HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE WORKING FROM HOME

Photographed by Gordon Nicholas.

Photographed by Gordon Nicholas.

HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE WORKING FROM HOME

In between modeling jobs I usually have several creative projects on the go that I work on from home or when I’m traveling, but I’ve struggled with establishing a consistent work flow without structure. So here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful for creating a productive work environment and routine for all of you creative non nine-to-fivers out there!

1) Create a consistent routine for sleep/wake, meal times, break times, and work times.

Try to go to bed and wake around the same time each day. Ask yourself when you feel the most energized or inspired to work—is it early in the morning, afternoon or at night? And if you’re a night owl, is it realistic to maintain that schedule and still feel energized and healthy in your day-to-day? Once you set your work hours, stick to them and try to designate a time outside them to take care of other “life to do’s.” I also like to stop and take the time to eat my meals as opposed to having a working lunch. When I worked in Italy and France it was imperative that everyone on set stop working to enjoy their meal. I like to be consistent with what time of day I take my lunch at so that my body clock - and mind can get into the flow of the routine. I usually work in 1-2 hour increments and then take a short 15 min break.

2) Create a work space that is functional and supportive for you. 

I like my desk at home to be in a quiet corner by a window, so I get lots of natural light and can look out the window while I think. I have a ritual to begin work where I clear off any clutter on my desk, have a cup of hot tea, and light the candle on my desk or turn on my diffuser. Sometimes I will put on music as well.

3) Set up a work board. 

I am a very visual person and need to be able to look at the projects I’m working on. If you know you’re similar, set up a big white board, chalk board, or cork board and divide it into columns for each of your creative projects. Mine has a different column for scripts I am working on, blog posts, modeling, acting, wedding planning, and general to do’s. Under each column, write down what stage of development the project is in right now, the tasks that need to be completed, ideas, and short and long-term goals. I like to leave space to put creative images under each one as well, so it acts as a functional work flow board and source of inspiration. When I am traveling, I also do this in a planner so that I can keep it consistent on the road. Everyone’s brains work differently, so create a layout and work flow that works best for you and try to adhere to that.

4) Dress for work. 

If you are working from home and you don’t HAVE to get out of your PJ’s, it can be tempting to stay in them…but don’t! Instead shower, get dressed and get ready for work like you would if you were going to the office (sans the dress code). I feel like it helps with my productivity and self respect (LOL) to get dressed!

5) Take breaks. 

Go for a walk around the block, get your blood flow going and stretch out any tension you might be carrying in your body. I like to put the kettle on to make a hot tea and do my stretches while the water boils.

6) Be aware of distractions at home and find a way to avoid them. 

Turn off notifications on your phone, set boundaries for only checking social media/non-work websites at specific times. If you get a personal call during your set work hours, don’t take it until you finish your work.

7) Set deadlines for yourself. 

I find that this is one of the hardest things to do when it doesn’t necessarily “need” to be done by a certain date and it can be hard to know how much time it will take you to complete. But do your best to set a deadline and stick to it.

8) Take yourself and your work seriously. 

I really struggle with this when I am creating my own projects and yet I am so passionate about starting things from scratch and like to work for myself, at my own pace. What I have learned is that if you don’t believe in your work, no one else will. Whenever a doubt enters my mind, I try to notice it and reinforce it with a positive encouraging affirmation. Trust yourself and follow through until it’s done. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the way and try not to focus too much on making it perfect—you can edit or change things down the road once the project is finished. When I hit a road block or lose motivation, I try to think about what inspired me to start the project in the first place. What was it I wanted to say? Remember to go easy on yourself and celebrate the little things you accomplish each day.

9) Have someone you check in with. 

A business partner, friend, family member, life coach, therapist—anyone who you trust. Lots of times we tell ourselves we’re going to accomplish something ,but don’t tell anyone else because we fear we might not succeed or follow through with it. Having someone as a sound board or support system can encourage you to be accountable.

Sending productive vibes!!

xx

HOW TO PACK LIKE A MINIMALIST (from someone who learned the hard way)

I used to be the girl that had to sit on her suitcase in order to stuff it closed with all her might... packing everything under the sun (I carried a tutu in my suitcase when I was modeling in Europe just because I liked to wear it around the house, and in case, maybe one day I became a ballerina? lol) I always packed several hats, shoes, purses, and wild vintage dresses my grandmother passed down to me because... you never know when you might need them? 

Pictured at The Rose Bowl flea market (trying) to load up on only the essentials. 

Pictured at The Rose Bowl flea market (trying) to load up on only the essentials. 

As much as I love fashion and having several options of outfits, the stress of lugging it all around is simply not worth it. After much practice I have learned that traveling with essentials is much easier physically, and mentally! 

My essentials on a job on Sardinia Island, Italy. Gladiator sandals, a hat for sun protection, a good read, and my tote (also known as my Mary Poppins bag!)

My essentials on a job on Sardinia Island, Italy. Gladiator sandals, a hat for sun protection, a good read, and my tote (also known as my Mary Poppins bag!)

Here is what I try to adhere to:

  • 1 book, 1 notebook, 1 electronic device (either iPad or Laptop, not both). 
  • 1-2 items of each staple piece (t-shirts, sweaters, etc) in neutral colors that will go with anything.
  • 1-2 fun printed or vintage pieces to mix in with the basics and liven things up!
  • I usually try to pack only 3-4 pairs of pants even if I'm packing for a month. 
  • Accessories: a scarf, belt, and sunnies and jewelry are a beautiful (light-weight in the carry-on ;) way to express your personal style with your practical basic pieces.
  • Leave space in suitcase for a couple new items that you might want to purchase while traveling.

I also LOVE to let the new destination I'm traveling to inspire my fashion sensibilities when packing. The differen't climate, colors of the city buildings, elements of nature, culture, and history are all things I like to take into consideration. I love the idea that each new place you land at you can be a different version of yourself and embrace all the little or big changes of your new environment. 

Same goes for toiletries... Only bring the beauty/wellness products you use on a daily basis. Or if you are a product lover and have waaay too many at home, try to simplify your regime when you go away. Less maintenance will free up more time to explore and experience! 

Happy Packing! 

Model & Health Coach - Dani Seitz - talks community

Dani Seitz is a model, Health Coach, basketball enthusiast, and volunteers her time as a community manager for Ripe (A healthy corporate food catering company) in NYC. Dani also happens to be one of my best friends... so during my visit with her I followed along with her daily routines of life and she showed me the different elements that make up her community. Here we talk about how she came to cultivate it...

TM: You are originally from a small-ish city of Kelowna, British Columbia, traveled the globe for modeling and then decided to put your roots down in NYC. How long were you living in NYC before you really felt at home?

DS: It took a while for sure! I had to remind myself of the things I loved doing in Canada and learn to incorporate them into my NY life. Once I did that I found my community and core friends which make NY feel like home :)

TM: What are some of the places, or activities that you met your (now) friends through? 

DS: I would go to a lot of health and wellness events including meditations, yoga fitness events and joined sports teams.

TM: What are some organizations that you are involved with?

DS: I volunteer my time with Ripe and I organize basketball on the side. I seeked them out because I missed the feeling of doing activities with groups of people. I love getting friends together to play sports, board games, picnics.. anything!

TM: You LOVE basketball. Tell us a little about Downtown Girls Basketball, and how you got involved? 

DS: Downtown Girls is a women's only pick up team made up of artists, photographers, and writers. I learned about it through a friend and then started playing with them. I don't go as often as I would like since work has be quite busy but whenever I'm free I am there!!

TM: You then started "Lady Ballerz" a passion project to build community around the game of Basketball. What inspired you to do this and what is your goal for the initiative? 

DS: Aria McManus started the Downtown Girls Baskteball and I was so impressed in the community of gals that she brought together. One thing that I wanted to add to it was fundamentals. So I decided to start Lady Ballerz with my friend Zoë Colivas. Come fall I'll be organizing a lot more play time!

TM: The company Ripe that you work with does workouts every Sunday in the Park that are open to the public. What is the idea behind hosting these events? 

DS: I started by actually attending the workouts and then through meeting CJ + Ben, they brought me on to manage their events. It builds a community for Ripe. It's so much fun and makes me so happy to be involved.

TM: How does your community make you feel? 

DS: It makes me feel faaaaaaaaaabulousssssss of course ;) But seriously it's so dang important to have a community. Without it I felt so lost, it brings me more joy than you can imagine!

TM: Any advice for people looking to build there own community?

DS: Do what you love and the community will find you!!! A great site to start is meetup.com.

Indulging the 5 senses to feel at home on the road

Living out of your suitcase when you're on the road can be exciting and full of adventure but it can also leave me feeling uprooted, with little grounding. After many years of feeling this way I have tried to shift my perspective and believe that home is the people you are with, and the mindset that you hold. So I try to bring 5 things with me wherever I travel that indulge the 5 senses and help to create that mental feeling of home. 

SEE: I like to take a few photos of my loved ones that I can put beside my bed. Sure you can look at photos on your phone but there is something so nostalgic about having a good old fashioned printed photograph to see the people that make you feel grounded. I also take sticky notes of the different creative projects I'm working on. I like to put these above a desk so I'm visually reminded of what I'm working on and sometimes I'll paste up an inspo image beside them. 

Photographed by Carly Dame.

Photographed by Carly Dame.

SMELL: I bring my VITRUVI diffuser with me on the road and the Bergamot and Geranium essential oils remind me of home. It is a soothing ritual to turn it on, much like lighting a candle, and it can bring a nice calming energy into an otherwise sterile hotel room. 

HEAR: Right now I'm listening to the podcast "Women Of The Hour" with Lena Dunham. I'm also digging the song "Stand Tall" by Childish Gambino. 

TASTE: One of the first things I like to do when I land somewhere is go to the grocery store and grab my essentials. It helps me to create a routine and I'm less likely to eat unhealthy foods on out on the run if my fridge is stocked with my favorite healthy food. 

FEEL: I have a thing for soft furry feeling pillows, faux lambskin rugs, faux fur coats, it's a little bit weird now that I think about it lol. Anyway... I have a furry hot water bottle I love to bring with me that feels super comforting. I also like to do my favorite yoga pose - the wide legged forward fold - when I get off the plane and each morning because it makes my body feel so good.