7.13.2021

Balancing Work-from-Home Life

The transition from virtual school to work could not have been more seamless. In a way, I definitely think that being accustomed to logging on every day and establishing some sort of routine while already working from home has helped with my new internship and balancing work and life. With that said, it definitely had some of its challenges, but everyone has already been so supportive of me and my wellbeing. 

The biggest challenge is that, in the words of Dolly Parton, "I'm working nine to five" and it has already been a month so far. The post college life has already kicked into high gear and I know that I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to find a job right after graduating. The momentum is there and I am constantly learning and becoming more immersed in the work that Golin does. I think I've found a routine that works for me, but it's definitely going with the flow and finding the fun in every new day even if it's within the four walls of my bedroom. 

Cultivating a Work Setting I Enjoy
There's something about having all of your ducks in a row at your desk that makes a work day feel much more productive and motivating. To me, I've always valued the power of interior design and what it does to your mentality, but also how putting together a space can entirely change your mood or mindset in what you want to achieve. 

Building aesthetics that bring you joy, adding touches of personality that make you smile, or just swapping out an old pen for something a bit more sparkly is just the thrill of it all to me. I'm very proud of my cozy work corner and the mid-century touches I've added, including this new powder blue plush accent chair, these mini rattan shelves for my knick knacks, or this rad cheetah wall print I found. It all stimulates the creative brain cells and honestly who would want to work in a drab, grey cubicle over this? 
Staying Organized and On Task

There's no doubt that working at home has risen the ultimate distractions: Cooper barging into my Zoom calls, lawn mowers out my window, or just the fact that my bed is two feet away from my desk have all tempted me to get up and just shut off work-mode. I've found it best for me to wake up early and get my day situated, rather than rolling right out of bed, and using a daily or hourly planner to segment my tasks and priorities for the day so I stay focused. 

I know everyone has their own system, and mine consists of a few different planners, sticky notes, and online calendars, but I've found that having my schedule posted somewhere just helps me keep track and on task. There's always a spontaneous meeting or deadline here and there, but having my core tasks keeps me motivated and is always super satisfying to tear off at the end of a productive day. Setting reminders for meetings as well as using planning software such as Notion have been extremely helpful especially if you are someone who finds it overwhelming to keep track of everything you're doing remotely. 

Taking Breaks & Prioritizing my Needs
We've all heard about Zoom fatigue and burnout, but now that everyone is pretty used to work-from-home, I think we can all get too ahead of ourselves with the "grind" and find it easier to make excuses to do more work than we need to be doing. Whether it's sitting there meeting after meeting, or just punching out deadlines left and right, we have lost very precious time to decompress and refresh during our days. 

At least for those who still work at home, there are no mid day commutes, coffee runs, walking from board room to board room, you name it. I even miss sitting on the "L" and just listening to tunes before my next class. I've loved making summer Spotify playlists, walking my dog, or making an impromptu coffee run just to get out. I've also made it to local coffee shops and the library to just have a place to work. There's still whispers about whether or not we're going back into the office, but that won't be until the fall, so I've been really trying to switch up my days while at home and I think it is so key to just set yourself some time off. Even if it's five minutes to get some fresh air, it all makes a difference. 

I just joined a gym this spring and have been the most consistent with it than I ever have been. Not just because it has a rooftop pool, but because my mental health has thrived from being able to release all of my pent up energy. I've felt so much better being able to at least get a run or lift in after a long work day. It definitely takes determination and discipline to do, but I reward myself with lazier weekends and yoga sessions.  

They never really tell you how work life is until you're already in it and I realize that this is only the beginning step to my career. There is much more for me to learn, but the support, guidance, and appreciation I have been given keeps me humble and inspired to pursue this role to its fullest. I love my teams and have been welcomed with open arms, so maybe working from home for just a little while longer will be just fine :) 

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