6 working from home productivity hacks for every #girlboss

working from home productivity hacks

Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. As a freelancer, I spend a a lot of time working from home and, although it took me a while to get used to it, I’m now proud to say I love working from home!

But it did take a few weeks (read: a month) of less-than-stellar productivity for me to figure out how to do it properly. And now that I know how to work my working-from-home groove, I can hustle hard.

I’ve been successfully freelancing and running my own business since October 2019, and now that COVID-19 has a heck of a lot more people working from home (and probably going through similar issues as I did in the beginning) I thought I’d share some of my best hacks to make sure we all get through this difficult coronavirus quarantine period with our jobs intact!

working from home productivity hacks

1. set your alarm

I know, I know. You’re finally in a situation where you don’t have to get out of bed at 6.00am when your iPhone blasts out that ghastly harp noise. (It’s not better than the klaxon sound, iPhone sound developers… It’s just not, soz.)

But, take note: some of history’s greatest thinkers (including Plato) and some of this century’s greatest entrepreneurs (including Richard Branson) woke up/wake up to alarms of some sort. And aside from the obvious (ummmm, you’re awake for more of the day so you have more time, duh), setting an alarm is a good way to set your intention to be productive for the following day, it gives you time to prepare properly for the day by having a quiet coffee and taking a shower.

It also means you can be a little more leisurely with your morning routine: check your social media, emails and catch up on the news –– which gives you that ideal “focused but relaxed” attitude for the rest of the day –– rather than feeling like you have to throw yourself straight into the most challenging bits of your job because you slept until 8.59am.

2. take a shower & get dressed

Having a morning routine that prepares you for the day is one recurring theme among successful women. And look, if I’m completely honest, this was one of the things that I least wanted to do when I first started working from home. But keeping a regular routine that prepares you for the day is one of my biggest productivity hacks, and research agrees.

A recent study suggested that while people spend a lot of time trying to “disconnect” from work after leaving, many people do not however, try to reconnect when they re-enter the building or begin work again. And the study in question found that this type of “reconnecting” behaviour is critical to productivity and success.

The study in question calls it “reattachment” but it’s basically the same thing as having a routine which gradually eases you into your working day. Something that prepares you to work. Something as simple as a text message to workers, during this study, showed increased productivity and reductions in feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

To take advantage of this productivity hack, all you need to do is think about what you want to achieve today while you’re in the shower or getting dressed.

3. write a list

This is another way that you can consciously decide to be productive. I honestly thought that everybody made lists like I do, but apparently a lot of people simply decide what to do when they get to the office, or generate their to-do list based on their emails. Which can, quite naturally, lead to either missing things or not achieving what you really want to achieve.

Making a to-do list allows you to reward yourself, in a neuro-chemical sense, every time you achieve something. Your brain loves a list because every time you fulfil a task and tick it off, you get a little burst of a neuro-transmitter known as dopamine, which is responsible for motivation and determination.

Not only does making a list help to minimise distractions (which I’ll talk about next) by providing a plan of attack for background thoughts and tasks, but it can also help to quell anxieties about relying on your memory or forgetting things, as well as reinforce what you’ve achieved during the day.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have associated list-making with what they call a “growth mindset” – which essentially means that people who make lists are more motivated, more likely to be successful and more likely to achieve their goals. In a recent Forbes story, a lot of the world’s leading CEO’s cited list-making as critical to their success. Basically, making a to-do list will help you achieve what you want to achieve each day.

4. minimise distractions

A bit of a no-brainer but strangely enough this one didn’t occur to me until fairly recently – mainly because I’m relatively good at ignoring distractions for the most part. Here are a few things I’ve found make a big difference to how much I can tick off my to-do list each day:

  • put your iPhone/iPad/TV/personal laptop in another room, or, if that’s not possible, at least put it on do not disturb
  • if possible, make your ‘office’ a separate room to the rest of the house
  • limit physical intrusions too by asking room-mates or family members to steer clear
  • turn off the TV, spotify, log out of Facebook, close any windows or tabs that don’t have to do with what you’re currently working on
  • don’t listen to podcasts or music while you’re trying to work (unless for some reason it helps you – I’ve always found everything aside from classical or non-vocal music super-distracting)
  • if necessary, use noise cancelling headphone to limit outdoor noise and noise from neighbours

5. take regular breaks

The human brain is only designed to focus for short periods of time. Don’t try to force yourself to work all day non-stop. It’ll only mean you crash and burn or spend large portions of time being un-productive or un-focused.

Essentially, research suggests that people who take regular breaks from work are more engaged with their tasks when they return. This is for a few reasons:

6. get some exercise

Research has confirmed, over and over again, that people who exercise are not only more successful, smarter, more productive and more relaxed, but they’re also, quite naturally, healthier too.

A study by the University of Bristol found that people who exercise during the workday have more energy and a more positive outlook, both of which are critical factors to productivity.

And it doesn’t have to be hard-core gym junkie stuff, or even take too long. Basically, moving your body for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed, makes your thoughts more ordered and organised, and keeps you in control of your impulses throughout the day.

I, personally, save my exercise until towards the end of the day, because I like having it to look forward to. But a lot of friends like to exercise first thing in the morning, as part of their wake-up routine, or in the middle of the day, because it gives them a good break.

Blazer: Boohoo.com (currently on sale, so get a move on)
Tee: sass & bide – this one is sold out but similar here, and there are loads of other similar tees in their current collection.
Shorts: jay jays

What are your best working-from-home productivity hacks? How do you stay focused? Do any of the above work for you? Let me know in the comments.

5 things I learned from LadyBossBlogger

Working from home, but make it cute? No problem. Working from home but make it profitable? Now…. that’s another story entirely.

I’ve been blogging here at Some Stylish Chick since I launched this page in October, but, someone is yet to actually pay me money for what I do here. I know. That’s a very humbling thing to admit.

As many of you know, I have a 9-to-5 job as a writer and editor – and I freelance as a fashion and beauty copywriter – so I’m not exactly starving. But, like a lot of people, I’m not doing as well as I could be either. Needless to say, it would be wonderful to generate a little income from this passion project.

Why choose the LadyBossBlogger course?

That’s why when LadyBossBlogger reached out to me with an offer of their How To Make Money As An Instagram Influencer course, I did a little victory dance, because the timing was perfect. I’d heard a lot about LadyBoss through friends and mentors, but I actually had no idea they had a course for bloggers and one for instagrammers too.

The minute I dove into the content, I knew it was going to be life-changing. The course is up-beat and positive, but so insanely packed with information that I had to step away from it after an hour because I kinda felt like my head was going to explode.

What I’ve learned so far

In just the first module I learned:

As a result of just the first few lessons, I’ve been able to define my niche. I’ve learned to approach instagram through the lens of storytelling – which means that what I’m sharing is a lot easier to follow. I’ve also discovered which of my posts generate the best engagement, which means no more guessing at filters; no more “give it a shot and see”; and no more hitting the share button and “hoping for the best.” I also learned a tonne about affiliate marketing – which (if I’m completely honest) used to confuse the heck out of me – and how to make it work for me. Boo-yah.

What I didn’t expect to learn….

There are also some absolutely killer scheduling tips and amazing content hacks as part of the course, many of which even I didn’t know. And coming from me, aka she-who-practically-spends-her-life-on-instagram (and has previously actually received a paycheck as a “professional instagrammer”), that’s saying a lot.

So, if you’re wondering if now is the right time for you to kick that passion project up a notch? It is. If you’re wondering if you can generate a paycheck from doing what you love? You can. And if you’d like to know whether the LadyBossBlogger course is right for you? Well, if you’re an instagrammer who wants to make a living out of the platform they adore? Then heck yes, it is.

How much does it cost?

Look, the courses are a bit pricey. Depending on where you’re located, they run from around $397-$585. But if you’re really serious about launching a successful blog and becoming an influencer who actually makes money, then they’re 100% worth it.

If you’d like to try the LadyBossBlogger course at a significantly reduced rate, you can use my code ROSEMARYSLADE at checkout for a 40% discount.

SomeStylishChick x LadyBossBlogger Giveaway

And hey, lucky you, because I have partnered with LadyBossBlogger to offer you all a chance to receive a LadyBossBlogger course for FREE. I’m running it over on Instagram, so hit up this link to enter.

The giveaway rules:

  1. Follow me @somestylishchick
  2. Follow @ladybossblogger 
  3. Follow @elainerau 
  4. Like the photo and tag a friend in the comments! 
  5. Earn extra entries by tagging more friends

Disclaimer: The prize will be a LadyBossBlogger course of your choice valued at $397-$582. The giveaway winner will be asked to post on their feed about winning the course to accept the course. The prize must be claimed within 15 days. Must be 18+ years old to enter. Giveaway is available to contestants worldwide. Disclaimer – This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Instagram.

swf

denim shorts elle ferguson
denim shorts elle ferguson
denim shorts elle ferguson
denim shorts elle ferguson

Ok, for those of you who are too young to remember movies from the 90s, single white female was a movie starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. She essentially steals someones life by gradually copying things they do, imitating their hair, clothes perfume and so on.

To single white female someone (verb) means to stalk them and copy them. And now that I’ve over-mansplained what we’re doing here… I cracked a joke about whether single white female-ing Elle Ferguson counts as cardio on instagram. Mainly cos this outfit is heavily inspired by her incredible denim cutoffs and high fashion top look that I adore so much.

Believe it or not, these denim cut-offs are the first ones I’ve really really loved, and I think it’s for a couple of reasons:

1. they’re about a size and a half too big
2. they sit low on my waist and they’re really comfortable
3. the hems angle slightly upwards, which slims down my hips and legs, and
4. they’re the perfect shade of worn denim

Blazer: sass & bide, similar available from Beginning Boutique here, and Asos here and here.
Tee: sass & bide, similar available from Lulu’s here.
Denim cutoffs: Jay Jays
Clutch: Jag (very old), but similar from Betts here and Rebecca Minkoff here.
Tanner note: BTan Tan AF 1 hour tanner

Isn’t it amazing how finding that one perfect piece you’ve been seeking forever can make such a massive difference to your wardrobe? What’s the one piece that you wear over and over again?

layered up

layered outfit inspiration
layered outfit inspiration
layered outfit inspiration

Layered outfit inspiration incoming… There is nothing quite like an awesome layered outfit. With the right layered outfit, that gal can tackle any kind of weather. So here’s my ultimate layered outfit for taking on Sydney’s crazy weather lately.

This past few months in Sydney have been incredibly unpredictable, weather-wise. I mean, I’m the kind of person who’ll wear a blazer because my outfit just looks better that way, but even my mad layering (and un-layering) skillz haven’t been able to combat temperatures that range from over 40 degrees celsius to under 18 degrees celsius, within the space of 24 hours. And so, I’ve resorted to more creative means of making sure I’m comfortable.

Layered outfit inspo

When I originally planned this outfit, I thought of it as a little bit boho. Isn’t it funny how outfits change and evolve as you wear them? I had initially thought this outfit would be worn with leopard heels and a glam clutch – and perhaps even my trusty Lack of Colour hat. But as soon as I put it on and started running around the city, I knew it had to be simplified and comfortised and weather-appropriate-ised (yes, I just made those words up.)

So instead, I ended up popping my sneakers on, tying my hair back to get it off my neck and face, and tying a denim jacket around my waist “just in case” the weather changed. I like both the glam/boho and the relaxed/urban version of this outfit, but I must admit, I was much faster and more comfortable in this one.

A layer from every spice girl

Side note: when I posted this on instagram I mentioned how terrible I was at posing and how I’d channeled sporty spice for this shot. I just realised that this outfit actually has an element of all the spice girls: the sheer leopard top is 100% Mel B, the black dress is all Posh, the flatform sneakers couldn’t be anything but Baby Spice, the cap is all Sporty and the denim jacket around the waist is 100% Ginger approved.

Black slip: very old and a basic black slip for wearing under dresses, from somewhere incredibly uncool like Rockmans or Jacqui E. But Lulus, H&M and Marks & Spencer have similar.
Leopard top: is actually from Glassons but seems to have sold out. Boohoo have a similar one here.
Denim jacket: Cotton On, similar here.
Sneakers: Siren Shoes
Baseball cap: found it in NYC, but similar here.

Who was your favourite spice girl? Let me know in the comments!

minimalista

minimal street style
minimal street style

The first thing people ask you when you go blonde is “do blondes have more fun?” Look, I’m happy to report that, based on my experience, they do! However, after shooting my first set of outfits as a blondie this weekend, I have also notes that they get a lot more attention — which means it’s harder to fly under the radar — something which fashion bloggers tend to rely on.

Look, I’m the first to admit that we fashion bloggers and inatagrammers stretch the public’s kindness sometimes. (Especially when we shoot things in public places.) But on the whole, Ive been able to stay out of peoples’ way and fly relatively undetected (unless I’m doing something super annoying like trying to get photos on the harbour bridge on New Year’s Eve… lol, hi to everyone I got in the way of. Also sorry for holding you up.)

However, shooting with my girl Kimberlee Kessler this weekend, I was noticed, photographed, video-ed and honked an awful lot more than I’ve ever been as a brunette. But you know what? I was also smiled and waved at a heck of a lot more than I’ve ever been as a brunette too.

On balance, I’m calling it a win. More smiles, more waves and more fun easily balance out a few extra honks.

Pants: White Closet found at TK Maxx, similar here and here

Sweater: sass & bide

Denim jacket: Cotton On, similar here

Blonde hair: Hair by Rhie @ Artelier Sydney

repeater

petite fashion blogger
petite fashion blogger

I actually considered this look to be a bit of a ‘nothing’ outfit, so I was surprised when it got a great response on Instagram. That’s the thing though, we’re often more likely to share those outfits that we’ve thought out carefully and planned well, but perhaps less of those that we just throw on and repeat often. So maybe that’s why people seemed to like this one. I was honest about it!

I wear this outfit, or some variation on it, maybe twice a week. High waisted jeans, a graphic tee and heels are a go-to for me. And I am definitely a proud outfit repeater.

These jeans are super comfy, they’ve got a little bit of stretch too. I love the way they sit really high on the waist. But, they were quite long on me, so I took to them with scissors. And I love them and wear them so much more now!

Tee: Fleetwood Mac tee from Target
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Spurr Shoes available from The Iconic
Hat: Noir Rancher from Lack of Color

golden

affordable gold necklaces

As an introvert and generally anxious person, I have a tendency to fidget. I love jewellery, I especially adore rings, but I find when I wear them, I’m constantly turning or twisting them, or moving them around. Rings and bracelets especially, I find impossible not to constantly fiddle with.

Necklaces, on the other hand, I can wear without too much trouble. I’m especially a sucker for lots of layers of pretty gold necklaces. Especially those that contain a little symbolism or iconography.

When I was younger I wore a lot of silver, but as I grew up I developed a fascination for gold. It’s always the worst when you make a change like that and some family and friends just won’t accept it. Look, I know it’s not a big deal, but when Auntie Doris buys you a silver locket even though you haven’t worn silver for 18 years, it’s normal to feel a little bit of frustration. Lol.

I have big love for the company who creates these necklaces, partially because they were one of my first collabs, but also mainly because their necklaces, in particular, are exquisite quality and very reasonably priced. Major brownie points!

Necklace: Gigi Necklace from The Chic Women
Photographed by: Flavell Studios
Hair & makeup by: Amy Chan Hair & Makeup Artistry

Remember to use the code SOMESTYLISH at the checkout to get 25% off. You’re welcome!

Do you wear gold or silver? Let me know in the comments.