HOW TO WORK FROM HOME_____ TIPS TO MAKE IT EFFICIENT BY SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN DOING IT FOR 25 YEARS.
SCENTS TO SET UP YOUR WORK FROM HOME SPACE.
By Jocelyn Fortier, founder Pour l’air Scents
I am a creative director, a candle addict and a self-appointed 'working from home' expert. I am used to working from home and am self quarantining home alone as a single person BUT I never felt more connected to people.
I have been looking for ways I can help in today’s chaotic Corona world and it seemed that as someone who has worked from home for 25 plus years - which kind of seemed like living at work sometimes – I could share my tricks and tips on working from home. I worked alone and with teams (from my home studio) on multi-million dollar, international and local accounts so we had our share of small and large business to handle- all from home. It started when my kids were getting into their teen years and I worked at ad agency obv pre cell phone years. It got to be a lot, and disruptive, with the receptionist making regular announcements ‘Jocelyn, your kids are line 2’. Fighting, looking for the peanut butter, Cookie the cat happenings, and other minor incidences they needed their mother for. I was a single mom, so I was their only go to.
One day the school called as my 13 year old was not in school and that was the day I decided I needed to pivot on parenting and packed up my desk and moved home. I started my own boutique agency. It worked. Here’s my list of tricks and tips on working from home:
Boundaries are the best beginning. Laying down the line on my office turf is a first step. You can’t step over this line between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00 with a 30 min break at 3ish....or a nap. That's a whole other story I could go on about.
FACE THE WALL.
Set your set up so you are facing a wall. May sound odd but it’s important so you can maintain your focus and not get distracted with happenings in your home or out the window. Limit your view.
Computer, paper, pen, water, grazing area and some scents. No clutter. No knick knacks, pics or paraphernalia that you think is entertaining.
HAVE THE SCENTS TO WORK.
I always used scent, candles, to get into mindsets where I could work, get ideas, feel inspired, etc. It’s why I started Pour l’air Scents – they are candles designed to get you into different mindsets.
- Here’s a quick breakdown of the mindsets of the scents:
- Scents to feel alert, alive___ Hayloft
- Scents to create calm____ Nap Lovers
- Scents to feel you are wandering and developing ideas____Horse Sense
- Scents to feel you’re out on a date_____ Mr. Rose
GET A UNIFORM.
Of course you need to get dressed. The temptation to work in your sweats or pj's is huge but don’t do it for two reasons. 1. You won’t feel like working or like you're serious about it. 2. Save your sweats for the weekend when you need to change your mindset to casual. If you are going to do it anyway, set aside the weekend sweats so you get separation from your work sweats. All little but important steps in working efficiently.
Having a go-to outfit saves on time, you don’t need to spend time sorting out a spiffy get up when you aren’t going out. Apply this same uniform tactic to your hair and face – do your standard do unless you’ve got a Zoom to get to.
My uniform is jeans and a white tee. I wear super baggy distressed denim that is comfortable yet keeps me feeling cool. The white tee feels nice and crisp and clean and fresh. That’s important. I mix it up with a snazzy white button-down shirt to feel extra business like.
DO THE IMPORTANT TASKS 10:00 AM TO 2:00 PM.
Our brain is most productive from 10:00am to 2:00pm so do your most important work then. Don’t stop for lunch. Don’t text friends...you do and the next thing you know you’ve done brunch. Let your brain work.
TUNE IN THEN TUNE OUT_GET YOUR FIX OF THE WORLD.
Get the low down on the day in the morning, feel like you’re part of the world, then tune out when you clock in from 10-2 - as you will lose focus. Happens easily. No TV. Keep music to a slight upbeat where you don’t know the words. If it’s too singalong like, next thing you know you’ve typed the song into your doc and you’re off thinking about your first love.
PUT ALEXA TO WORK.
I use Alexa for my morning news update, playing music and then for asking questions so I don’t have to stop my train of thought, open a new tab and do the google. I pretend she's real and ask her questions like the weather when I feel alone. Just don’t fight with her as you'll get yourself in a tizzy and lose focus.
GET UP AND GRAZE_DON'T GET INTO A HAZE.
Keep good snacks on hand and keep your energy up. Get up to get them, stretch your legs but don't stretch the time out and DON'T look at the laundry, or get distracted starting dinner, or staring at the sun trickling through the trees. All time wasters. All easy traps.
WRITE YOUR IDEAS DOWN WHEN YOU WAKE.
Put your subconscious mind to work as it has ideas and information you need. I often have blank layouts, templates open or printed, paper stacks ready - ready for my brain to spill onto them when I wake. That half-awake state can be a gold mine. Don’t waste it chatting with Charlie.
TAKE A SHOWER IF YOUR BRAIN GETS CLOGGED.
This is better than a walk as the water gives the negative ions that increase productivity while a walk can lead to lunching, happy hour or cat cuddles. Simon Sinek is a fan of the shower. He says ‘I realized that when I took longer showers, I would have about 2-3 really good ideas while in there.’
It’s real and it sets in in about 3 days. Change your scenery in the evenings. Change what you watch on TV from weekends to weekdays. Go for walks, have virtual get togethers with your friends and family. The facing the wall tip helps with this in that in the evening, everything is new again.
KEEP IT CLEAN.
This is calming. Clutter, an unmade bed, dirty dishes, clothes strung about are distracting and unsettling. You won't feel comfortable enough to focus.
TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE.
71 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for developing ideas. Keep it coolish.
SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR WEEKEND.
Keep your music, evening habits and shows, your clothes, your space separate from your weekend. Otherwise, your days run together and you never feel you've had a break. You'll start to forget what day it is, feel run down and run over. This is one of the reasons to face the wall, have a uniform and don't look.
PRACTICE THE 'I LOVED YOU TODAY' CONCEPT.
Take a moment to find something you loved in each day. Something small like how the sun falls through your window, how the buds look on the trees, how blue the sky seems, how sweet the birds sound. Think about this moment at the end of the day. It's our idea of meditation, helps you feel grateful and happier. Plus it breaks up the day and helps you work on your curiosity (another topic I could go on about). Finding happiness in each day is the ‘why’ of Pour l’air scents. The saying on our candles and other merch. We are all about scents to love the day.
Pour l’air candles are available at https://pourlair.com/
They are made in the USA, including the glass, soy wax - and we are shipping. Have the scents to work at home.