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Working from home sounds like a dream. Sitting on the couch in your pajamas, freedom from small talk with coworkers… the list goes on and on. I freelanced in 2013 for a few months and it was a disaster - I would either stay in bed all day and then start working at 8PM or be so concentrated that I wouldn’t leave the house for days at a time and forget to eat.

Now that I am a consultant working remotely, I realized I had to create a routine and get my shit in order if I wanted to work smarter (not harder). I swear by the pomodoro technique and take lots of breaks, inserting fun things into my day so that I focus on my creativity and less on stress. I know that I have to wake up at a decent time (somewhere between 7am and 8am) if I want to get my non-negotiable done, plus the projects for my clients and manage a social life.

Consistency is key for me, so here are the 6 things I do every day to take care of myself and add some structure to my day.

  1. Morning pages + Affirmations: Start the day with a brain dump + 50 affirmations. (Read more here from an article I posted a few weeks ago).

  2. Gratitude practice: I am guilty of letting my brain focus on the negative, but I’ve learned how easy it is to snap out of it by practicing gratitude. Lately I’ve been doing YogaGlo’s “AM Gratitude for Addiction Recovery with Stephanie Snyder” 20 min vinyasa flow. Abraham’s rampage of appreciation is also great.

  3. French lessons: I don’t know how Duolingo actually works, but it really does. I spend about 15 mins each day learning French and they really hold me accountable with e-mail reminders encouraging me not to break my streak. Je l’adore :)

  4. Riding my scooter: Here’s a secret - I used to be terrified of getting on a scooter. Absolutely petrified. Driving in Palermo is absolutely wild and locals hardly respect the rules. After months of studying, I got my Italian drivers license earlier this year and had the crazy idea of buying a scooter without ever having actually driven one (I tend to learn with baptism by fire). My teacher made my promise him that I’d do at least 10 minutes a day to really get comfortable on the scooter, and I absolutely love the freedom that it gives me. My favorite part is that I have to be super concentrated when I drive with all the chaos on the road, so it forces me to take my mind off stress and distractions in order to stay hyper-focused.

  5. Get moving: Just over 3 months ago I was still in a wheelchair recovering from my broken ankle, and I’ve learned to appreciate every step I am able to take. Now that I am thankfully back on my feet again, I find the time to do some physical activity each day. My Fitbit holds me accountable and I optimize by time by catching up on podcasts on the go instead of on the couch.

  6. Connect with 5 people a day - Working from home can definitely get lonely, so I reach out and network with at least 5 new people a day. I usually strike up a conversation with a stranger out in town, or pitch new clients via Linkedin. Reaching out to people in my industry keeps me in my comfort zone, so I try to talk to people who are not in my field so that I can learn something new. It’s amazing to discover how much we have in common with others and all we need to do is smile and say hi!

What's the one thing you do every day? Share in comments! 

Elena CipriettiComment