’ve also been staying connected to our community by offering yoga, meditation, and breathwork sessions throughout the day via Zoom and IG Live, which we offer as a way to help women stay grounded and centered during what can feel like really stressful times.
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