By Ryn Gargulinksi

With the coronavirus precautions in place, much of the world is now experiencing what I’ve enjoyed for the past decade: working from home. Working remotely can be an absolute blessing and pleasure – as long as you figure out ways to remain happy, healthy and productive. Here come some tips that have served me well in my Southern Arizona home office over the years.

Create a morning ritual.

Start the day with at least two minutes of silence, followed by a check-in, high-vibe habit review and daily goals and intentions. This starts your day with focus and balance, which typically lasts at least until the dogs or kids wake up.

Make sure your household knows when you’ll be on a video call.

Even if the dogs and kids continue to make noise, at least the adults will know to be quiet. They’ll also know not to walk through the background in their underwear, as this can be rather disruptive.

Select a playlist in advance.

Background music can be incredibly helpful for getting work done, as long as the music is conducive to a work environment. Selecting a playlist or stations in advance helps you avoid the trap of asking Alexa to “play something I like.” Because, alas, she inevitably won’t.

Comb your hair.

It’s called working from home. Not working like a slob from home. Showering, combing your hair and wearing something a little nicer than you’d wear for a dog walk can go a long way toward making you feel professional and motivated. No, you don’t have to sit around in a three-piece suit, but at least maintain good hygiene. It’s tough to stay productive when you smell.

Don’t think your work will stop just because the clock says 11:42 p.m.

Working from home takes a ton of discipline – both to START the work and then again to END it. Day can quickly turn into night with no coworkers telling you to go home. Although you may still have deadlines to meet, you may also be free to do the work at any given time.

This can be a huge plus when you wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t sleep, as it allows you to get the work done before the sun even comes near to rising. But it can also be a huge detriment if you goofed off with your dogs all day and now have to stay up until 3 a.m. to catch up.

It’s also way too easy to transform your work life into your entire life when you’re working out of the comfort of your home. A good trick for this one is to schedule downtime and personal time into the calendar, the same way you schedule meetings and assignments. Make those personal time slots sacred, enjoyable and non-negotiable.

Self-care is a magic ingredient when it comes to staying happy, healthy and productive when working from home. That, of course, and ensuring all family members are fully clothed when you’re on a video call.

Tucsonan Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, Reiki master and certified professional coach. More tips and fun stuff at

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