A Day in the Life of a Remote-Worker
In 2015, my (now) husband and I lived in Nashville for a year while I maintained my position with the lobbying firm I currently work at out of Sacramento. So, I was conducting business as-usual, from across the country. Overnight, I quickly journeyed into the life of a work-from-home employee and today still work several days out of the year from-home. Thanks to technological advances and sophisticated software, it was an easy transition. However, getting into the ‘sit inside a house all day alone with little to no in-person human interaction’ groove can take some adjusting to and creating a productive, yet calm space to work within can be a a challenge but also a cool learning experience. Here is what I learned.
According to Forbes.com, 1 in 5 Americans work from home. Those of us who fall into this category know that working from home can have its challenges. One of the biggest challenges of working from home is staying focused on the task at hand. In order to be productive, we must take the necessary steps to make our at-home work space inviting and inspiring. We must create a space that fosters productivity, creativity, and focus.
The concept of Zen is liberation from incessant, non-productive thoughts. Whether it’s your home office, your meditation room, or the space where you practice yoga, Zen home spaces have the same effect: they calm and center your mind, allowing you to focus on what’s important. You’ll be amazed at how well you function, how comfortable you feel and how calmly you conduct your workdays.
Follow these simple tips to create a sacred / zen home office space:
1. A functional desk is a must. The functional desk leads to less clutter. It’s a place to organize all of the stuff that you don’t use every day and therefore don’t need cluttering up your space (ie.the stapler, paperclips, note pads, etc). If you have to stare at this space for much of your day, let’s make sure it’s an unencumbered view.
2. Shed some light on your work day. If possible, make sure your desk is facing a window. Workdays can be stressful, but the stress can be brought to a minimum (or completely eliminated) with a glimpse out your window. It’s important to take moments throughout your day to open a window, look outside, take a few breaths, and calm the mind. You’ll return to work refreshed and ready to continue full speed ahead.
3. Your work space is for WORK. Just as they say that the bedroom should only be for sex and sleep, set aside your work room for only work purposes. Work should be kept at work, and in this case, since your work is in your home, keep work in your workspace. Don’t let the stresses of work permeate into your home. When you’re “off the clock,” close that door and be done with it.
4. Flower Power. Keep fresh flowers at your desk. They’re beautiful, they smell good, and they brighten up a workspace. Enough said.
5. Cozy is key. Keep a cozy throw blanket on the back of your office chair. This is great for the winter months when it’s cold outside and your frozen body is throwing a wrench into your work- day mechanics. You’re at home — you should be cozy! You can burn some candles or maybe play soft music in the background. It’s important to create a comfortable workspace where you can work while also promoting feelings of warmth and relaxation.
6. Dress comfortably. Cute and comfy lounge clothes are a must. Referring to the previous bullet, cozy is key. This is one of the perks of working from home; you can work in your PJ’s. I recommend investing in some lounge-wear that makes you look and feel good. You’ll be amazed how cute and comfy you feel when you throw on your new yoga pants and favorite hoodie.
7. Keep it simple. Keep what you need to function and be comfortable, and ditch the rest. No need for unnecessary and intrusive calendars or cork boards. As Yoga Master Adriene Mishler puts it, “find what feels good.” Create a space that is workable for you, but don’t neglect the comfort and relaxation aspects. Put your feng shui skills to use and create a space that fosters your individuality, creativity and comfort. Just like you want to look and feel good in your clothes, you also want your workspace to look and feel good too.
8. Don’t be shy with the affirmations. Sometimes we need a daily reminder of what is important to us – of what the big picture looks like – outside of the daily hassles of work. Make it a point to type up or handwrite your favorite poem or affirmation and stick it somewhere where you’ll notice it every day. For example, I enjoy seeing this on my bulletin board above my desk before I start my work day:
“Henceforth I will look upon all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness because it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness because it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards because they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles because they are my challenge. I will greet this day with love in my heart.” –Augustine “Og” Mandino
Affirmations that aim to reduce stress are another great option:
• I am free from stress
• I am letting go of my worries
• My mind is calm
• My body is at peace
• I release all tension from my mind and body
More stress reducing affirmations can be found here While your workspace should be an area just for work, it can still be a place of calm. Designing a workspace that is uniquely you is encouraging and creates a positive, empowered feeling each time you start your workday. We hope these tips allow you to create an awesome workspace that you can feel good about.
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Danielle contributed this article to YogiApproved.com