7 Tips to Enhance Your Productivity While Working Remotely

In the last week, I, like many others across the globe, have found myself working from home. While I’ve done this a number of times due to illness or bad road conditions, I’ve never been home for an extended period of time as I am now. Let me tell you, adjusting to this temporary “new normal” was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. 

In the last couple weeks, I found what was supposed to be a hectic March rapidly slowing down. As events we were scheduled to attend began cancelling left and right due to COVID-19, I found my to do list decreasing exponentially; however, this has become the best time to discover new ways to get creative with my position. 

Set a routine — I’ve found that sticking to my usual routine and having my usual work hours work best for me and how I work. I usually get up, and do my usual morning skincare routine, brush my teeth, and get dressed before I start my day. I also keep my usual work hours to help me keep that space between work life and personal life.

Get dressed — Even if I’m changing over from my pajamas to leggings and a sweatshirt, I feel so much more productive when I get dressed for the day. Plus, it’s that extra push to get out of bed and to my desk. 

Create a workspace that is NOT your bed — When you realize that you’re working remotely, your first thought might be “wow I can’t wait to work from bed!” Right?? WRONG! Personally, I like to put on some chill, atmospheric music (Spotify has some great mood playlists), light some candles, and sit at my desk in my room away from distractions. I’m also one of those strange people who absolutely cannot have the tv on or I will get distracted from what I’m doing. 

Use the Ivy Lee Method — I recently started using the Ivy Lee Method to enhance my productivity at work after hearing about it through Lauryn Evarts Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential. Often times, I get pulled away from what I’m working on or something urgent will come up in the middle of working on a project, and I find that my productivity wanes. I started using this method as a means of keeping me on track when these distractions happen and it really works! At the beginning of each day, write down the 6 main tasks you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Those tasks that aren’t complete are transferred to the top of your to-do list the next day, and so on and so forth.

Take short brain breaks — The same thing goes for being in the office. I know that I can’t have my eyes on my computer all day long, nor can I stay focused for that long, so I remember to get up and get moving to give my mind and body a break. 

Check in with your colleagues — Working from home can get lonely, so make sure you check in with your co-workers just as you would if you were in the office.

Get active — We all know that sitting at your desk all day is not healthy. Make sure you get up and get moving several times a day, whether it’s taking a walk at lunch, ensuring that you’re getting up to stretch every so often, or scheduling in time to get in a good workout. Since working from home, I have a set a calendar notice every day at 5pm for my daily work out. This has helped immensely to integrate it into my routine. Additionally, there are so many benefits to staying active while staying in: improved focus and cognitive function, better sleep, boosts energy, combats health conditions and diseases, and much more.

These are just a few tips that I use to help keep me on track and productive while working from home. Do you have any WFH methods that aren’t on this list? Share them below!

-K.

Skin Care Routine

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For years I’ve struggled with finding the right skincare routine. Having eczema and dry, sensitive skin since I was just six days old is something that prevents me from using the vast majority of products out there. On top of this, nasty winter weather can wreak havoc on my skin. However, I’ve finally found a regiment that works for me and my extremely dry skin.

My process works as follows:

One // One thing I did not do enough in high school and college was wash off all of my makeup before bed. Usually because I believed I  was actually taking it off in the shower. Boy was I wrong! I did use Neutrogena products back then, but I found that while they did reduce oil, they dried out my skin terribly. Lately, I’ve been using Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water for waterproof makeup and I LOVE it! Just shake and drip a bit on a cotton round to take off your makeup. It does leave your skin a tad oily, but remember that this is just the first step. Sometimes (namely, when I fail to go through the rest of my routine when I get home late) if I just go to bed only using this step, my skin is softer when I wake up. You can find miceller water at CVS for only $8.99, and my latest bottle has lasted me a few months so it’s great for your wallet.

NOTE: If I’m traveling or stuck in a bind, I still carry my Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes. They’re the perfect quick fix, and they don’t dry out your skin.

Two // Recently I discovered Clinique’s 3-Step Process upon a trip to Ulta, and I must admit that I’m in love. This stuff actually WORKS! There are different levels for different skin types; I picked up the level 2 for dry combination skin.This is when I actually cleanse my skin with the first step of the program using the mild liquid facial soap. I wet my face and gently scrub my face and neck following up with a clean towel to dry before the next step. The 3-Step System trial package that I started out with is $19.50 at Ulta.

Three // Next I tone using the clarifying lotion, which acts and looks like a toner. This is where the exfoliation comes in. I apply it with a cotton ball all over my face and neck to sweep away dead skin cells. I take extra care to go over the particularly dry areas of my face a number of times during this step.

Four // The final step in Clinique’s process is the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. You guys, this lotion has worked WONDERS for me! I can’t rave about it enough. My skin is smooth, bright and radiant in the mornings after I put it on at night. I highly highly recommend this for anyone whose skin is as dry as mine.

Five // Finally, I apply Vaseline or my go-to Burt’s Bees to my lips, and the corners of my mouth which tend to crack in the winter over night.

So there you have it! What are some of your favorite skin care products?

-K.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Ch-ch-ch-changes

In a recent post, I briefly stated that I was making a number of changes in my life. My goal is to live a more positive, healthy, happy life by making small changes now to help me achieve bigger goals and chase bigger dreams.

Working a desk job, I don’t have much ability to be active throughout the day. After being able to be active while at school (walking across campus to class, dance practices, free gym access, etc), I realized I could not maintain my old habits. With the help of my boyfriend Ryan, I’ve devised a plan consisting of a few lifestyle changes in order to help me stay in shape and, ultimately live a more positive and happy life.

  • My FitBit is my new best friend. For my birthday a few weeks ago, Ryan bought me a FitBit Alta per my request.  While I have yet to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps, it has motivated me to get up and get moving. At work I tend to take the long route when walking to the water fountain, bathroom and my colleagues offices in order to get the most out of my steps. It also helps a lot with tracking my calorie intake on the app; it’s free and downloads to your phone while activating your FitBit after purchase.
  • Absolutely no fast food. Ryan and I decided to use the buddy system with this one. By cutting out all fast food, we are cutting out the option of taking the easy way out when it comes to lunch breaks. While I tend crave McDonald’s fries and tacos from Taco Bell, I’m breaking the habit by choosing healthier snack options such as Skinny Pop and baked chips. I also allow myself the occasional bit of Dove dark chocolate and chocolate milk when my sweet tooth is acting up.
  • Limit caffeine/drinking your calories. We also came up with the idea of limiting my caffeine intake to 2-3 times a week since I have a serious coffee and Coca~Cola addiction. Something that’s really helping me drink more water is the ability to track your water intake daily on the FitBit app. I’ve also been turning to sparkling water to help get the carbonation I often crave from pop.
  • Thinking positive thoughts. In a previous post I discussed my desire to live an overall more positive life and discussed the various ways I was doing so. You can check out that post here.
  • Make a daily routine. Right now I’m still trying to get the hang of my new sleeping schedule, but I have a sort-of routine that I’ve been sticking to as of late. The whole point of it for me, personally is to make sure I achieved all I needed to in the day.

What do you do to make sure you stick to your goals? Also, anyone with tips to quit biting your nail pleaseeee comment because that is my next goal.

-K