WFH Carpe Diem Mindset

It’s the end of our second week of cocooning at home – what a week!

Here’s the thing: this isn’t totally new to us. I’m truly grateful that Travis and I worked together for over eight months before all of this happened.

Truth be told, when Travis first began working for the Anita Yokota team, it was pretty rough. His role wasn’t clearly defined yet and that meant his day wasn’t either. I was in the transition of changing my mindset about how I approached my work schedule and priorities as well So we irritated each other a lot. Ha!

Now that the kids are home 24/7 as well (with no extracurricular activities to let off steam) it can get pretty rowdy over here. I imagine even if you live by yourself, the transition has been jarring.

Do you believe in coincidences? I don’t. I can’t put my finger on it But I truly believe there are certain things that happened before the COVID-19 outbreak that helped prime some a-ha home moments for me. And I know my calling is to share those moments with you!

Designer Anita Yokota Sitting at mid-century scandanavian desk

Schedule Structure

Keeping yourself on a schedule is essential for your emotional well being. It’s not just a productivity issue. As human beings, we easily feel lost. Given no purpose, our mental health can deteriorate.

So even if it’s in 30-60 minute increments, schedule it! Don’t think for a minute I haven’t written mundane thing down such as

  • Coffee
  • Shower
  • Mediate
  • Hair and makeup

See? Nothing glamorous, but it anchors my first hour of the day. We all want to feel in control. This is the best way to do it, my friends.

Scheduling your to-do list in smaller increments also feels like you are in control of the present time. The reason why people get anxious is because of all or nothing thinking belief systems.  All or nothing thinking is very common cognitive distortion in which a single misstep or variation ruins the entire endeavor. Anything less than 100% is 0%, with no room for in-betweens.

Of course reality isn’t black and white, especially when it comes to working from home. It’s nearly impossible to perfectly accomplish everything on your schedule in the best of circumstances, let alone with all these additional variables in the mix.

But with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) we know we can rework those distortions and be kinder to ourselves. Acknowledge and give yourself credit for what you did accomplish, let go of what you didn’t, and think about how you can learn from today to adjust tomorrow’s to-do list accordingly.

Did you leave a super intense activity to the afternoon, right when your caffeine slump hit? Did you forget to plan an activity for your little one during your conference call? Maybe you can rearrange your order of operations tomorrow or plan to break out Frozen 2 in a pinch.

Once we abandon that our to-do list is life or death, we can relax and when the dopamine in our brain hits our central nervous system, our feelings rise and when our good vibes get going, guess what? Motivation kicks in! Once we have a purpose and motivation, all bets are off. Success is on the horizon.

Bright white bathroom white oak cabinets brass fixtures

Designate Workspace for Kids, Partners FIRST

If you have been Googling this topic and I’m probably not your first read, then you will know having a designated space is key. However, with more than one person needing a computer and work table, it can get dicey!

Instead of finding a place for yourself first, I would stabilize the most distracting variables in your home and communicate clearly to them that this is THEIR space. Once they are all situated, you can find a spot that is solely yours.

It may sound counterintuitive, but here’s the thing. If you don’t guide them, they will have NO idea where to start.

So it’s better to gain control by having them work where it’s best and then you can shift your mindset knowing that they cannot move. But you can! You have the flexibility of moving around when things get chaotic.

If you have the moving targets (distraction-mongers, as I call it) calling the shots, things will never be calm. They need more structure than you.

Real Simple Design House Brooklyn with fiddleleaf fig and midcentury chairs

The Golden Question

As much as I strive for organization and make time management a top priority, I have a multitude of distractions every day. I don’t want to blame having kids (ok, maybe a little) but they are reallllllly good at making you pivot a previously planned schedule. And I truly believe that kinds of distractible mindset can easily become a habit!

Add the phone as being our newest appendage, we are constantly bombarded with content to distract us.

So when I sit down to work, and I find myself doing something totally off the radar, I force myself to ask aloud: Is this the best use of my time?

Usually when I go astray, I rationalize a very good reason. And I tell myself it is important too (rightly so) but guess who comes strolling in, yep our wonderful friend procrastination!

And let me tell you, as a serial priority-list-shifter, this question has truly stopped my bad habit of procrastination in its tracks! Yes, I may not be in the mood to do it, but now with that question helping me focus, I don’t procrastinate half as much as I used to!

Know when to fold ’em

Something that I haven’t done in nearly three and a half years is taking a break from work and creating content. I literally am doing something almost every hour of my waking day. Is that healthy for me? Absolutely not.

Slowly but surely my team has been taking on more responsibilities that aren’t the best use of my time (see what I did there?) and I’m able to focus on my strengths and top tasks to achieve for my brand.

Recently I’ve worked on becoming more mindful and have been ending my work at a more godly hour. And so should you if you work at home. If I have an easier day, I wrap things up after dinner and clearly transition into unwinding time. On days where there is a pressing deadline, I work to around 9 pm, then head to bed and get a good night’s sleep.

Knowing your boundaries is important for your mental health! You are no good to yourself or others if you are cranky, burned out and inefficient. Believe me, I have been there!

The sunny desert bedroom of Joshua Tree House

I hope these focus points will help you organize yourself at home with more ease. Now more than ever do we need to make our homes comfortable. It’s not just a matter of aesthetics anymore. Our bodies and minds literally need our homes to be conducive to calm, efficient operations. And when so much feels out of control, the way we arrange and engage in our homes is one thing we can absolutely impact, right now.

WFH Essentials for your mental health

Oh! And here are some essentials I have handy right by me while working away creating content for you!

  • A comfortable chair that is cozy and lumbar supportivedomino chair Loloi Hathaway rug west elm stool wfh office
  • Aromatherapy is an instant mood balancer. Essential oils such as lavendar and roman chamomile and orange all uplift our senses! Lighting up a Palo Santo can be invigorating as well. The sacred wood essence will cleanse your heart and mind.

saje aromatherapy the sill plants fireclay tile mcgee and co. wfh

palo Santo wfh tips the sill anthropologie home mcgee and co

  • Design books and inspo decor brings up things to look forward to! If you have a home design project that you had to press pause or still dreaming about, having a design book or decor object is a nice distraction. Just take a break now and then and touch the decor object and set an intention! Or peruse heartening designs that increase dopamine (the happy hormone) levels in your brain!

Low pile rugs are the best for offices because caster wheels can easily roll off and on them. Loloi Rugs has their new Hathaway collection and I’m obsessed!

Stay safe and comment below or DM me on Instagram with your pressing cocooning questions!

Happy cocooning!

 

 

 

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