I've officially been working from home for about two years now, and I can admit I'm still trying to find a unique balance between changing up my WFH routine and being my most productive self. A wise person once told me that to work and be most productive I've got to find my own productivity style. Granted, I haven't always been the most productive in any facet of my life, and that goes for school, work, and any other "adulting" activity.
Back when I worked in the office every day, I was always the employee who looked forward to my daily walk to the nearby Trader Joe's just to get some form of exercise and fresh air and, of course, buy a bag of dried mango. The walk may seem frivolous to some people, but for me, it was the best part of working in an office—besides the camaraderie you get in a workplace environment. Without those extra steps in a day and the sunlight, I felt stagnant mentally and physically.
Oddly enough, though, I've exercised the most I ever have in my life throughout the pandemic and while working from home. I even added weekly morning runs into my routine, but when I don't wake up on time to run before my calls start, nine times out of 10, I end up not working out, which would leave me feeling unaccomplished for the day.
Sometimes, even if I did wake up and run, I'd end up rushing back to make it to my standup meeting on time. It was hard for me to find a balance between being my most productive self and my most physically fit self. I've also never been the girl who loves at-home workouts, but to be my most successful self during the workday, I've found that I need to release some endorphins in the morning and sweat out all of the toxins and the feelings from the day before.
After two years of attempting to work smarter and not harder from home, I've finally found a way to get all my work done and release endorphins at the same time—a bike workstation. My new desk bike not only allows me to get 45 minutes of cardio a day, but I can also be at meetings while using it and catch up on all my emails in between calls.
When my FlexiSpot bike was delivered to my house, I was excited to see how many calories I'd burn and, more importantly, how my productivity would increase. I was concerned at first because I didn't want it to be disruptive during a meeting or when I had to draft up an email, so I was reluctant to use it. But after reading about how bad it is for humans to sit all day, I thought the bike could only be beneficial, and I decided to document my first week using it. Keep reading for my honest thoughts.
Monday: I cycled for 40 minutes this morning on level five, and I feel great. Shockingly, the bike isn't noisy at all. I'm also sweating like a sumo wrestler, but I guess that's a good thing. Maybe I won't feel bad about the enchilada plate I'm going to eat tonight.
Tuesday: I attempted to start my day off with a "waist whistler" workout and then a cool-down with the bike for 20 minutes. I'm on fire! When I used to cycle at the gym, my back would hurt so bad, but FlexiSpot works wonders for my posture.
Wednesday: I decided to challenge myself today by doing 45 minutes on lucky level number seven. Whew chile, I'm tired but also very proud of myself.
Thursday: I don't feel like working out today, but my new playlist is motivating me to do at least 45 minutes on the bike. Twenty minutes later and I'm feeling like Elle Woods in that one workout scene in Legally Blonde, except she didn't have a bike. Whatever, we're both unstoppable and multitasking!
Friday: My inbox was so crazy this morning that I cycled for an hour, but it felt like 10 minutes because I got so lost in my work. Time flies when you're bombarded with so many emails that you forget you're pedaling. I think I'm starting to fall in love with this thing.
As much as I love my desk bike for turning me into a multitasking OG and giving me the ideal workspace, there are a few other things that have helped me become more productive at work year-round. Take a look at my other must-haves.
This matcha has been my holy grail for energy. I'm not a coffee girl whatsoever, so naturally, tea is always my go-to. This matcha tastes amazing and keeps me focused all day long!
I'm a huge believer in affirmations, and this deck of cards got me through every day of work when we were in an office, and now, they're one of my WFH essentials. My motto is that I can choose whether I'm going to have a bad day, and when I start my workdays off by picking one of these cards, it's bound to be a good one.
Sometimes, I look at my workload for the day, and I get anxious, realizing that I have so many tasks to complete. Keeping a to-do list with goals for the day has been a game changer for me. This notepad even has a section for the ones you didn't complete.
Is working even fun without a good snack? I can't speak for the world, but for the fun people in the world, a snack a day keeps a frown away. Tru Fru's chocolate-covered blueberries are delicious and healthy. And there are studies that show dark chocolate has been linked to healthier brain function. All jokes aside, this is my no-guilt WFH snack, and it helps me retain my memory, which, in turn, helps me complete that to-do list quickly and efficiently.
For someone who is the opposite of super organized, this helps me become more organized for the entire month.
Getting sunlight is a necessity for the sake of my mental health. Since I've started working from home, I've replaced my lunch break with a walk in my neighborhood, and it's given me more motivation to finish the workday stronger than ever. And there's nothing more motivating than having a cute outfit to wear.