My spouse and I take walks in our neighborhood or around town every morning. Leaving the house, even for 20 minutes, helps us avoid cabin fever. Doing this in the morning helps us avoid the mistake of grabbing our phones and checking email the moment we get out of bed. It’s nice to have a non-work related, low-impact activity to enjoy before work consumes us for hours.
I’m not the kind of person who plays popular music while working—it’s too distracting. But I also don’t enjoy stinging silence. My happy medium is ambience videos. YouTube has a seemingly unlimited number of “ambience videos,” or videos of a certain location with natural sounds or soft music.
You can choose from a plethora of places, including a relaxing Maldives beach with peaceful waves, a rainforest waterfall, coffee shop with jazz, or even mythical locations like the Hogwarts castle (one of my personal favorites!). Simply type in “[name of a place] ambience” into YouTube to find your perfect ambience.
For many, going from in-office social opportunities to communicating with coworkers only via Slack or email was tough. To keep my relationships with colleagues fresh, I try to see them—and their faces—via Zoom at least once a week. At the very least I’ll see them once a month. Sometimes we don’t discuss much work, but it feels nice to check in with how they’re doing.
When I don’t leave home to go to an office, I get a bit of cabin fever. It feels like all I do is work, eat, repeat. Nothing exciting or different happens. Personally, I try to schedule at least one personal lunch (or dinner) per week with a friend to help break up the monotony of the week. It’s also nice to be social!
Work from home can blur lines between work and personal life, making it difficult to stop working—even to take a lunch break. Many of us resort to eating at our desk, in front of our computers. I would caution against this. Frankly, I do not perform work tasks well while also trying to eat. I also feel better after taking a real break from the intense focus of work—and it helps to leave my phone (i.e., social media) in my office as well!
While many employers and clients expect us to be available during normal business hours, sometimes it’s not set in stone that we must begin working on certain tasks at certain times. I found myself forcing production on things simply because I blocked off time in my calendar. The result was poor and exhausting. Instead, I do what feels best for that time. For example, I feel most energized to write motions or briefs during the afternoon, instead of in the morning when my brain is still waking up.
I find myself absent-mindedly reaching for my phone and opening Instagram… all the time. A few weeks ago, I deleted the app just for the day. I couldn’t tell you how many times I reached for my phone and went to click where the app had been, without even realizing it! That experience really opened my eyes to how much unnecessary time I spend on my phone. I recommend trying that for a day to increase productivity and decrease unintentionally-wasted time!
If you have kids, roommates, or a loud spouse, invest in some quality noise-canceling headphones. My spouse and I both work from home, and there are times when I’m trying to focus on a big project… while he’s on a conference call. Thank goodness for my AirPods!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Brittany Alexander, Esq., founder and CEO of Premier Property Law and Host of The Modern Professional Podcast, is revolutionizing the virtual practice of law and teaching other professionals how to create 7-figure businesses with the power of social media marketing and content creation. She launched her firm as a one-woman-show in October 2020 and signed 100 clients within her first 100 days. Through her strategic use of social media platforms like Instagram, she grew her company to $1.78 million with a team of 16 in the first full year, with an advertising budget of zero! Lawyer Britt, as she is known on social media, created the Accelerated Content Workshop, where she shares her proven methods and strategies that have led to her unprecedented success in growing a million-dollar business through content.
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