Chairs at Suttle Tea in Sisters, Oregon

How to Successfully Work from Home: Staying Motivated, Efficient and Excited

Today I’m writing to you about two things that have helped me work from home for ten years.

N° 1: Set daily goals with a List

To-do lists: there’s so much to love… and not love. But one area where they are very effective is in achieving daily tasks. I like my friend Chelann’s tip from her book Dear Millennial, to write a daily to-do list the night before. I’ve found that I can see my upcoming tasks more clearly the day before rather than the day of. A daily list helps me avoid feeling anxious because I wake up with a plan for my day and I know what task to begin with.

Once you’ve created your to-do list, you plow through every item with no heed for family, co-workers or pets. 😃 Not really. Rather than being an inflexible schedule, a to-do list allows you to prioritize what needs to be done. (It actually can promote relationships with your co-workers and pets because you can schedule time for them.)

The to-do list has become my friend and it can be your friend, too! Try it for clarity in your schedule and for getting the important things done first.

N° 2: Keep your bucket full

My cousin-in-law Katie calls uplifting people “bucket fillers.” She says when you’re around these people, your internal bucket gets filled.

One way I stay excited and on task at home is to be with others who also take pride in their time spent at home. (This includes people who work outside the home.)

If I spend too much time* with people who don’t like working at home or being at home, their attitude affects mine. Seeds of dissatisfaction are planted.

Now I’m not saying we can remove every negative influence. It’s like what Paul tells the Corinthians, “To do that, you’d have to go out of this world.” 😀

Instead, we fight to neutralize negativity.

We conquer negativity by drowning it with good thoughts, uplifting people, and time spent pursuing our goals. The more focused we are on where we are going, the less negativity will influence us.

Cheers to working from home!


*How much time is too much time? This varies. It’s a combination of how much stress I’m under, how much free time I have, and how much energy I have to give away to others. An indicator I use is my attitude toward my home, work, and myself after I’ve spent time with someone.

Coffee Conversations

The Power in Coffee Conversations

Are you looking for a way to beat depression, network with others, and/or be more intentional in your life?

Try meeting someone for coffee!

Having a social gathering over coffee can have a positive effect on well-being, encourage brainstorming, and provide practice in being intentional.

• • • • • • • ► Coffee for relationships

As noted in a recent study¹, the social interaction of a coffee meetup can help lessen the severity of depression. I know I’ve been supported by knowing that much (if not all) of what I’m feeling is also felt by those around me. We all have struggles. And if the other person has not faced what I’m going through, just having the opportunity to share my thoughts lightens my load. As Frank Tyger says,

“If a person gives you his time, he can give you no more precious gift.”

• • • • • • • ► Brainstorming

Besides being encouraged through another’s company, the coffee shop is a great setting for brainstorming. If you tell me about trying a new exercise series on YouTube, I can tell you about my exercise routine and boom! We’ve both been encouraged to keep our goals and exercise on. (I love Jessica Smith’s workouts! You can find them on YouTube.)

If you already go on coffee dates regularly, ask yourself about the quality of those meetups. Are you providing value to your friend? Remember that you can bring value simply by using your listening ear.

On the flip side, are you gaining value as well? Does your coffee mate ask you questions and listen to your concerns and ideas? Do they allow you to contribute to the conversation?

• • • • • • • ► Setting the date

When I want more conversation in my life, I remind myself to be intentional and make time for it. I schedule time even when I feel too busy. The more intentional we are about having time for conversation, the more we can reap the benefits of community.

Brewing up a coffee date isn’t hard, but it does require planning and intention. It’s these moments that give life joy. The modest coffee date packs the power to be a mood-lifter, a networking opportunity, and a way to bring intention into life.

• • • • • • • ► Giveaway

With the goal of encouraging more coffee dates, I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram (winners have been announced!) for two $15 coffee gift cards from Strada Coffee or Starbucks. Cheers to your next brew!!


¹ “Somebody to lean on: Social relationships predict post-treatment depression severity in adults” by Mats Hallgren, Andreas Lundin, Fwo Yi Tee, Bo Burström, and Yvonne Forsell,

Black mortarboard from College Without the Campus