I wrote about the value in creating a routine while working from home last year, but it's important you are always re-evaluating to see what works for you right now. So as the nights begin to draw in over here in Canada, the shortened days can make it a little tricky to settle into a routine. And being a full-time freelancer for over two and a half years now, my "regular" routine has gone through a few changes. For all of you other creatives living that #freelancelife I wanted to share some of the activities and goals I try to work into my days that offer up the most productivity, while also keeping me sane! I'd love to hear some of yours too!
1. Morning walk with the hound first thing in the morning. Some days I'll load up an audiobook I've borrowed through the Ottawa Public Library, or (as is often the case) have a Spotify playlist loaded with the best Christmas tunes. Other days, I love to go out without any ear plugs, and listening to the sound of my neighbourhood. Luckily it's quite quiet so I can enjoy and embrace whatever the weather, knowing Kingsley and I are getting a nice dose of exercise and Vitamin D first thing in the morning. Plus, it makes it easier to concentrate without his incessant "when are we going for a walk??" whine from beside my desk.
2. Unroll my mat and get some yoga in. This one has gone through a few changes over the months. I used to have to do it first thing to feel like my day was starting off on the right foot. If I have a pass to a local studio, I'll work it into my day in whatever way suited. If I'm joining the always lovely Tina at Yoga Attic, I'll make her 9 am class to really connect with nature, like minded people and start my day off right! Or, when I had a pass to local Yogatown, I'd actually try and make the 12 o'clock flow class as a way to break up my day and give me a mini reset before the afternoon. What I'm digging right now? Post-walk yoga (Boho Beautiful is my go to link for all the vibes!) in the comfort of my home, surrounded by mellow tunes and my twinkling Christmas lights
I can enjoy and embrace whatever the weather, knowing Kingsley and I are getting a nice dose of exercise and Vitamin D first thing in the morning."
Enjoying an oat milk latte at one of my favourite local coffee shops
3. Indulge in excellent warm drinks. You know by now I'm a little addicted to coffee - decaf, half-caff, full dark and bold - like it all! I invested in a pretty nice espresso machine a couple of years ago and it has been an absolute life saver for me. After that morning yoga, I'll go make a second cup of coffee (first cup of the day is always big and black...nothing fancy!). But this second cup, I'll froth up some nice dairy free milk (new addiction is oat milk - it foams up way better than any other dairy free milk I've had) and make a fancy little latte. This is what I'll take to my office and get the ball rolling for the day. Post lunch? It's time for a hot cup of green tea with fresh lemon.
4. Lists, lists and more lists. On the podcast I host with my sister, Life As We Try It, we recently took some personality quizzes, and it was no surprise we both thrive on writing lists and ticking them off. When you're juggling various clients, while also working for yourself, it can be hard to keep track of everything. Lists help me stay on top of it all, while also giving me that little jolt of serotonin when I smugly tick off another item, no matter how small.
5. Get out and spend time with humans. While it is excellent to be able to work from the comfort of my home, sometimes you just need to be around other humans and the hum of the real world. I find I get invigorated in a different way when I'm sitting in a local coffee shop trying to get some work done. It's excellent for letting my creative side out a little bit. When I'm out, I get to bounce energy off of other people, gain inspiration from new surroundings and not get called into non-work related things (anything from "the dishes need to be done", to "there's nothing to snack on, let's bake some fresh cookies!" are all excellent distractors sometimes.
6. When working late, wine is always a good idea. When I was in the final push to finish my first novel, A Week at the Woods', I found a glass of red wine was very helpful in those final late night pushes! Never very much as this can often lead to a drastic decline in productivity, but whether I'm editing copy, writing, or working through a social media marketing plan, sometimes you just need a glass of wine at the end of a long day, and while living that #freelancelife we all know there is no 9-5!
I hope you have found these ideas helpful and would love to hear how you create a routine while working from home too!