Struggling to find a way to feel normal during these times of safe-at-home and social distancing? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! I confess I wasn’t exactly sad when I learned that I would have LOTS more time to devote to creating my illustrations and cartoons. What I didn’t realize was how much life at home could still interfere. After all, there’s (bad) news to read, video calls to family to be made, emails to friends to be sent, and an unending supply of unhelpful distractions. (Like, why is that ambulance outside our building?!) Yesterday I finally had an epiphany of sorts…as in, this might be your life for a LONG time, so it’s time to get serious and dress for your job at home!

Why it’s important to dress for your job at home

Full disclosure: Despite my best intentions, over the past two weeks I’ve found myself starting my work day quite late. Like many other people in the world right now, I don’t have anywhere to go. This means my daily exercise has gotten pushed to the afternoon or, sometimes, early evening. And then – gasp! – my daily shower falls at around 7 or 8 p.m. Getting dressed at 8 p.m. makes no sense, so I’ve spent much of the last two weeks in my sweat pants or exercise clothes. Needless to say, I’ve also gotten a lot less work done that I expected.

What’s so wrong with working in your sweats?

Nothing. If that’s how you work best, then have at it! However, I know myself well enough to know that when I get dressed, I feel more professional and therefore more focused.

So that’s what I did yesterday. I also forced myself to put my phone away and sit down for 2 hours of uninterrupted drawing time. The following illustration in my Moleskine sketchbook was the result:

Whimsical ink and watercolor sketches in my Moleskin notebook

Why Creating a Schedule is Also Important

Today I took my Dress for Your Job at Home plan a step further. Not only did I overcome my inertia and finish my workout earlier, but I was showered and dressed by 12:30 p.m. AND I put on makeup and jewelry. Next, I sat down and created a detailed schedule for what I wanted to do today, as well as a general plan for the week.

Dress for your job at home and create a daily schedule - here's mine for the day!

Sticking to my schedule wasn’t 100% successful, but then again I’m still new at mapping out how to best structure my work days at home. As part of this new plan, my husband and I agreed to trying to get to bed a 1/2 hour earlier so that I can start my day a 1/2 hour earlier tomorrow. Hopefully, this will mean that I will be exercised, showered and ready to work by 10:30 instead of 12:30!

In addition to the doodles above…

These funny ink and watercolor cartoon studies were the result of my focused time at the drafting table:

Funny ink and watercolor Blue Men cartoon doodles by Joana Miranda

What’s Working for Me:

  1. Exercise and shower early in the day
  2. Get dressed
  3. Map out the day’s schedule
  4. Schedule in some breaks
  5. Be kind to yourself if you can’t stick to your schedule 100%. Learn from what didn’t go to plan today and start again tomorrow.

If you’re looking for an even better organized approach to structuring your work at home days, take a look at Sunny Lenarduzzi’s video below:

How about you? How are you adapting to working at home? Have you incorporated any new routines to your work day and work environment that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear!


  1. Helen Reich says:

    I’m going crazy. So many Zoom meetings. Social media committee, ICSOM, orchestra, group chats on FB Messenger with Social Media Committee, all sorts of emails to read. It’s a good thing I’m not working, as there would never be any time for all this communication. And there’s my own Instagram account to take care of. I’m also getting up late, but at least I’m getting all the sleep I need.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      Aack! That does sound like a lot of meetings and commitments! But then again, as everyone is gaining their sea legs with figuring out this new normal of working remotely, I think there will continue to be an increase on the demands for our attention. Eventually, we’ll all figure out how to prioritize the demands again.

      I was 5 minutes “late to work” for my new workday schedule (which started at 10:30 a.m.) But I’m still pleased with myself since I was exercised, showered and nicely dressed by 10:35 a.m. today. 🙂 Sending a big hug! xox – Joana

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