Decor · Real Talk · Uncategorized

Working from home tips for productivity.

For the last few years I have been lucky enough to have the option to work from home here and there. I don’t abuse it but I do take advantage of it. And though the flexibility is freaking’ awesome – and so is not having to commute – working from home has its challenges. Being in your own bubble with beds and chores tempting you all day long, it’s easy to get off task or in home-mode. Especially when I have the cutest little pug boy who just wants to snuggle and be adorable all day long. Since I have really started putting time and effort into decorating our home office space, I’ve done better at making my work from home days more productive – and I’ve really noticed a difference in how much I’ve gotten done.

Working from home tips (that help me get more done)

So if you work from home – and have an office or not – here are a few (hopefully helpful) hacks for improving your “office” days:

Get dressed, comfortably.

I know there are rules (or “studies” or whatever) about putting on real clothes or an actual outfit when working from home, but it’s just not for me. If I don’t have to go anywhere for a few hours, I’m just not going to be in jeans and have my makeup and hair looking good. Instead, I’ll put on my favorite sweats or leggings and a comfy top. The moral is, just change out of your pajamas and feel somewhat pulled together, but you don’t have to be uncomfortable. This gets you ready for the day and in work mode, but still feeling good.

Create a routine and/or daily workflows.

Working from home has tons of perks, but it’s so easy to get off track and spend your day catching up on household chores rather than actually getting career-work done. To help put structure in your day, create a routine for yourself. Decide what time you want to be sitting down checking emails and getting started on your work and stick to it as best as possible. Write a list of to-dos and an allotted amount of time for each task, even use a calendar (I like Google Cal personally but your phone would work also) – all of a sudden your day will be ten times more productive.

Have a dedicated work space.

Having a desk or an office really gets you in the “get stuff done” mindset. Creating a space for working at home can also give you a sense of accountability. If you notice it’s mid-morning and you haven’t made it to your desk or office yet, you know you better get in gear. And even if you don’t have an office, dedicate a special spot to work. Maybe it’s your kitchen island, or a small table you’ve added to the living room to serve as your desk, hack the dinning room table works wonders also. And make it cute – add personal touches that make it inviting and inspiring, even if just a cute computer background or photo! No couches or beds allowed!!

The 2-minute sweeps.

This can be done in any part of your home, but I make it a point to hit my desk at the end of each day. Take 2 minutes (you can find 120 seconds!) and clean up your desk. Take coffee mugs back to the sink, wipe it down, put things away, etc. – set yourself up for an easy, clutter-free morning to follow. You’ll be so much more effective!

Work offsite.

Coffee shops and cafes were invented for a reason, and not just to serve food and drinks. You’ll probably need a change of scenery every now and again so use these opportunities to check out the newest coffee shops around town. Or get outside if you have a task that doesn’t involve a computer (p.s. when will they invent something to make the screen visible outdoors?!).

Learn when to unplug.

One of the downsides of working from home is you never “go home” because…you already are. This can make it suuuuper hard to know when to shut off for the day, close the laptop and stop looking at emails. Being plugged in 24/7 is really hard on a person, so make yourself a schedule where you commit to unplug at a certain time and stick to it – you need to recharge. Phones count too. I need to get better at this, 100%!

Batch errands.

If you work from home, take advantage of a likely more flexible schedule when planning errands and appointments or anything that requires leaving the house. Use a whole afternoon to do these each week so that you’re not coming and going – or getting into different brain zones every day. Same for chores around the house – designate a day for household stuff and forget about it the rest of the week. Fridays would be great to consider for this so you can casually stroll into the weekend.

Network and socialize.

You typically don’t have co-workers when you work from home, at least not in-person, so make it a point to attend networking events for your industry so you don’t forget how to socialize in the professional environment. Not having to deal with office politics or drama is a major plus of working from home, but you don’t want to become a hermit either.

Eat away from your desk.

Eating in front of your desk is extra tempting when you’re at home, but give your day more structure by moving away from your desk for lunch. Eat outside or a different place in your home, but break it up. Try to give yourself space from tech during this time too. If there is someone in your neighborhood or on your street who you know works from home, set up a weekly coffee or lunch date at each other houses, this will help keep your sanity when you haven’t talked to another real life person in a few days!

Do you work from home ever? What works best for you?

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XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

Things I’m feeling and thinking.

I used to be a lot more willy nilly with my content. I didn’t have an editorial calendar and if I did, I sure didn’t stick to it. I barely did any planning, ever. I just flew by the seat of my pants. I barely knew what I was going to write about the next day much less next Tuesday and Thursday.

But in the past six months or so, I’ve really gotten my act together in an effort to create better (and more thought out) content. It might not look like it, but creating good quality content is H-A-R-D. It takes A LOT of planning and planning to plan (ha!) and sticking to the plan. Get my drift? So it’s a lot more organized and business-y (which I actually love and it’s less stress for me!) rather than the off-the-cusp shop I used to run. But all that to say, my point is that I hardly ever just sit-and-write what’s on my mind anymore. I kinda miss that.

I miss writing without thinking. I miss writing without strategy, or without worrying about an organized structure or article flow. There’s definitely a place for organized, value-add content – don’t get me wrong. But I’m just going to switch things up today for old time’s sake! So instead of writing about how much I love these little ruffle sleeves on the shirt I’m wearing today (which I do!) and the flatform sneaker trend (diggin’ it), I’m going to talk about things on my mind – as if we were literally sitting together, catching up.

A (very) random list of things I’m feeling slash thinking.

And for the first time in a VERY long time, I’m not holding back – not even a little. If you don’t like what I’m saying, that’s fine. If you have something to say, comment below and join the conversation. If you think I’m being ungrateful or ridiculous – leave. I don’t mean to be harsh.

On fashion blogging in general.

The (fashion) blogging world frustrates me. Maybe I can talk more on this later (I need some courage and maybe a glass of wine – ha). I’m scared to say how I really feel. Because I’m not sure I’m allowed to feel this way. But I’ll just say that it’s an interesting industry to try and navigate – especially on your own. The competition is fierce and it’s getting harder and harder to be “unique” when there are 70 million other people doing the same thing, wearing the same clothes. Blah, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll come back to this one day.

On boundaries.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know where to draw the line when it comes to figuring out what to share. Boundaries are hard enough as a normal (non-blogger) person, so I think it’s even harder when you’re sharing your life with the world. Like, when does sharing my struggles and bad-day-moments become to be too much or unprofessional? Which parts of my life should I keep totally private? When does a struggle or vulnerability become something I can share without being crippled by the feedback (or lack there of). It’s easy to share a struggle when you’ve overcome it, but what about the ones that never go away? The ones that keep coming back and seem to be a constant thorn in your side?

On starting a new business.

I haven’t told you about something that I’ve been working on for a bit. Well I actually haven’t even started “working” on it yet; instead, I’m just doing a bit of research. And talking about it. (I always talk about things a lot before doing something about it.) I’m thinking about starting another business. But I’m scared out of my mind. I’m scared for 389537257 reasons but mostly because – what if it fails? It totally could. And that’s probably also why I’m not ready to tell you. Because what if I change my mind? Ha. Anyway, so that’s been taking up a good bit of my brain space lately…oh, and time.

On putting myself out there.

Sometimes I worry if you think I’m unstable. Not in a crazy person way (no offense), but in an inconsistent kind of way? You might have noticed, but I’m a bit of an extremist. One day I feel like I can (literally – sort of) take over the world. And then the next, I’m having major self-doubt about whether I can actually put together a cute outfit – I kid you not.

I’ve got ups and downs; highs and lows, exciting moments and major discouragement; I’m silly and serious; focused and all-over-the-place; determined and then apathetic – and the list goes on. I know that – to a certain extent – this is normal; we all feel these things and experience both sides of this spectrum. But I still feel like I’m a bit more extreme than most – just a thought. Also, I’m over here trying to figure out how to experience these extremes and be “real” with you, but also professional and maintain my authority and credibility if that makes sense? (Hard to explain.)

But my point is that sometimes I feel like I should only show you certain “parts” of me (in fact, I feel this way a lot). But when I try to do that, I feel confined and like I’m holding my breath or something. So then I show you the real me. And it’s probably like, a lot to handle. I don’t know….is it too much? (HAHA)

On losing my fire.

I’m in a funk. It’s been like 9-ish days and it’s still here. At first I thought it was a 2-day-or-so phase. But no; it’s still here and I don’t think it’s going anywhere – the funky-ness I mean. I question what I’m doing and why and wonder if my blog even has a purpose in the world. I know that sounds dramatic – but that’s because it is…at least to me. I feel like I need to be traveling or that my life isn’t interesting enough. But the truth is, I sorta like a boring life. If I’m being completely honest, I really like it when my life is boring. In fact, I get really excited when we have zero plans on a weekend and stay in the house for hours (or sometimes even days? don’t judge) at a time doesn’t bother me.

Am I being a drama queen? Possibly but this is my space and if I can’t be honest and free here, where can I be?

What’s been going on with you lately? Fill me in. Also, I would love to hear from you about what brings you to my little corner of the internet? What do you want to see more post about? Don’t be shy!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

Don’t wait until you’re perfect.

I have talked about this before but lately it has been pulling at my brain and I want to circle back to this topic. When you have a goal (You know I hate this word but let’s roll with it right now) — whether it’s starting a business or eating healthier or traveling the world — it’s easy to look at someone who is already doing it and then try to reverse engineer their strategy.

In some cases, this is really useful. Learning from the experiences of successful people is a great way to accelerate your own learning curve. The important word there was “learning”, not duplicating. What works for someone at some point in time, may not be what works for you in this minute. I think it is so important to remember that the systems, habits, and strategies that successful people are using today are probably not the same ones they were using when they began their journey.

What is optimal for them right now isn’t necessarily needed for you to get started. There is a difference between the two.

Let me explain.

What is optimal vs. what is needed.

Learning from others is great and I do it all the time myself.

But comparing your current situation to someone who is already successful can often make you feel like you lack the required resources to get started at all. If you look at their optimal setup, it can be really easy to convince yourself that you need to buy new things or that you need to learn new skills or that you need to meet new people before you can even take the first step toward your target.

And usually, that’s not true. Here are some examples.

Traveling the world. Every time I travel, I see so many backpackers who have spent what I imagine to be a fortune on gear: rainproof bags, moisture-wicking clothes, special shoes. Now I’m not saying gear is useless. I have never backpacked my way around anywhere but I am sure great gear can make your life much easier on the road, but it’s not required. You don’t need new shoes to start running. You don’t need new cooking bowls to start eating healthy. And you don’t need a new backpack to start traveling. Those things might be optimal, but they are not needed in the beginning.

Eating healthy. Maybe the optimal diet would involve buying beef that is only grass-fed or vegetables that are only organic or some other super-healthy food strategy. But if you’re just trying to make strides in the right direction, why get bogged down in the details? Start small and simply buy another vegetable this week while you are out at the store— whether it’s organic or not. There will be plenty of time for optimization later.

Avoiding by optimizing.

Claiming that you need to “learn more” or “get all of your ducks in a row” can often be a crutch that prevents you from moving forward on the stuff that actually matters.

  • You can complain that your golf game is suffering because you need new clubs, but the truth is you probably just need two years of practice.
  • You can argue that it’s hard to travel light without the right suitcase, but the truth is you could make it work with what you have now.
  • You can point out how your business mentor is successful because they use XYZ software, but they probably got started without it.

Obsessing about the ultimate strategy or the ultimate diet or the ultimate golf club can be a clever way to prevent yourself from doing hard work. You’re putting up roadblocks before you even tun the key over.

As my regular readers know, I’m all for optimizing and improvement. One percent gains fill me with joy. Small habits leave me smitten. Disturbing levels of consistency make my heart flutter. But don’t let visions of what is optimal prevent you from getting started in the first place.

An imperfect start can always be improved, but obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.

What are you holding back from right now because you need something before you can start? What would happen if you just went for it instead? Maybe you would fail. Maybe you would succeed? But, what if you sat and did nothing about it?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.