­3 Ways to Be More Productive & Have More Fun When Things Feel Hard

I’ve been working from home for a decade, and mostly by myself. We’re talking completely and utterly alone. It wasn’t until 2016 when Ryan started working from home with me… so I feel like I have a groove. Also, like I mentioned here, in 2018 we found ourselves having to practice serious social distancing for a few months, so I became pretty decent at that too after a while.

But don’t let my now confidence fool you… I stumbled at the beginning. I would often find myself lonely or frustrated at the end of the day, feeling like the day just got away from me.  Like I couldn’t schedule a bunch of unstructured time, I couldn’t find joy in the solitude, etc. It was weird, but then it got better a LOT better.

There are a ton of great articles circulating around the web about working from home. My girlfriend Carly wrote a great one, and so did Kate and Grace! So if you are looking for some inspiration, I’d definitely check those out. But today I wanted to share a few ways that you can find joy in the everyday, even when it might feel like Groundhog day!

Also, just note that this isn’t rocket science or anything completely new. Y’all are smart, intelligent adults. You know this stuff… but sometimes it’s good to hear it again, and if nothing else, get a free printable! 😉

These ideas work for everyone, even those of you who are serving our communities outside of the home, whether you are in the medical field, stocking grocery store shelves, or delivering packages. Hopefully these ideas help spark a little joy in your life!

1. Make a List of Fun Things, and Keep it Handy!

Okay, so this is my favorite tip of all. I’ve done this in the past, and IT WORKS. All you do is sit down and make a list of all the (little) things that can spark joy in your life. We’re talking small. But the point is to make a list that you will be able to pull 1-2 things from each day. Guys, this is the fun part so don’t hold back.

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Read for 30 minutes with a glass of wine while wearing a face mask
  • Take a 20 minute bubble bath while listening to an audio book
  • Facetime your sister while folding laundry in pjs to talk about all things Royals
  • Paint nails while watching You’ve Got Mail
  • Make and afternoon cup of coffee and write 5 thank you notes
  • Take a 30 minute bike ride around neighborhood while making mental notes of which houses you’d “totally buy”!
  • Try a new recipe and share with neighbors
  • Clean out your closet while watching episodes of Queer Eye

…. The options are endless here! They just have to be simple, fun, and I often find if they are a two-part idea it’s even better! So now you look forward to that giant pile of laundry and, once you put the kids to bed, you can’t wait to don your favorite pjs, call your sister, and dish about the latest Royal gossip (while folding a million pairs of socks).

The goal here is to choose something on your list every day and add it to your daily to-do list. This will keep you excited and looking forward to something each day!

2. Move Your Body

If I had a feelings journal – omg I don’t, but I feel like that sounds like something riiiight up my alley (enneagram 3w4 over here!) – it would tell you that my mood was SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER on the days I got exercise. Now this doesn’t mean it has to always be 30 minutes of strict cardio or a crazy HIIT workout. This can just mean 30 minutes of fresh air while walking the dog, stretching, going for a run, taking a spin around the neighborhood on your bike. Whatever works for you, just make it intentional time. So for example… stretching on the back porch while listening to my favorite podcast from 7-7:30 AM.  It’s a small, achievable goal that is also something that is just for you. Sparks Joy!

3. Be Intentional With Your Time

I think this may be the most important tip of all. Make your day intentional. Sometimes all I need is an attitude shift, a “GET TO” rather than “HAVE TO” shift.

Making a schedule for myself the night before, being intentional with my hours, filling them up with good hard work, peppering in a few things that spark joy, not forgetting to block out time to move my body…Doing these things make my days fee purposeful AND intentional. And, quite frankly, what more could you ask for?!

Hopefully this is encouraging and kind of fun. There is nothing more I nerd out over than making schedules for my day/week. I love an organized calendar that is full of LIFE. So fingers crossed you do too!

xx

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10 Comments

  1. Shelley
    March 17, 2020 / 8:10 am

    I have been working from home for a year now. I do not have a separate office, my desk is set up in our main living area, but I have plenty of room. I would love to hear about and see how you have things set up in your home.

    • March 17, 2020 / 2:51 pm

      Hi friend!

      Ryan and I work back to back in a 10×10 room all day which we actually LOVE. But on conference call heavy days one of us “moves out” to the dining room in order to not disturb the other!

  2. Jennifer
    March 17, 2020 / 8:13 am

    I also say pray for those parents who work full time and make sure their kids get educated. For those who can work from home is a blessing, but there can be added stress to make sure the kids are also learning (and there can be a learning curve for students and educators) from home. Grateful for technology now more than ever.

  3. Maggie
    March 17, 2020 / 9:57 am

    I’ve sent this post to so many of my friends! And even saved it for myself! I struggle to feel scheduled when I work from home with a baby! I love the idea of creating a list of fun activities!

    • March 17, 2020 / 2:49 pm

      Maggie!

      Thank you for your sweet note! Means the world! I hope it’s helpful!

  4. Jane H.
    March 17, 2020 / 10:52 am

    This is a good post. We are so blessed! Always look for the silver lining because it IS there!

    • March 19, 2020 / 10:55 am

      Hi Emily! Thank you for the sweet note! Means the world!

      xx

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