10 habits that will change your life for better

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about some habits, that have great power to make our life easier and more productive. I’ve started incorporating them into my daily routine and although many of them aren’t my everyday thing yet, I can already see how better my day is when I do this easy (as we could think) activities.

So without further explanations, let’s move to all those life-changing habits.

Get up early

This is the one I am struggling with the most. Especially, since I had my son (ok, he is just an excuse, I had a problem with this before he was born too).

However, every day, when I manage to get up before him, I have some time for myself, I can get ahead with my tasks (at least these requiring me to focus). Having this one or two hours each day, when everyone is asleep makes a lot of the difference.

Of course, I could tell you to wake up at any ‘optimal’ time, but such perfect time does not exist. I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles about the power of getting up at 6 am, or 5 am. Some even swear to everything that is important to them that 4 am is the time when you should get up and start your day.

Although I believe them, I still don’t agree with them. I don’t think getting up at 4 am would do any good for a person, who let’s say finished their shift just two hours before. But the fact is, that if you’ll get up earlier before your normal schedule, it will definitely help. At least if you won’t spend this time scrolling through your social media.

Open all windows at your home as soon as you wake up

This seems to be so random and not important thing, that I wouldn’t bother to do this. I’ve read about this so many time before, but I have never seen any purpose of it. Of course, I did open them at some point during the day but didn’t see why would I open them as a first thing after waking up.

Well, when I started to follow it, I had to admit it has changed my life. First of all, my home is fresh and airy before I am done with making breakfast. That makes me more likely to do some work when I am ready to start getting my things done.

Don’t make your bed to soon

This can seem like a nightmare for those, who like me were growing up with mums who really paid attention to it. For me, there was no way to leave my bed unmade for longer than 10 minutes since I woke up.

But in reality, there is very good reason to leave making your bed till a bit later or even not doing it at all. Leaving it uncovered (but not messy), for some time with an open window, will help you to have a good night sleep in fresh bedding.

Have a nutritious breakfast

This one never had to be explained to me. But anyway I was always eating very bad breakfast or haven’t got any at all. I’ve started working on the quality of the first meal in the day, I started having much more energy than I used to.

If you are a coffee drinker, it might be even more beneficial to you, as in my example, breakfast helped me not crush as quickly as I used to.

Get at least a bit of exercise

This is quite obvious. In polish (I am not sure about English) we have a saying: “in the healthy body healthy soul”. Keeping yourself in good condition help to reduce stress and pain associated with prolonged sitting or standing.

And the good news is, that you don’t need to spend money on expensive equipment or gym ticket. Just a bit stretching and walk or run in the fresh air will do the thing. And you’ll not even realise when you’ll start loving it.

I can’t say I am running regularly, as not always I have someone to leave my son with. But I am able to go for a walk almost every day. It is good for my son too 🙂

Review your plan

This is the thing, I am most guilty of. I have my to-do list prepared and it is just waiting for me in my bullet journal, but when I’ll get ready, I just keep getting my tasks from my memory.

Reviewing your to-do list after every task will help you to decide which task is the best to do next (if you haven’t written them in the order) and at the same time, you’ll not forget about anything.

See what can you do, before the real day starts

Before I will talk about the importance of this habit, let me explain what do I mean by real day. This is quite connected to the first point, where I told you about getting up earlier. For the purpose of this post, the real day will mean the time before your normal wake up time.

Why is this one so important to me? As for the most part of the day my son is following my each and every step, he has to try doing everything I do and basically he is in the age of being interested in everything, I have to have my eyes all around my head. That makes it impossible to do anything what requires me to focus (first of all, my son would be climbing one any way; second of all: if he wouldn’t climb, he would be looking for some way to explore the highest shelves in our house, what could end in taking him to ER after he would have fallen).

So every time, when I manage to wake up before him, I am getting as much of writing posts, recording videos, montaging them, etc as I possibly can. Of course, after having my breakfast. If I think about it, ironing is one of these tasks too. I don’t really understand it, but my son loves every kind of strings, wires and other long objects. As I am ironing, he tries to pull the wire and it is quite stressful not to let him get hot iron on his head.

Clean as you go

I don’t know how it is in your place, but my one has a magic power of getting dirty. You know, I’ve just washed the dishes, after made tea and heated up some food, I turned around and my sink is full of the dishes… AGAIN!

Or I hoover and mop the floors. Meantime my son wakes up I feed him and my floors are all dirty. Just in no time.

For some time I was even wondering if there is a point of trying to keep my place clean. But soon I found a solution (to be honest my mum used to say it to me all the time when I was a kid, I just wouldn’t listen to her). It is just one very powerful sentence: clean as you go. I started with my dishes. Most of the time or make something to eat or drink, I try to wash everything straight away. To help myself with the floors, I bought a small hand hoover and every time my son decides that the best place for his rice is on the floor, I clean it right away.

This way, my home stays relatively clean at all time and I am not getting frustrated all the time.

Stay hydrated

I find it very important too. I have never paid a lot of attention to how much I am drinking. But quite recently I had these horrible headaches, which wouldn’t go. I was stuffing myself with painkillers, I was trying to catch extra naps whenever I could. But nothing helped.

Actually, my mum was the one who suggested that I might be not drinking enough. Well, since I started drinking at least a 1-litre bottle of water or other drink, I seem to have more energy and what is most important, my headaches are completely gone.

Plan your next day

This is very important too. It is very important to prepare your to-do list in the evening before. It will help you stay on the top of your tasks the next day when you wake up early. The trick is, you don’t waste your time on thinking what you have to do, you just pick a task from your list and get it done.

If your planning system is good, you will be also less likely to forget about important things, deadlines, appointments, etc.

And these are all habits I wanted to share with you today. I will be happy to read your recommendations of habits.

But this is it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Ps. I’ve forgotten to press schedule when I finished this post, so we have almost 5 hours delay today. Normally, posts will be live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 pm UK time.

How to work at home and don’t get insane – 10 tips

Hi guys,

Today is a kind of delayed post. Everything what’s going on at the moment all around the world can be very depressing. A lot of us are in self-quarantine, trying to stay sane. Some of us are supposed to work from their home, very often juggling their private life like looking after children, home and all this everyday’s things we used to do after we returned from work.

I won’t lie, this situation got on me a bit. After spending couple of weeks at home, while my employer was working to provide save environment for us to work, we returned to our workplace, having huge amount of work. By the time we got used to, we found out that company is closing and successively there will be stuff reduction going on. Also not being able to meet our friends and family is harsh too.

However, for all of us life is still going on. Being advised (or even forced) to stay at home, we have tree options I can think of. First, is to break the rules and put yourself and possibly many others into the risk. Second, is to stay at home and cry over your situation (I have to admit, I was doing so for the last weeks, since my company closed – not literally crying, of couese). Or third, which seems the most sensible to me at the moment, is to try and make the best of the time we have at home.

The last option has a lot of advantages too. Let’s try and think about our life, before all this started. In my case, it was constant running. Juggling working full-time job, looking after my son and trying to keep my home relatively clean. Just a bit of sleeping and the whole circle kept starting all over again. There were a lot of projects I wanted to work on (I did actually, but not as much as I would like to), if I only had more time. And guess what? Now most of us have a lot of free time! And a lot of us need something to take our minds off of the situation in the world. So why not to use this time to do as many things from our when-I’ll-have-time to do list? And before you’ll say anything, just admit to yourself that even if your list is not written anywhere, it does exist in your mind. Whether you wanted to learn something new, start your business, write a book, make your own game… When will be better time for it? As soon as world will return to norm, even on your days of from work you’ll have a lot of errands to run, friends to meet, appointments to attend… Most likely you don’t have any of this now. And even, if you have somewhere to go, there is much less places you have to be, and more time to use for all the things on your list.

So after such a long introduction, let me get into 10 tips on working at home. All of them are a result of my research, millions of YouTube videos I’ve watched and tons of blog post I’ve read. I think I could easily write a post with many more tips than 10, but I’ve decided to include just those, which I implemented myself and had worked foe me. Please keep in mind that not necessary all of them are going to work for you too. Let’s get right into the tips:

1. Get up early

I know, it seems weird. You don’t have to go anywhere, no more rushing to work or school and still you need to get up early? Ok, let me explain, what I mean by early. So ideally, it would be similar time, as you would normally. So let’s say you get up at 7 to get to work at 8? Try to put your alarm at 8 instead. You’ll get an extra hour of sleep and at the same time, you won’t sleep the entire day. But key word in this tip is to get up early, not just wake up. I find it difficult to roll out of my bed as soon as I wake up. I would be able to stay there even, if I no longer asleep. Getting up and making your bed as soon as your are out of it, will set you into productive day. The other advantage of this tip is that when it will be all over, it will be easier for you to adjust to the old routine, when you will finally return to work.

2. Stick to your old routine

Try to remind yourself, what were you doing when you used to leave to work every morning. Probably you showered, eaten some breakfast, or simply got dressed. What ever it was, you should keep doing it. It can bring a lot of benefits not only for the time when you are staying at home, but also for when you are returning to work. You will have less trouble adjusting, when the long waited time is going to come and there will be no sing of virus left. On the other hand, now you will feel more productive, just because your brain will feel, that everything seems to be normal, no changes.

3. Set up your office

This might be easy for those of you, who have a spare room at home as it can become your temporary office. You could even leave it as an office for good, if you only wish. But, if you are like me, where there isn’t any spare place or room, try and designate just small office area. In my case it is a small table I ordered recently and I did put it my living room. I can easily fold it, if I need some extra space to play with my son, but anytime I need it, I have my office corner in no time. The only thing you try to avoid is to work from your bed (if there is no other choice, because you rent a box room for example, bed should do, but it will make it a bit harder, as it will be very tempting to just take a nap insead of doing a job).

Having this designated space, will help you to set your mind into the working mode. As you will be physically commuting into the work place. You would also have some space, where your work stuff like computer or folders could wait to be used, without the necessity of looking for them each time when you want to work.

4. Get your kids entertained

This point requires you to be creative too. Everything depends here on your children’s age. My son is 13 months now, so I work when he has his nap or when he is surrounded with his toys and I know that as long as I’ll stay in same room, he will take at least an hour to go through all of them and get bored. I started implementing these techniques since one week (as I said, all this got me a bit depressed) and on last Friday we got a message that we are returning to work (I am considered a key worker, as bakery provides food). So tonight will be my third night at work, and this first two days still went pretty well. To get a bit more time I extended my son’s screen time from 30 minutes a day to 1 hour a day (not at one time of course) and I am using early mornings to have a bit of a sleep, and similar my son’s nap time became my nap time too.

5. Keep your home clean.

This might seem obvious, but at the same time it is so tempting to skip dusting couple of times in a row. Especially, if you are pretty much sure that there will be no unexpected visit of your friends or family. However, it is very important, that you keep your home relatively clean at least. It will keep you motivated, as who does not know this feeling that you have to clean now, even of you have so much work to do?

6. Prepare your action plan the day before.

This is the important one too. I am not sure if there is any worse thing to do than sit, ready to work. Believing that you are going to do so much, but… as you sit you realise that you have no idea what to do. This is another one known probably by most of us. But what an action plan really is? If we have our to-do list we should be fine, shouldn’t we? Well, not always. There might be days, when you sit at your desk (or wherever you have to accomplish your task) and you start thinking: ‘Where is my notebook? I need it to start..’ And you are getting up to pick it up from the shelf on the other side of the room. Back by the desk and wondering where did you leave your favourite pen, after laptop, you have no charger, this and that…

You were ready to start your work long time ago, but you already wasted so much time and effort that you actually got a bit hungry. Some snack will definitively set you up for work. Yeah, but these salty crisps, you’ve just eaten, made you a bit thirsty…

I think you know where it all is going. Preparing an action plan is to going through your to-do list and making all tasks on it as easy to start as possible. You could prepare some stacks of things, you will need to accomplish all of the things from your list and after just grabbing them as your tasks are being completed. This way, you reduce some of the excuses to not to start actual work.

7. Take breaks as you would in a regular job.

This is something what a lot of us keep forgetting. When you’ll finally manage to start your work, it might make you lose sense of time. However, as longer you work without break, as less efficient you’ll become. It is even more important, if your work includes sitting by the desk by the screen. It is very important to give some break to your eyes and to stretch your muscles.

Nowadays, there are a lot of tools which can be very helpful in this case. You can download any of the pomodoro apps, where you can set up for how long you intend to work and how long you want your break to be. Your phone will let you know with the alarm, when it is time to stop work or to return to it.

8. Write reasons why are you doing this and hang it in visible place.

To be honest, this one seemed a bit useless to me at first. Why shall I waste my time for writing things I already know? But if you’ll look at this realistically, there will be many tasks which will seem a bit overwhelming. Or you’ll just get stuck in so called dead point, where you just can’t carry on, because you have no idea how to solve the problem you came across. All this might make you give up and keep procrastinating again. If you’ll have all the reasons why do you want to complete particular tasks, you will be more likely to stay motivated and continue.

9. Spare one day a week to precook for the next days.

This saved my life a lot. I used to thing about type of meal I want to cook since the time I woke up. Even when I was doing other things, my mind kept going away to this topic. Having some prepared meals in your freezer or fridge (depends on for how many days you prepared your food) will take your mind off of this topic and help you focus on the things you have to do.

10. Have any kind of physical activity every day.

This advice is very important especially for people, who’s work does not require them to work. Having some physical activity, especially in the morning will give you great kick of energy for the day (I know it seems impossible, as exercising makes you tired, but since I’ve started doing at least mild exercise like going for a walk with my son, made me a lot more productive).

This way we went through all of ten tips. I hope they will be useful for you and help you achieve your goals and get on the top of your to do list as soon as it is possible.

That’s everything what I’ve prepared for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any other advises or tips on working from home, you are very welcome to share it in the comment section below.

For now I wish you very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria