5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Working from Home
They said it would be easy, fun, and carefree. They were all lying crazy fools. While working from home can have amazing benefits, it is a lot harder than it might seem.
For instance, I never realized how much I took for granted when it came to having a boss. While I am a hard worker, if I don’t have someone forcing me to work, I find myself repeating habits. For example, I’ll watch old Friends episodes while playing Brawl Stars (is anybody else addicted to that game?).
I am still trying to figure things out, but I’ve learned a lot since the beginning. I have realized that there are a few things to think of before turning in your desk job for the blogging life.
When working from home, don’t stay in your pajamas.
I say this as I am typing away in the clothes I technically wore to bed. Obviously, there are a few exceptions to each rule.
For instance, it’s cold, my sweats are comfortable, and I felt my self-care needed my cozy pajamas for the day. Do as I say, not as I do.
The problem with doing this every day is that you set yourself up for a lazy atmosphere. When it doesn’t feel like a job, you don’t treat it like a job. Funny enough, taking the time to get dressed in the morning can boost your motivation for the day ahead.
Even when I’m not leaving the house, it is one thing I have accomplished. It starts you in the right mindset and clears your mind to work properly for the day ahead.
This also might seem silly, but it also helps give you the motivation to leave the house if needed.
Cabin fever is a real thing. sometimes we don’t want to leave our comfy abode because we are ‘slob’ approved.
When you dress up, you can quickly grab your computer and head to the coffee shop without a second thought.
Coffee shops are lifesavers for when you’ve spent seven days in your home with nobody but your cat to converse with. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.
Spend time properly setting up a workspace.
Working on your bed can be a fantastic thing (and sometimes necessary if you are a tad under the weather). In fact, that is how I did it for the first few months when I quit my job.
Mostly because we were renovating our living room area (which doubles as our office), but also because why not?
When you combine your bed with work, it is harder to separate work from home life. Setting up a little office space not only helps you stay on track, but it also feels more like a ‘job.’
Those days I worked on my bed were lackluster. I was never motivated, had an urge to sleep regularly, and would get irritated with myself. I also noticed that once bedtime hit, my mind wouldn’t shut off.
Because my brain was associating the bed as a workspace, my thoughts went to all the things I needed to do the next day. It became a vicious cycle that ended in my getting burnt out quickly.
While we don’t actually have an ‘office,’ we do have a corner in the living room that I call my workspace. I have it made up with everything I need for the day ahead and keep all other distractions out of this bubble.
This way, when I’m sitting at my desk, I am working, and when I leave, I am at home. You don’t need another room, just a place you can signify to your brain that, “yeah, we are working now.”
Once you are done with work, be done.
I cannot tell you how hard this is and how everybody should be screaming this at people who are about to work from home… that would be a little weird to witness, though. If you are not familiar with me, I am Bethany Ashlyn, formerly known as The Graceful Klutz.
I quit my day job to pursue my passion for writing and helping others. I had no idea what I was doing and had less idea of what you needed to work from home. Within the first year,
I was so burnt out that I quit writing for five months, got another job, and let The Graceful Klutz die a slow and sad death.
All of this happened, more or less, because I didn’t know when to turn my work-life off. With your livelihood being in your home, it is difficult to differentiate the clock-in hours of a 9 to 5 job.
I would work for 15 hours a day and spend my days off working on more projects. This is usually what you hear right before someone crashes into reality hard.
Learn to create hours for yourself and force yourself to stick to them. While there are those days where you might work all day (which happens to everyone), you need to find time to turn your career off.
Burning out won’t help you and, if you keep on that path, that is definitely where you will end up. You need to make sure you are giving your mental health a break.
Keep distractions at a minimum.
It is easy to watch television or do laundry while working at home. Understandably, we think about things we need to do around the house when we are right there looking at everything.
Just like you shouldn’t ‘bring work home’ you shouldn’t bring home to work. Try to keep those things at a minimum; I promise they will still be there when you are done with work.
If you have a spare bedroom, then you can make that into an office and only leave for scheduled breaks and bathroom needs. Make sure the family knows this as well so that people aren’t always coming in and interrupting the flow.
If you, like me, still find yourself thinking of chores around the house, find time during the workday to do them. For instance, I do the dishes in my morning routine.
They are usually a source of agitation for me (mostly because I hate them), and I have to enter the kitchen for my lunch break. If there are no dishes, that is one less thing I think about during the workday.
You could also throw a load of laundry while eating lunch or try to get everything done the night before, so you are not tempted to ignore work in order to clean the house.
Give yourself to-do lists and fill out a daily calendar When Working From Home.
I find it extremely hard to stay on topic when I have no boss around to keep an eye on me. While I can be focused, I can also become lazy fast, and I have been known to procrastinate when I need to be working.
As in, I could easily go a week just watching Netflix if I didn’t force myself to get up and do something.
Setting up a planner to keep chunks of time for specific projects keeps you on track for the goals you have each day. I find that when I write in a physical calendar, I am more likely to get it accomplished.
One thing I have learned as well is the anti-to-do list. This is a list where you jot down what you have accomplished in the day.
Sometimes we put so much on our plate that we feel defeated before we even begin.
By doing the opposite and writing down our list once it is done, we can feel more inspired to continue working.
You can also try writing a few simple to-dos down that are easy to tick off each day. For some reason, clicking off a task on your iCalendar or crossing out a to-do item can feel extremely motivating.
While it might seem like all I have done is complain, I do want to point out that I absolutely love what I do. Every day I wake up and get to follow my dreams and, being an introvert, get the option to not talk to other people if I want.
That’s always a little added bonus to me. I also get to spend more time with my loved ones, set my own hours, and travel the world while still working.
It is a hard job working from home, but extremely rewarding. The main thing you have to remember is to keep your mental health in check and that, yes, you too deserve breaks and vacation time.
Sometimes we get swept up in our projects and we forget we don’t have A boss to Tell us to take a break.
Tell me, what are some of the pros and cons you have found from working from home? If you could give one piece of advice to others who are starting this journey, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below or over on my contact page!
Want to stay caught up with everything going on here? You can sign up for my weekly newsletter so you never miss a second of action!!