The New Nine to Five
Words by Vivienne Lee
If you’re a sleepy head like me, you’d know that finding the motivation to get out of bed and straight into work or an online class can be a tough one. Trust me, I’m going a bit crazy being confined to one space all day every day too, but it’s time to change it up because we’ll be here for a while.
It’s definitely not as exciting as popping on some cute denim, grabbing a coffee at your local cafe and heading off to a beautiful city-centred campus or office, however let's make the most of our new normal.
The benefits are countless. You can wear what you want, snack all day every day, pump your music as loud as you want to and let’s be real, our pets are loving the attention they’re getting right now. For me, it’s hard to find a line between work and home life, but I’d love to share a few tips that keep me motivated, productive and comfortable whilst working from home.
CREATING THE PERFECT WORK SET UP
1. Environment is Everything.
The bed is comfy, but how long until you “accidentally” click on Netflix and before you know it you’ve finished a whole series of Gossip Girl. So, my tip is to set your workspace in a well-lit, quiet and comfortable area where you are able to sit down at a table or desk. If you mimic your office or classroom it will limit your distractions.
Before you start your day of work, prepare your desk with all your stationery, notebooks, laptop, snacks and drinks, allowing you to power through a couple hours of work. This will bring focus. For me, if I don’t have all my essentials on my desk before the start of the day, I know I will get side-tracked. I can’t even count how many times I have gone to the kitchen to grab a drink and all of a sudden, I’m taking selfies, facetiming friends and making Tik Toks. This is a total demotivator, especially when I begin to panic that I’ve accomplished none of my work set for the day. So, if I have everything prepared with me and I have set break times, I know I’ll have a productive working day.
2. Dress to Impress… yourself.
There have been days where within minutes of waking up, I grab my laptop and just jump straight onto Zoom for a class or attempt to do an assignment. Those were the most unproductive and sluggish days ever. Now with the comfort of working from home, it's easy for our lazy sides to take over. The excitement of moving from the bedroom to the loungeroom is little to none but the power of getting ready in the morning makes a difference. For me, it’s fun to choose an outfit and maybe even curl my hair. The self-esteem rises and I don’t feel as bad when I walk past a mirror and I actually look presentable.
My typical morning routine starts with a shower, having breakfast, working out and most importantly changing into my outfit of the day. This usually consists of a nice comfy jumper, loose pants and socks to keep me warm. Nothing over the top! Dress for comfort but still be appropriate for your online zoom meeting. If you wear something you love and feel good in, it boosts that confidence and self-motivation that we need throughout this time. It’s a total mood booster to start the day and endure through the rest. It helps define a line between work life and home life where your home is now your office, so these small actions will make a huge difference.
3. Be Realistic / To-do Lists.
At the beginning of each week, I write a To-do list for Monday through to Friday, and throughout the week I edit it based on what I have and have not completed each day. I list them from most important to least, and attempt to complete the list in order. This really helps me to stay on top of things and motivated because it sets out what’s in store for the day. It welcomes a feeling of satisfaction when you can cross off something on the list and such a relief when all tasks are accomplished.
However, you have to be realistic. A lot of the time I set myself way too many tasks for one day, leading me to feel discouraged when I’ve only completed 4 out of the 15 tasks I’ve written down. The feeling of having all the time in the world may trick you into thinking you can complete anything and everything in the time span of only one day. Therefore, make your daily goals achievable. Break larger assignments and tasks down into smaller ones and only then will you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Endorphins, the happy hormone. Boost those endorphins girl! I love to workout before I start my day. It always makes me feel energised, happy and ready with a fresh mind. I love a simple Yoga, Pilates or even just a stretch class. This is the perfect way start to my day. I know we can’t leave the house but there are thousands of online tutorials including my favourite classes from https://online.barrebody.com.au/.
THE SOCIAL CAREER’S SERIES
TFI’s Social Careers Series gets me up at 9am on the scheduled days for each episode. I feel as though I am waking up at a decent time, otherwise I could be sleeping all day and end up completely unproductive. I think it is a great way for us to gain industry knowledge just like our Industry Nights, except it’s accessible whenever you need and wherever you are through Instagram.
Since starting the series, I have created a document and take notes throughout each episode. I make note of the insider tips and insights these great industry leaders have to offer, you never know when this knowledge will come in handy! I think it’s a great point of reference and definitely a good behind the scenes taste on what their job and career pathway looks like. It also helps me to sick with a routine and to stay inspired.
You can catch up on all TFI's Social Careers Episodes here.
It's a massive shame that internships are put on pause at the moment. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t keep working at being the favourite intern.
1. Reach Out
Reach out to your internship supervisor and offer your help from home. If that's not needed right now, don't be discouraged! There are several things you can do in the meantime.
2. Be Proactive
Whilst you’re on pause (like me) start researching more about the business and their clients. Have a look through any events or campaigns that have recently occurred. You can also browse all the new season collections for your clients to make sure you are always up to date with the latest. Brainstorm any ideas you think will be beneficial to the business and from there you can put together a document or portfolio of all your ideas so that when you’re back in the office you are ready to present and offer this knowledge.
I like to go over my strengths and weaknesses that I’ve identified during my internship. These could be creativity, communication skills, photo editing skills or writing skills. I then brainstorm steps and strategies to help me improve, turning my weaknesses into skills in training! To be proactive, you can research new or ways to complete tasks and use programs or platforms to better your skills. I know I will be updating my skills on PixelMator and Canva which are both creative apps that I need to be familiar and proficient with to exceed my goals within my internship. This will benefit you 100%.
Imagine coming back to day-one of your internship after this whole isolation thing, and not having a clue what to do or how to do it. Your supervisor may feel like you’re falling behind, so make sure that when you go back to the office you are right where you left off. (Or further ahead!)
3. Stay updated
My two favourite apps are Vogue Runway and Vogue World. With these apps you can browse through the latest runways, discover current street style, looks and tips from editors all around the world. On Vogue Runway, I think of all the clients that my current PR Internship look after. I click on and scroll through their most recent runway show and the collection that it features. This helps me gain familiarity and it also really inspires me.
My tip is to dedicate your usual internship day to spending a couple of hours in the morning scrolling through relevant socials, researching events, looking through runways and seeing if there has been any recent photoshoots or campaigns This is a simple and easy way to stay inspired, motivated and connected.