January is my least favorite month of the year. This deep-rooted dislike stems from a few places. However, the main reason is that everyone insists on committing to at least one unrealistic way to change their life.
I feel very strongly that you can change your life any day of your choosing whether it be January 1st, June 19th, or December 26th. Change happens in our life throughout the whole year, not just in January.
I believe in steady habit change. One achievable habit at a time. I’ll admit I’m all about the easiest way to make a habit change instead of uprooting my entire life over one habit. To my dismay, I can’t control the world (shocker, I know right!). However, when my world seems to change, I do get to choose how I’m going to react to it. I can embrace the change or fight it tooth and nail.
The ALV Chicago team just recently moved into a new office! It was loads of fun despite being chaos for a day or two. We have cute new lamps, llama mugs and lots of lucky cats. Despite all these great new amenities, change can be hard. I’ve spent enough of my life-fighting change, so this time I decided to embrace it. Here are 4 of my favorite ways to embrace change, leverage a new space and create healthy new habits:
1) Build a new starting work routine
Sometimes it’s really easy to go into work and start each and every day the same way. We spend too much time looking at emails and catching up on notifications that we lose so much of the day. Before we know it, it’s almost noon and we haven’t even started our real work.
Chances are those emails can wait 30 minutes to an hour, just enough time for you to kick start your day be accomplishing a whole task. Pick something on your todo list and start your morning off with completing things, in place of looking at 20+ unread emails that are screaming for your attention.
For me, it’s 20 minutes first thing in the morning to go over my to-do list, find the smallest/quickest/easiest thing I can accomplish and do it. Then, I think through my day and begin tackling the bigger things.
2) Create a distraction-free environment
When we get comfortable in a location it seems like the littlest things can be a distraction from our daily responsibilities. Our lamp is turned 90 degrees to the left, our desk is ½ an inch to the right, someone disorganized all your pens. It’s really easy to let those things distract us. Use this opportunity to create a working space that is only the necessities. If you only need one pen, put the rest out of sight.
Embrace the unknown and uncomfortable feelings of a new space to recreate and refine the environment. Take time to design a space you can be the most productive in.
3) Refocus your leaving work routine
I’m sure we have all heard the stats about how important it is to manage your “work-life balance,” and we have all read an article or two on how to create a leaving work routine to help you unplug, but let’s be real. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in all our responsibilities; it’s hard to make a clean cut when we leave work. We want to be on top of things, catching up on emails, and setting ourselves up for success in the days to come.
Adjusting to a new space gives you a natural chance to redefine and implement a better leaving work routine. For me, it’s leaving work at work. I don’t care if I spend another 45 minutes to an hour here, but once I’m out, I’m out. Don’t expect me to reply to emails, be working on projects, or reading blog post submissions.
4) Assess your work schedule.
For me, I know I can’t focus on Friday afternoons but I work incredibly well in the mornings. Since my commute is shorter I wanted to start leveraging my mornings and seeing what I could do about my Friday afternoons. I’ve been able to rebuild a routine that allows me to be here when I’m focused and be gone when I’m not.
This week’s challenge
Pick one of the things I’ve listed above and implement it! Maybe you aren’t actually moving to a new space, but how can you remove distractions and create a place for your productivity to thrive? How can you rethink and redesign your schedule to make sense for your personality? What could be better about the way you start your day? Write down one commitment about how you’re going to make a cleaner cut from work to home.
We know you want to learn more. Here are some of our favorite additional resources:
- Unplug: 3 Ways to Unplug After Work Hours
- Set yourself up for a great week: Monday Morning Begins on Sunday Evening
- Adjust your schedule: 5 Steps to Asking for the Perfect Flexible Schedule
- Stay positive: 7 Tips for Creating a Positive Workplace Culture
Come See Us In Person!
The new office I describe above is open and ready for business! It was important to us that this wasn’t just a place to conduct business and hold coaching sessions – we wanted this to be a hub for happiness and growth and development in the community. Here’s how:
1. Book Swap
Take a book, leave a book. You can come by at any time to get your read on and not spend a bunch of money or clutter your apartment with books. Share with the ALV community instead!
2. Dear Universe
We know that when you write down a goal, you immediately become more committed to it. Write down your goal and drop it in our Dear Universe box so that you can send your dream out into the world, even if in a small way.
We will be hosting Wednesday evening learning sessions and round table discussion to continue our mantra of Always Be Bettering. Stay tuned for more details and who our featured round table leads will be!
4. Founding Females
As you know, we are about to launch our Founding Females: I Declare My Independence series on our blog! We are inviting these women and all other female founders in the community to join us for periodic get-togethers. Save the date for our first one on May 30th at 6pm CT!
Our office is located at 639 W Diversey Parkway, Suite 216. Can’t wait to see you there!