I think it’s safe to say that millennials have started a lot of trends. From making avocado toast for breakfast, to taking pictures of aesthetically pleasing food at a restaurant and then posting it on social media, this generation is the definition of #trendy. But aside from succulents, salt lamps, and quaint coffee shops, possibly one of the biggest trends that they’ve fueled is working from home. This generation has truly embraced the concepts of being your own boss, taking on freelance jobs, and following an alternative career path. Can I ask you a quick question: Are you one of those millennials who work from home? I am, and recently I’ve started some traditions with myself that I think you would love.
As of right now, you may already have a few traditions or routines you stick to on the reg. You may use certain coffee mugs on certain days of the week, or wear sweatpants on what you’ve dubbed your very own, “casual Fridays.” You may work out in the morning before signing into your virtual office for the day, or have self-scheduled breaks when you catch up on social media and your personal text messages. That deserves a huge round of applause (*cue the claps*), because it’s not always easy or straightforward to work from home.
But in addition to those traditions, I’d like to give you five more I think you should start, well, ASAP. They’re tried, true, and routines you’ll love.
First things first: When you work from home, it’s crucial that you give yourself time during the day for a break. In an office, you have coworkers who may encourage you to get up, grab a coffee or snack, and walk away from you screens — especially when you’re feeling a little stressed.
But at home, it’s solely up to you to find or create this time. Start by setting alarms on your phone that remind you to stretch, take a sip of water, or a quick lap around your apartment. Take five minutes or so every hour to get the blood flowing and remove your eyes from your laptop, phone, and ongoing projects.
You’ll find that this little tradition helps your focus and creativity, eliminates your need for distractions, and makes you feel less drained at the end of the day.
The beauty of working from home is that you have some extra time in the morning to make yourself a good breakfast. Unlike someone who goes into the office every day, you don’t have to worry about commuting or catching the subway on time. That leaves lots of room in your life for waffles, homemade smoothie bowls, and veggie-filled omelettes.
Sure, you could stay snuggled up in your blankets for another half hour or so, scrolling on social media, or use that time to work on your side hustle. But I’d suggest pouring yourself a cup of cold brew, opening up your fridge, and using this time to get in touch with your kitchen.
The food you make and eat will fuel you for the day, and you’ll enjoy trying new recipes, ingredients, and flavors before signing on. Trust me and get cookin’.
Just in case you didn’t already know, having work-life balance is essential. When you work from home, you can create this balance by starting a detoxing tradition with yourself.
It works like this: After you sign off work, pinky promise yourself that you won’t check your email or maybe even walk into your office space. Let your brain hit a virtual “pause” button on your projects, and focus on your friendships, relationships, and home life instead.
Give yourself an hour or so away from your screens, if your job requires you to be primarily on your computer or phone, and do something active and social like a spin class at the gym, going grocery shopping with your SO, or meeting your bestie for happy hour. It’ll be life-changing.
One morning, before checking my email and getting settled into work for the day, I was on Instagram. I tapped through recently posted stories, and everybody seemed to be posting the same thing: their to-do list for the day. I loved the idea and decided it should be a tradition for those millennials who work from home. Let’s do it, shall we?
Because, let’s be honest: It can be difficult to stay focused when you’re working in the same space that you live in. Even if you have an office or studio in your apartment, it can be tough to get your tasks done and not think, “I could use a snack from the kitchen right now.”
Posting your to-do list on social media allows you to hold yourself accountable, ditch procrastination, and lay out some attainable goals. Who knows, you may even get an encouraging DM from one of your followers that says, “You’ve got this.”
As far as I’m concerned, life is too short to not treat yourself. Especially when you’re putting in time on the weekends, or adding the finishing touches on a huge project that you were assigned, it’s #necessary. The best way to treat yourself when you work from home? Order takeout for lunch.
Get your favorite sushi or pasta dish delivered, or grab a pizza from the restaurant down the street on your break. Spend an extra $5 on a freshly made smoothie, too, because why not? You deserve it, and it’s a great way to celebrate your little victories, efforts, and huge accomplishments.
Since I’ve started these kind of traditions with myself, working from home has been so much better. Start them for yourself, OK?