Last month, I was thrilled when the producer of New Day Northwest asked me to be on their show! For those of you who don’t live in Seattle, we have been experiencing the “Viadoom”. One of the main thoroughfares in Seattle, the Viaduct, has been closed for about three weeks while they are building a tunnel to replace it. Seattlites have dreaded this closing for years, and it has been a highly debated topic. Driving over the Viaduct (and running on it, as I got to experience on my last marathon), has definitely been an iconic experience. Since the Viaduct is closed, many people will be working from home who aren’t used to not being in the office.
The most important thing to maximize working from home is to get very connected to your “why”, and to tune in to yourself. So often we get tuned in to other people’s agendas, and have a hard time following through with our own priorities. While I do believe scheduling your day and having deadlines is important, without a solid morning routine and an organized space, your actions may not align with your larger vision.
I am an artist, a home organizer and productivity coach. I worked as a glassblower for many years, and have a Masters of Fine Art from Rhode Island School of Design. I like to note the RISD part because this education took my productivity to a whole new level. (More on that for another blog post!) I have a lot of things I want to do in any given day, and without taking time for self-attunement, my ADHD will get the best of me, and I will be derailed. Many artists come to me for coaching or organizing, since I straddle both worlds.
Note: Before you do this, make sure to pick a time that you want to start working, and stick to it. (This is the part I am still learning!)
- “Bubble Up”. This is a foundational mindfulness technique taught to me by Daisy Thompson. Here’s the simplified version: Imagine white light streaming from above the top of your head, throughout your body, and out your feet. Imaging a grounding energy coming up through your feet, through your body, and out the top of your head. Then imagine yourself incased in a bubble of white light! I do it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and several times throughout the day.
- Engage in a short creativity practice. Michael Burns, one of architecture teachers in college, would purposefully not match his socks together in the drawer, so he could create a design exercise first thing in the morning. In his class (almost 20 years ago), a bright lightbulb lit up for me during one of his assignments. (More on that for another post too!) I recommend picking a theme word for the day (or the month or the year), and either drawing it (literally or figuratively, or both) or writing about it. This connects your head to your heart and acts stronger than a vision board. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an artist, I still recommend engaging in the creativity practice.
- Eat right for your body type, and stay hydrated. While everyone’s dietary and water needs are different, I like to emphasize making sure you eat enough of the right things first, like protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy grains and healthy fats. Make sure you have these foods available so you can fuel up right. I have an obsession with water, and fill up a container to make sure I drink a gallon of water each day.
- Move your body! I have a 12 pound live-in personal trainer, also known as Maisy. Maisy is a Jack Russell Terrier, and so I have a super bossy accountability buddy. How cool is it that Margaret Larson, the host of the show, also has a Jack!? In addition to this, I also like to do a quick workout. Jef Nelson, creator of Shogun Fitness, has a fabulous online program for folks who don’t want to spend time traveling to and from the gym. Exercise helps increase dopamine in the brain, which helps improve attention span and focus, and also creates endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body.
- Clear clutter, especially in your workspace. Ideally do this before the work day has started. Dispose of the trash and recycling, file paperwork that needs to be filed, and put items back where they belong. While a little mess may help some people feel more creative, too much can be a burden on the subconscious mind. Find the balance that is right for you. I also like to suggest having objects, images or words that inspire you to reach your goals. I have an image of Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia right above my computer.