In a couple of months it will have been two years since I started this blog and a year since I started working on it full-time from home. Going from having thirty hyperactive bodies in a room as a teacher to just me at home alone all day was quite an adjustment, but I’ve learned a few lessons along the way…
PUT CLOTHES ON
While working in your PJs is really fun for the first few weeks (or months…) once the thrill has worn off, get yourself dressed for work in the morning. Not office clothes but something you feel good in. Something you can leave the house in, something chic you can video chat to clients in or meet someone for a quick lunch, coffee, or happy hour in.
ADOPT A COWORKER
Working from home full-time is lonely. If you don’t already have a pet, get one. Getting a dog will force you out of the chair and into the fresh air or a cat will keep you smiling with his antics. Just having another living being in the household with you really helps.
BUY ONE OF THESE
This cube is genius. You can set it to go off at certain intervals of time just by turning it. Once it beeps you’ll know to switch to another task. I use it all the time when working on inspiration boards. If that beeper didn’t go off after thirty minutes I’d spend another two hours on Pinterest looking for a ‘more perfect’ picture.
CLOSE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TABS
When it’s time to get down to it, close those social media tabs. It’s hard, but it works.
“Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, found that a typical office worker takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.” – via The New York Times
Why is that? Well, once a social media notification interrupts the task at hand you’ll decide it’s also a good time to check your email, respond to a tweet, see what’s up on Instagram etc. It’s a downward spiral.
PAY AS MUCH ATTENTION TO YOUR SOCIAL CALENDAR AS YOU DO TO YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Otherwise you will become a friendless hermit. This is also why it’s important to follow #1 and dress yourself in the morning. If you’re already publicly presentable, you’ll be more likely to say yes to a last-minute happy hour session with your girlfriends. If you’re still sitting there in your PJs at 4pm you won’t.
REWARD YOURSELF WITH POETRY
Let me explain this. Because working from home can be so lonesome and there’s nobody there to celebrate your little victories with you – you’ll start rewarding yourself with something. When I first started working from home that was with cupcakes.
Fast-forward a year and now I totally regret those tasty treats.
Reward yourself instead with a Pinterest session or 20 minutes with a new novel you’re loving. Poetry is my new favorite reward. They’re bite-sized, almost as delicious as cupcakes, and rejuvenate my creativity. After a thirty minutes of answering emails I always give myself a poem (most recently from this collection).
YOUR TURN: what tips do you have for working from home? I’d love to get a few more tricks up my sleeve.