Calling all Boss Ladies! Are you ready to get out of your sweat pants and dress for success (the sustainable way)?
Discover a simple 4 step catalyst for greater productivity at home.
Productivity; the effectiveness of productive effort.
Believe it or not I originally began this little piece when I first started my business a couple of years ago. I wanted to shape the way that I was working from home more effectively. Like many I suffered with the "I don't have enough time" war cry when in reality I was not organised enough to use my time more efficiently. I just couldn't prioritise and as such this post never came to be and that was part of the working from home conumdrum. I couldn't see when I'd had a productive day because I'd lost sight of my daily goals. Great ideas were distracted from and drifted away in the ether. How sad.
Then 2020 happened. It forced most of us to view our work/life balance in a very, very different way. So I was recently reminded that I had this little beauty tucked into my drafts file and I've dusted off the cobwebs for you, enjoy, with a few tweaks.
As a freelancer, career Mum flexi-worker or remote office worker, being able to work from home gives you the flexibility to start and end your days around the needs of your family. You can work from anywhere and wear anything but don't let your surroundings or outfit choices dampen your spirits and render you less motivated. Make sure you avoid the just rolled out of bed look!
Whilst the desire to sit around in this climate in your funky beach dress is a strong draw, ask yourself: "Does this really motivate me, or simply encourage me to dream of cocktails and sunset walks..?" Of course, if your work involves designing beach wear or writing a travel destination blog then perhaps this is the perfect outfit. But you get my point.
Likewise lying on your unmade bed having woken up at ''whatever o'clock'' and hoping to get on with a productive days work is not setting yourself up for success or the best environment to submerge yourself in and you may be less likely to take your work seriously.
You may work from home, but you still need to "turn up for work". Although if like myself you are surrounded by young cheeky monkeys I hardly think you will have the opportunity to lounge around in your bed!
The Top 4 Priorities
Where will I work?
Set the scene and set up the right working environment. For some of you this may be in a "coffice" (a coffee shop/office), a new one on me! For other's and most likely this year, it will be your home office or niche in the corner of the room and you can style this as far as your imagination (and budget) will let you. Set the right tone, theme and layout, keep it tidy, use the right colour schemes, and make sure your desk and chair are the right ergonomic fit for you. Keep sustainable practices in mind for your decorating and furnishing choices by choosing to furnish using; recycled, upcycled or pre-loved items from sites like Carousell. Whilst I'm not green fingered I would highly recommend adding in a plant or two and do try to keep them alive!
What shall I wear?
Get dressed, because what we wear affects how we feel. What is your calendar like today? Choose your outfit well so you don't have to keep changing. If you rely on stage show style wardrobe changes every day the common misconception in your mind will be to think that you don't have enough clothes - must buy more. No! The root cause is most likely that you don't have the right clothes. Remember, wearing neutral colours in natural, breathable fibres will get you through the day especially if like me you have a lot of multi-tasking to do (kids, dogs, dinners etc.). Try cottons, linens, bamboo and silks for that natural flair. As a Mum, who happens to work-from-home even pre-covid I found it increasingly difficult to make the right outfit choice and found that most stores either didn't offer a sustainable option (other than a shapeless t-shirt) or were locking me in to this weeks latest trend only. This is why I launched Michelle Schulz.
There are some fabulously versatile pieces in the collection made for multi-wear purposes. Mix and match with your existing wardrobe to spruce up outfits that you thought you'd grown tired of.
Best yet, first time customer's receive a 20% first purchase discount once you sign up!
Figure out your goals, your daily and weekly goals ladies and be flexible, sometimes things just aren't going to work out the way you expected them to. Track them at the end of the week so you can actually see what you acheived, what fell through and what you decided to change. There are so many tools around to help you track your goals but I prefer a good old fashioned notebook like Bynd Artisan or something that is designed to guide and inspire me like Leaders In Heels.
Try and keep your working area as tidy as you can. This will lead to a clearer head. Trust me, even lining your shoes up outside of your front door is so incredibly satisfying for some reason, so imagine how good it will feel to work in a tidy area. Any household chores need doing? Do those before you start working or at the end of the day, know and understand yourself. I can't focus if I have a pile of laundry to put on, so I put it on in the morning and forget about it until lunchtime.
Figure out your most productive start time and remember to work in some scheduled breaks with a purpose (walk the dogs, have lunch, meditate, exercise, meet a friend), do whatever works for you to keep your brain and body alert. Set your daily finish time and keep weekends for your family and yourself. Whilst it may tempting to just fire off a quick email, don't, put that device down and step away. Working from home is not an excuse to work more but to more more effectively.
Join a community
Joining a community of like-minded people is not only fulfilling but with the challenges we are facing in 2020 and the foreseeable future you would really be missing out by choosing not to try this. I was reluctant a few months ago but am now so invested in this idea that I sincerely wish for you to try it. Make sure it is the right community for you, don't feel bad for trying a few out until you figure out what you need and what you can offer the community back.
I'm especially grateful for Flipping Creative Singapore who offer some much needed support to local female businesses here. Their purpose is to connect through creativity, support one another through commerce, share ideas and information, and promote female-led businesses in Singapore.
Through my recent discovery of Leaders In Heels they too offer a support community of like-minded women who are dealing with the same challenges and obstacles as you. Offering advice on how to survive and thrive in the modern world. From tips on careers, business, confidence building, relationship management and dressing for success.
How To Visualise Your Ideas
I would suggest setting up some Pintrest boards so that you can visualise your ideas:
Home Office - Figure out the style and mood that relates to you as a home worker. Is your style; relaxed and calm, modern and industrial, bright, breezy and tropical? Your style will no doubt influence your colour palette but don't be afraid to mix it up - sometimes just being attracted to unique or eccletic pieces that you love is the best way forward, no rules here as long as it motivates you!
Adaptable Wardrobe - Buy less, buy classics, buy quality = longevity and value for money. Declutter your wardrobe (mindfully) and focus on the basics according to your climate and your needs. My typical week would consist of school meetings, business meetings, video calls, dog walking, lunch with friends and maybe a networking night here and there. I try to acheive a multi-tasking effort with 1 simple outfit, something that will get me through the day, whatever my schedule. Natural, sustainable fibres are my go to and what my women's clothing brand Michelle Schulz is all about.
It takes commitment and focus to successfully work from home and the 4 step catalyst I talk about here are just the foundations of where to start. These steps will help to focus you and get you to your office each day ready to dive in. Remember to manage your day effectively, whichever clever little scheduling aps you choose to use. Whilst I still use productivity tools, I still love to write my 'to do' list down on a piece of paper and revel in the satisfaction that crossing each task off my list brings to me!
First time subscribers joining our community will receive a 20% on their first order.
Many thanks & stay safe
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