Mar 26, 2020

Guest Post: "Work-from-Home Survival Kit" - Maralyn Beck

This post to my friend Maralyn Beck's Facebook page was too good not to share so I had to include it here as a guest post - which I haven't done before! (Thanks for letting me share, Maralyn!)

Read on, from Maralyn... 

I've realized in the past week that something I take *so* for granted is 𝑚𝑦 𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑢𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑓𝑢𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑒. 💗

I've been working from home for the past 4+ years, and while it wasn't always this easy for me, I wanted to share my tips and tricks and lessons that I've learned along the way in case this helps any of you adjust.


It's SO easy to wake up whenever you want and go to bed whenever you want and just treat every week-day like a vacation or the weekend, but you need to learn discipline, and you need to create a routine.
For me, I am always "at work" by 9am. Which means at my *designated office space in my home* ready to hit the keyboard by 9am.
*Some days this means I wake up 6am and work out, but normally, it means 7-8 with shower and get ready.


Some days are harder than others, because, trust me, it would be SO easy to be *a little late* or ... so many things ... lol ... so GET READY.
Every morning, I've created an EXTREME routine (that I basically do in my sleep).
- Wake up
- Walk to kitchen
- Make coffee
- Feed cats
- Go back to the bedroom
- Make bed
- Get in shower

*A note about making my bed -- I once heard someone say "if you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.” << and so, I make my bed, EVERY DAY. 

Then hop in the shower, and get dressed.


This one is interesting, but as I was putting together my favorite tips, this one is worth sharing.
Everyone is joking that the bra-less day is the real winner of the 2020 quarantine; but, guys, wearing a bra to me feels like showing up and getting dressed. It's a sensory thing.
I wear bras to work. And take OFF my bra to watch Netflix and veg at home.
When you "work from home," I say, wear the bra.
As you can see from my fun little picture, I also have a "work outfit." For me, it's THAT routine and specific. I have my favorite Zyia Joggers and my favorite Nordstrom tank. My work outfit is basic but faithful. Yoga pants, tanks, long-sleeve shirts for layering. Comfortable, but dependable (And I don't have to think too hard about it).
And seriously, who needs shoes? Invest in some cute and comfy *house slippers* and make them your works shoes. Also, watch the news. Keep your outside shoes, outside, and have indoor shoes, for only inside!


This is important. I have a dedicated workspace, HOME OFFICE, in my home. You better believe my butt is in the chair and I'm ready to start my day with the rest of the world right at 9am.

— "𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗽𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀" —

Y'all have made fun of me (and I have made fun of myself) for the past four years about this, but LOOK WHO IS LAUGHING NOW!
I have found that the second I *go to work* I put on my headphonesand it's an immediate signal to myself that I am *in work mode*.
Sometimes I sit at my computer at various times of the day and mess around, and in those instances, I don't find myself putting on headphones.
Headphones mean -- *HERE TO DO BUSINESS* -- and I have taught myself to focus accordingly. 
No headphones at computer means, I might be on Pinterest or looking up a recipe.

  • 𝗜𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗱𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗼. ENJOY this break from having to wash your hair every day. LOVE your dry shampoo.
  • 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬; like for me, it's choosing "mood inspired" coffee mugs each day. I start my day by choosing the mug that will help me power through the work I need to do.
  • 𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂. Maybe that is taking breaks every 50 minutes; maybe that is working four hours at your desk straight. These are new times, and find what works for you.
  • 𝗞𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁. When I first started working online, the 2016 election crept up quickly, and for someone who spends THEIR ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL LIFE ONLINE, I started to realize being bombarded by the 24/7 News-cycle, in my face, *was too much.* I started taking naps at lunch. Working from home you will find yourself WAY more productive; no trips to the office coffee room, less chatting with co-workers, fewer distractions, no commute. You can take a break. And don't feel guilty. Create boundaries and know your limit. If you really need an excuse to tell your coworkers that you “have a meeting at 1" and will be available again at 2. Your mental and physical health is important and these are trying times. Maybe for you, it's not a nap, maybe a walk around the block, or even a lunchtime workout! I have found that COMPLETELY unplugging halfway through my day, and starting fresh has been the key to my sanity.
  • 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀. I don't have a TV in my bedroom and I NEVER bring my laptop to bed or in my room. I "work" at my "work desk" and that is the only place in my home that I do work. Having actual physical boundaries has helped me keep WORK time and space for work, and the rest of my home and life for personal.
And then, I don't pour a glass of wine or start Netflix until after 5pm. Period. This is another rule that feels too easy to bend, so it's something I've been really strict about. I love working from home and I feel like I'm great at it. It takes a little discipline and getting used to, but, I love it and hope you will, too.


Did these tips help? Leave a comment below if you have questions or need help!

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