Working from Home? Here’s your Best Morning Routine
How to set yourself up for a productive and efficient day in an ambiguous remote-working world
In March of 2020 as the world went into a pandemic-lockdown, work as we knew it changed. What we thought was temporary became permanent social shifts in our work and home dynamics.
Our entire daily rhythm was suddenly disrupted, and what’s worse was we didn’t have time to be strategic about how we’d start operating in our new workdays.
Those who were thrust into working from home without ever having done so before had no time to figure out how to make their new work environment at home work for them.
In some ways, working from home felt relieving at first — it seemed less stressful to not have to commute, right?
But that feeling didn’t last. Studies show 60% of working-from-home Americans feel lonely and stressed! Why?
The importance of morning routines
A favorite book that changed my life is Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Your morning routine is your set up for how your day will go. I found it is so much easier to have a productive, positive treat day when you start from a place of strength.
Common work-from-home morning routines
Many work-from-home morning routines look like this:
- Roll out of bed at the last minute cursing the alarm.
- Make coffee (or a double!)
- Put on your “daytime pajamas.”
- Open your work laptop in bed.
- Start putting out email and slack fires.
How high is your motivation after a morning like this? Probably close to zero.
Let’s come up with a better solution and establish a routine that will serve you better in the remote-working world.
Past successful morning routines
Think about when you last had a rock star day. What did you do that morning? Did some of your activities during the day include these things?
- Make your bed.
- Exercise or stretch.
- Put on a killer outfit that makes you feel like a badass.
- Eat breakfast.
- Fill up your thermos and grab your lunch.
- In your car or on the train, listen to your favorite music, podcast, zone out, or call a loved one.
- Say hi to your coworkers on the way to your desk.
- At your desk, evaluate where you are with your projects and make a plan.
- Commute home and unwind listening to music or quiet before tackling the family dinner and needs of home life.
- Enjoy putting on pajamas immensely because you didn’t just live in them all day.
Improving your work-from home morning routine
You can probably see why your momentum felt greater with healthier habits before work.
Try to build in as much of what served you in your old routine as possible into your work-from-home life. I know there can be challenges with kids being at home, or sick, but try to be resourceful. Put and communicate what you need including self-care, in your calendar.
At a minimum, my number one tip for setting yourself up for the most productive and balanced work day in this new remote working world is this: Build in a fake commute.
The fake commute
The key to getting your work-from-home mentality and momentum back is to build in a fake commute. Build in a solid, 20 minutes or more transition between bed to work.
Your mind AND body need to feel the difference between sleeping and work mode.
Need ideas for healthy ways to start your day? Just picking one of these to start will help!
- Meditate. Even for just a few minutes.
- Journal. How will you use the gift of today?
- Fill your mug. With a drink that gives you calm and focus.
- Take your lunch to your workspace. Prepare your lunch the night before as if you’re going into the office.
- Hydrate. A dehydrated body will make you feel sluggish all day.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Your body and mind need fuel.
- Exercise. Even for 5 minutes before you leave the bedroom.
- Shower. A perfect wake-up call to all the senses.
- Get dressed for real. No more daytime pajamas.
- Commute to work. A short walk or drive will help you transition and get your mind more active.
- Create a place just for work (not your bed). Plan out your day with intention.
- Say hi to your colleagues on your company’s messaging platform.
Making WFH work for you
Love it or hate it, working from home is here to stay. So make it work for you!