A New Weekly Routine and How I Stay Productive

LIFESTYLE, Wellbeing

Never before have I worked from home. During my previous self employed years I spent a lot of time at home but then went out to work for a few hours before returning. In the house during ‘downtime’ not a lot got done as I didn’t have a focus and always had the mindset “I’ll do it after work” or “I want to save my energy for work”. Lately this kind of mindset isn’t possible and I need to find the productivity within me to work from home, stay focused and end the day feeling like I have achieved something. I thought I would write more about how my week goes and bring a little structure for me to keep coming back to if it does ever get lost.

The Week Days

On Monday I enjoy a slow Monday morning start and I always have. In two previous jobs I always liked the later starting shift to ease back into the week and get jobs done that we had left over the weekend. Over lockdown I have also been heading to bed around 9pm which means earlier starts in the morning. This definitely helps come Monday morning as I have a couple of hours to tidy around the house and get ready. Although this used to mean rising at 8am and being at work later an early night means I can wake at 6am and still have the same slow start before working between 8am-9am.

I will then work for a few hours in the morning before having a little coffee revival around 11am, maybe with an Italian biscuit or two. I find having something to look forward to, getting up and stretching my legs really helps keeps me focused until that time. If something is really not working for me and I am struggling with the focus I will go and spend time with Mia or go out into the garden before returning to it. 

Sometimes I do feel unproductive. Some days I wake up without focus after having a sleepless night and find it difficult to be creative or put pen to paper as they say. I have found the best way to ‘overcome’ this is to help it before it happens. A night of uninterrupted rest and a fresh, feel good start to each day is the way that I look after the future me and make sure I am set up ready to go in the best possible way. This is also important in what I eat too. I find the science behind gut health and mental health to be very interesting and can say that I have noticed it in my own life, day to day and looking back. In a very trivial sense of it I have always noticed that my stomach tightens and I can’t eat when watching any kind of tense film and in the most basic form of the topic eating healthy is incredibly important for me to be my best creative and productive self for that day and the next. 

I have more recently purchased Chloe Slade’s Vibe and Flow 90 Day Manifestation Journal which I am finding very helpful as I go to start each day by adding tasks to complete and productive aims for being the best version of myself. In the evening I can write how I have felt that day and what I can do to make tomorrow just as successful, if not more so and to do a little evaluation. Having always been interested in journaling I think I prefer having the key points in the 90 Day Manifestation Journal to assess rather than letting my mind wander and not knowing where to start. The journal has also helped me bring the focus back to what I am wanting to manifest, happiness at the end of the day and a good work-life balance. 

My work from home set up and Vibe and Flow 90 Day Manifestation Journal

Into the Weekend

By Friday I am ready for the weekend to start in the afternoon, who isn’t, right? When we get back to ‘normal’ after the current situation my husband will be back at work Monday- Friday which will mean we are likely going to be spending the weekends out walking in Derbyshire or heading out on the motorbike to find a coffee shop. 

Sundays are the time for me to recharge and I like to do this by chatting to family and friends which is great as we all tend to focus on work during the week days. A little self care can also go a long way on a Sunday and I enjoy time for a face mask, reading and a long walk outside. I have found that a little break to reset helps the focus within the week as well as boosting the creativity with change and doing something different. 

From writing this post I have even noticed that there are a couple of common themes. Being out in nature helps me to refocus and relax for a moment and that I do like, and feel most productive, by having a structure. Re-evaluating the day to day can sometimes reveal something that is hard to notice when you’re just getting on with it all of the time.

Do you have any work from home tips or a way that you’ve found you work better? Let me know here in the comments or over on Instagram @lorenjessica_ it would be great to chat!

Country Lane

Starting a Mindful Routine

LIFESTYLE, Wellbeing

In a couple of weeks I’m going to be able to find my own routine. For a long while I’ve not been in a position where I have been able to say ‘I will do this every day’ or ‘I will attend this class every week’. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you see it) I am a creature of habit and need some form of routine even if this is just at the beginning of the week or having something to look forward to at the end of the week. My mental health has taken a decline over the past few months and this comes in early forms of anxiety and self neglect and I am confident that some form of routine and dedicated time for ‘self care’ will help as well as counselling time. In a few days time I can happily say I will be able to do this so I have been planning a routine and collating the things that I have so far found helps me.

1. Meditation. It’s not all ‘ummm-ing’ and ‘ahhh-ing’ and I use it to take a moment to get back to grips with how my body feels and to get my brain back to focusing. I use the Headspace app for when I need a guided meditation and have also practiced a couple of tips for when I need to take a minute out and about.

2. Exercise. I know it sounds like such a cliche but it works for me and others I have spoken to. For that session I am focused on my workout and the music I’m listening to and there’s a lot to be said for the link between science and hormones. A work routine will allow me to say I will attend a Pilates, Aqua or Yoga session at the same time every week, meet people, get fit, stay focused for that time and get an endorphin buzz.

3. Bath and a book. Reading has always been a form of relaxation for me and getting into a warm bath knowing that that time is going to be spent taking a moment for me is something I can look forward to at the end of a busy week (or on a grey Monday/hump Wednesday or any other time I wanted to plan it in).

4. Dog walking. Taking a breath of fresh air, stretching my legs and knowing I have done something that the pooch will also love makes me very happy. Mia gets me outside, maybe saying hello to another human being/another dog and I come back from a walk feeling refreshed and motivated to keep going rather than sitting, procrastinating or just pottering with no real intention around the house.

A couple of other things I intend to add to this list is more financial management and sitting down on a Sunday evening and planning the week ahead to include workouts, meals and quality time with my husband. I’ll keep a track of my mood and experiences and check in over the next few months. If you have any tips or experience of your own to add please get in touch either here or over on Instagram.

Until next time,

L x