How to Work From Home Like a Boss

How to master the art of working from home

Before I started my current job, I hated the idea of working from home. I love being around people, and the thought of being isolated all day made me sad; plus, I didn’t want to taint my home with the stress of work. But in the past year and a half, I’ve totally changed my mind. These days, most of my meetings are on Skype (so going to the office doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll see much of my co-workers), and I’m fortunate to have a job I love that isn’t super stressful on a day-to-day basis. I typically work from home four days a week, and I’ve got it down to a fine art. Here’s what you need to do to make it awesome.

Get comfy. There are people out there who will tell you that you need to put on your biz casual best in order to really get into the workday mindset. I am not those people. I don’t know about you, but I do my best work when I’m relaxed! Obviously, this means staying in my PJs all day. (At least until I have to go out to grab lunch. But you better believe I put them back on the second I get home.)

Use a dedicated workspace. Your home may not be large enough for a true office (mine sure isn’t), but trust me, you can make room for a well-appointed desk. Having a spot that’s reserved solely for getting shit done will make ALL the difference – and it’ll keep you off the couch and away from the rabbit hole that is Netflix.

Caffeine is a must.

Create the environment you need. I prefer some white noise while I work, so I usually play music or turn on the TV – but it has to be something that easily fades into the background, like HGTV or reruns of Friends that I’ve seen a million times. If you know you can’t focus without caffeine, invest in a coffee maker (or keep the fridge stocked with cold brew). If you work best with another person sitting next to you (studies show this can be a very effective motivator!), schedule work dates with a friend who also works remotely.

Be a multitasking machine. Probably the best thing about working from home is the massive amounts of time saved. Not having to commute (or even get dressed) in the morning means a substantial amount of extra sleep time, which is glorious. But I also get a lot done at home during the day that I wouldn’t be able to do at the office, like editing blog photos on my lunch break or folding laundry while I’m on a conference call. Score!

Know when it's time for happy hour

Know when to walk away. Conversely, the toughest thing about working from home is unplugging at the end of the day; it can be hard to disconnect when there’s no real separation between home and office. It helps to schedule something that will force you to step away from your desk, whether it’s happy hour with a friend, a yoga class, or just an alarm on your phone reminding you to hit up the grocery store. This also goes for breaks during the day – try to get outside, even if it’s just to walk down the block and feel the sun on your face!

For those of you who also work from home, do you love it or hate it? Any advice to share? I’d love to hear what you think!

♥ Mil

P.S. You might also enjoy Jules’ tips for working smarter, not harder.

 

Images: 1 / 2 / 3

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a pretty quiet week around here, but that can be a good thing now and then. I caught an advance screening of Tina Fey’s new movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot the other night, which I really enjoyed. What are you up to this weekend? I have major brunch plans, and Jules will be settling into her new home (which has a pool, by the way. So much jealousy). Let’s get the weekend started with a few fun links!

Friday Favorites

1. Need some advice on jump-starting your workday? Check out the routines of these seven successful women and see how they spend their first hour at the office.

2. My birthday may be a couple of months away, but this birthday cake popcorn is calling out to me. YUM.

3. Behold, the best place for you to travel according to your zodiac sign! Apparently I should plan a trip to Spain – which is pretty legit, since I was just telling my sister how much I want to visit Barcelona.

4. Neat freak that I am, these cute bathroom organization ideas are catnip for my soul. A girl can never have too many trays, jars, or pretty baskets…especially when those baskets are filled with Lush face masks.

5. For all you bloggers out there who are also running a business (or are planning to start one), these books will inspire you.

Bonus: Netflix is looking for people to travel the world and take Instagram photos of awesome movie and tv sets. If you’ve got a killer Instagram feed and a couple of weeks to kill, check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend!

♥ Mil

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, lovely friends! How was your week? I gotta say, I’m pretty psyched to spend the next couple of days in my jammies, binge watching The X-Files in preparation for Sunday’s premiere. Yep, it’s a glamorous life I lead. What about you guys? What’s in your Netflix queue these days? I still need to watch Making a Murderer, among other things…no spoilers! Now let’s get the weekend started with a few fun links.

Our favorite weekly links from around the web!

1. Craving a new hairstyle but not sure what you want? You should consult your haircut horoscope for 2016. (Refinery29)

2. I always love sending out Valentine’s Day cards, and these Parks and Rec themed printables are the cutest! Perfect for your bestie who’s the Ann Perkins to your Leslie Knope. (Brit + Co.)

3. Fellow bloggers, this downloadable editorial calendar is just what you need to plan content, track your stats, and stay on top of your social posts. (The Fox and She)

4. Treat yo’ self to some much needed me time with these 10 ideas for screen-free breaks throughout your day. (Waiting on Martha)

5. Looking for a solid investment? Buy an Hermès Birkin bag…if you can. This recent study shows that they hold their value far better than stocks or gold. (Racked)

Have an awesome weekend!

♥ Mil

New Year. New Goals.

2016 new year blog resolutions
Hello lovelies! Today I want to talk goals for the new year. I love embracing the idea of the New Year as a fresh start, a time for reflection and self-improvement. 2015 was a big year for me. We moved to Seattle, which marked the first time Mil and I have lived in the same city in 10 years! I also turned 30, which was both exciting and bittersweet.
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As we kick off 2016, Mil and I wanted to share our goals for the year, both for the blog and for ourselves personally.
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2016 Blog Goals

Mil
1. Improve my photography skills. I’d love to do a workshop like this one to learn more about camera basics, photo styling, and editing. Actually, just upgrading to a proper camera (or even a newer iPhone) would be a major improvement!

2. Plan blog content further in advance. This is something that Jules is really good at, whereas I tend to fly by the seat of my pants most of the time. I usually have plenty of ideas, but when it comes to creating the content itself, I don’t like to feel tied to any particular concept on a given night. However, I’m sure I could save myself some stress if I fill out our editorial calendar for the month and just stick to whatever it is I have scheduled.

Jules
1. Share blog content on Instagram. I love following bloggers on Instagram. I love getting little glimpses into their “real” life, as well as sneak previews of upcoming blog content. As much as I like engaging with other bloggers on Instagram, I’ve done very little to engage others with my account and our blog. I know I’m never going to be interested in overly curating my content, as I like posting in the moment. However, I want to do a better job of previewing and teasing blog content. 

2. Take more risks with content. As you know by now, food is my happy place. This year, I want to push myself to not only write about new topics, but to also try out new content. I’m particularly interested in playing around with video, so stay tuned for some experiments.
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2016 Personal Goals

Mil
1. Expand my brunch horizons. You guys know I have a certain fondness for brunch, and I’m making it my mission to try a new brunch place every month in 2016. (Of course I’m making Jules come with me. I can’t drink all those bottomless mimosas by myself, now can I?)

2. Shake up my beauty routine. My collection of beauty products is vast, yet I only use a small percentage of it in any given week. For someone who’s so obsessed with makeup, it’s a little shameful that I tend to reach for the same eyeshadow every day. Not to mention all the items I have that I’ve never even tried (hey there, false eyelashes)! I’m determined to branch out more, whether that means a bold red lip on a random weekday or trying a smoky eye look in an unexpected shade.

Jules
1. Pursue freelance opportunities. My dream is to run my own business, whether it’s running a cafe or consulting on marketing and nonprofit strategy. When we first moved to Seattle, I dabbled with pursuing freelance writing and consulting, but stopped once I got a full time job. Now that I’ve been in my role for about a year, I feel ready to start building out my side hustle. 

2. Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am terribly inconsistent with my reading habits. I go through phases where I read a book a week and then won’t read anything for a few months. I also gravitate towards the same types of books: humorous memoirs, family dramas featuring strong female characters, etc. I’m hoping this challenge will gently push me out of my comfort zone.
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Do you blog? What are your goals this year, both professionally and personally? Looking forward to hearing about them!

XOXO,
Jules

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