The Importance of Sticking to a Routine When Working from Home: Why Getting Dressed in the Morning Matters, and Other Self-Care Tips for Beginner Remote Freelancers

Working from home can be a great way to have more control over your schedule and avoid the daily commute. However, letting yourself go can be easy if you're not careful. One of the easiest ways to combat this is by getting dressed in the morning, even if you don't plan on leaving the house. A designated work clothes area can also help you stay organized and productive when working from home. This blog post will discuss tips for creating a remote work capsule wardrobe and staying productive as a freelancer!

The importance of getting dressed in the morning, even when you work from home.

In today's world, where so many of us do our work remotely, it can be easy to let yourself go and become less productive if you're not careful. One of the best ways to avoid this trap is by getting dressed in the morning, even if you don't plan on leaving the house for your workday. This can help create structure and discipline while boosting your self-confidence and motivation.

Look good, feel better!

The easiest way to do this is to have a uniform. A capsule wardrobe of work-appropriate clothing you feel confident in can do wonders for your productivity and motivation, especially when working from home. Whether it's a simple but stylish outfit or something more creative, the key is to pick pieces that inspire and energize you rather than drain your time or energy. Organizing clothing by color can help you put an outfit together fast. Depending on your industry, you can be as creative as possible. Despite not having to commute to a physical office, the last thing you want to do is look like you are wearing yesterday's workout clothes.

When dressing for the day, wrinkle-resistant, timeless pieces of singular color or a few neutral hues interspersed with bolder shades tend to be my go-to. I usually wear mules or loafers to keep up with my energetic chihuahua dogter. If I run errands during the day, I don't have to worry about looking like I just rolled out of bed. My clothing also helps create a healthy separation between work and leisure time, allowing me to relax completely during my off hours. Mister Rogers had it all figured out!

Creating YOUR Perfect Morning

This is the perfect opportunity to create your perfect morning. A good routine can work wonders for your productivity and well-being, so why not start the day by taking a few minutes to get ready? This could include making yourself a healthy breakfast, getting in a Pilates or Yoga session before the workday, or getting dressed in clothes that make you feel confident and put-together.

Rolling right out of bed will never do you any favors, whether working from home or not.

You'll find that giving yourself some buffer time to enjoy your coffee, tea, or exercise before starting your workday can work wonders for your focus and motivation. After all, taking care of yourself should be a priority no matter where you are or what type of work you do! It's okay to start slow. Only add things to your routine that you enjoy and can often do. This is YOUR routine.

ELIZABETH ALARCON - BLOG POST QUOTE - The Importance of Sticking to a Routine When Working from Home Why Getting Dressed in the Morning Matters, and Other Self-Care Tips for Beginner Remote Freelancers

"Schedules are meant to help, not hinder. Create them with your lifestyle in mind." - Chrissy Halton
“Schedules are meant to help, not hinder. Create them with your lifestyle in mind.” – Chrissy Halton

Progress NOT Perfection

It's easy to get distracted and stray from the schedule, but that won't help your productivity or well-being in the long run. Building good habits takes time and consistency, so don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to get into the swing.

Remember, progress is better than perfection! Find what works for you and stick with it until something changes. There are no shortcuts here, but the results of a well-crafted routine are worth the effort. Sticking to a routine when working remotely doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming — just a few small changes can make a huge difference in your productivity and motivation.

Creating a functional and organized work area

Another key to staying productive when working from home is creating a functional and organized work area. Finding the right furniture, setting up your workspace ergonomically, and investing in helpful accessories like lights and wall organizers can make all the difference.

Having clutter-free surfaces will help you stay focused on the task, and having the right tools close at hand can make your workday a breeze. Don't overdo it, though. Work with what you already have.

Physical vs. Digital Tools: Why not both?

Physical tools can be great for organizing your workspace and providing structure for your workday. Paper calendars, planners, sticky notes, and whiteboards — are all essential for staying on track with deadlines and tasks. On the other hand, digital tools can also come in handy when it comes to getting organized. Apps like Notion and ClickUp can help you stay organized and keep track of tasks. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what type of tools best suit your needs. Pick something to help you stay productive rather than take away from your work time!

Here's more or less what I use:

ELIZABETH-ALARCON-LEADERBOARD-ADS-The-Freelancers-Mobile-Office-Systems-and-Tools-Every-Freelancer-Needs
The Freelancer's Mobile Office: Systems and Tools Every Freelancer Needs

What's Functional For Me, May Not Be Functional For You

Establishing an effective work area and system is key when working remotely, and remember that no two people’s systems will be the same. Have the courage to try out new tactics until you find what works best for you, but also take your time in this process – it requires patience!

For me to be productive, I need a dedicated workspace. Attempting to work at the kitchen table, couch, or even my bed proved futile; only when sitting in front of a desk do I have that feeling of ‘work mode.' This also means that when I leave that space, I can be fully present with my family and friends—and speaking of family and friends.

Communication is Key: Setting Boundaries With Family and Friends

Whether it’s communicating the hours you’ll be available to talk or setting a “work zone” in certain areas of the house, it's important to set expectations so that you and your family are on the same page.

This is especially important if children are involved- they can sense when something isn't quite right and need reassurance that their parent is still around even when they're busy with work. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway): don't be afraid to ask for help when needed!

Here's What Helps Me:

  1. I know it sounds simple, but closing and locking the door if you have a dedicated office. Add a visual marker if you're in an open space like me.
  2. Setting my devices to Do Not Disturb and only allow certain contacts to reach me. Example: Husband, Mother, and Mother-in-Law. That's it.
  3. Train people not to reach you during work hours unless it's an emergency.
  4. …and just because someone texts you doesn't mean you need to respond immediately.
  5. Scheduling my work hours and making sure I stick to them. When I clock out, I'm not touching email or anything work-related. My dogter is waiting for me on the couch.
ELIZABETH ALARCON - DEADASS, THIS IS MY NOTIFICATION FOR END OF DAY.
Like, seriously. Don't even try it.

Keep a Positive Mindset and Celebrate Your Successes

It’s sometimes important to disconnect from technology and enjoy life – even for five minutes. Taking time to separate from your work and relax can help you stay focused when you return. Nothing beats immersing myself in the beauty of nature and feeling the warmth of the sun's rays on my face. The doggo agrees.

Challenge Your Outlook, But Don't Allow Toxic Optimism to Trap You

You can still face stress, anxiety, and frustration even when working from home. It is important to be mindful of your mental health and the impact these feelings may have on your work. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling without judgment.

It's ok not to be “productive” all the time. Taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself is more important, especially when things are not going well. If something isn't going right, take a step back and reassess the situation. Remember, you are in control and can make changes to better suit your needs.

As for me, I make time for physical movement. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I get up and walk away. Even if it's just a short stroll around the block or some gentle yoga poses. Regular exercise helps boost focus, reduce stress, and increase productivity, but I do it more to break the day up and not feel like I'm just working all day. I allow myself to feel what I feel when I feel it. You know yourself better than anyone else, so use your unique power to make changes that suit you.

Even the Smallest Victories Count

I have a saying, “Gimme all the wins!” Find the small wins throughout your day and celebrate them. Whether finishing a task or progressing through a particularly challenging one, these successes can help you stay motivated and positive.

Rewarding yourself when you reach a goal or accomplish something is also important. That could mean buying a snack or coffee or scheduling an evening out with friends. It helps create a healthy work-life balance and energizes you for your next task.

Every day is new, and every week can be a chance to restart. Celebrate the little wins, focus on what you've achieved, and don't forget to permit yourself to rest when needed. Make sure that any energy expended is productive energy—not just busyness for busyness' sake. And if you need to, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Establish Your Boundaries and Put Yourself First

Yes, I saved the best for last; if you forget anything else on this blog post, don't forget this: establish your boundaries and put yourself first. No amount of money is worth sacrificing your integrity, mental health, physical well-being, and other values. It is important to define when you are available for work and when you are not. Just as significant is establishing the boundaries of what behaviors and attitudes you won't accept from clients, colleagues, or partners.

Don't be afraid to ask for the credit or compensation you deserve, and don't put yourself in a position where you feel you need to sacrifice your well-being or mental health. Remember, it is ok to say no if something doesn't align with what you're looking for. Communicate honestly and openly about your expectations, and don't be afraid to take a stand for what you believe in.

Be ready to walk away.

Recap

1. Set a routine and stick to it, including getting dressed in the morning.

2. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling without judgment.

3. Take time for physical movement throughout the day and allow yourself to rest when needed.

4. Celebrate your successes and reward yourself when you reach a goal or complete something.

5. Establish your boundaries, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

6. Ask for the credit or compensation you deserve, and don't put yourself in a position where you must sacrifice your well-being or mental health.

7. Communicate openly and honestly about expectations; don't be afraid to take a stand for your beliefs.

8. Make sure any energy expended is productive, not just busyness, for the sake of busyness.

9. Reassess if something isn't going right, as you are in control and can make changes to better suit your needs.

10. Be ready to walk away if something isn't right.

Conclusion

Working from home can be tricky, but you can make it work with a few carefully chosen habits and the right mindset. Sticking to a routine will help keep you focused, motivated, and productive — no matter your circumstance. Don’t forget: progress over perfection!

It’s also important to remember that not all routines are created equal. Freelancers must design a schedule that works best for them, allowing them to be productive without sacrificing self-care. Too often, freelancers run ragged—working long hours that do little to contribute to their careers. A good routine should be productive and restorative, allowing space for creative exploration and regular breaks throughout the day.

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