If you work from home, then you know firsthand that it can be both a positive and a negative thing. Let's face it, it's a struggle most of the time. It allows for so much laziness and many distractions. Of course the idea of being in the comfort of your own home with the ability to lounge around in your PJs on your cozy bed while you work can be extremely appealing to anyone. Truthfully though, this can suck you into what I like to call the black hole. You don't even realize that it's happening and before you know it this routine of yours has caused you to fall into a rut. When I went from working in the financial industry to working from home it was a HUGE change and in the beginning I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. It's been a process for sure and over these last several years I've definitely learned a few tips along the way. I've been asked many times before about how I stay motivated from home, so I wanted to shed a little bit of light on the things I do to make working from home less of a struggle.
Instant mood changer. I can't tell you how many times I have skipped breakfast for just a cup of coffee so that I can dive right into emails and everything else I have set for the day. By afternoon time I would be miserable and cranky. Once I disciplined myself to start the day with actual food, my entire mood changed and of course, I had more energy to get me through the rest of the day. I always thought that being at home so often would make me want to eat more, but in fact it's actually ruined my eating habits by skipping meals like breakfast and lunch. Thankfully I have finally gotten this under control.
It took me quite some time to get a workout in every morning, but this was another game changer for me. Even a simple 20 minute walk in your neighborhood will do you some good. Lately, I have been jogging up and down the hills by my house. It takes me 25 minutes to make my rounds and come back home and I have been doing this every day for the past week. First of all it gets you out of your pajamas which is necessary, the fresh air in the morning will do you some good and it's another great way to energize yourself for the rest of the day. This is another reason why I'm so happy I bought the Fitbit. It forces me to get up and walk around so much more. Must hit those 10K steps per day!
Create A Work Space
This is so important because making your bed your office every day is a surefire way to get sucked into the black hole. Before you know it, it's 1pm and you still have your pajamas on with Netflix playing in the background and by 3pm you're ready for a nap. Trust me. I've been there. If you do still choose to work from your bed sometimes, just make sure to change out of what you wore the night before. It took me a few years to turn my spare room into a little closet/office. Buying a desk made all the difference though. You don't even need to have a separate room for your office. You can easily create a separate space in your living room with a desk and chair. If you live in a studio apartment, which I will be in the very near future, you can section off a small space in there too. I've seen some great ideas on Pinterest. It helps to feel like you are actually leaving your bedroom to "go to work" even though "going to work" is a few feet away.
Girl, take those pajamas off and get dressed. You don't have to be all dolled up with a pair of pumps on, but simply changing your clothes helps to change your mindset. I can't even count how many times I have worked in PJs for majority of the day when I didn't have anything scheduled outside of the house. I had to snap out of it though and get into a routine. One of the things that has helped me is the fact that I shoot on my mom's lunch break during the week, so this also forces me to style a look and get dressed for photos. I tend to keep the outfit on for the rest of the day and just ditch the shoes. If I am not shooting on a particular day and don't have anything scheduled, I make myself get dressed anyway.
Leave The House
Every day is different for me. For some, I am home the entire day. For others, I am out and about in the city for meetings, events, networking, etc. Some weeks I can be in the city 3-4 times while others I can be at home every single day. On the days when I don't have much scheduled, I force myself to get out of the house at some point. It can be to grab lunch or make a quick trip to the store. I try to get out for at least a half hour to an hour. Now that it's nice outside, I enjoy going on local walks or simply sitting outside for a bit to refresh. Even working at a coffee shop for part of the day can make a difference. You just need a change of scenery because it can become daunting to sit inside of your house alone for hours on your computer with your two dogs barking in the background. [last one might not apply to you]
Make To-Do Lists & Schedules
Google calendar has saved my life and I love that it syncs to my iPhone so it alerts me through out the day with whatever I have planned. I have gone through many planners and majority of the time I've stopped scheduling things in there after a few months or even a few weeks. Starting out each morning with a list of the things that I need to get done is always super helpful. It's more beneficial when you can set somewhat of a routine for yourself every day, especially since there can be this consistent inconsistency with working from home. You just need to create a bit more structure.
If it's a slow week, don't just sit around staring at your inbox waiting for an opportunity to pop up. Create one for yourself. Reach out to some of the contacts in your network and set up a coffee meeting or a showroom/office visit so that you can make some face-to-face interaction. Don't be afraid to pitch yourself if you feel that there could be a potential opportunity. One of the most challenging things with running a blog full time is that some days definitely are much slower than others. Putting yourself out there and making things happen should be at the top of your to-do list.
Thanks for checking out this post! I hope that it helped in some way. Let me know if you would like to see more posts like this. Happy Friday loves.