THE ART OF WORKING FROM HOME
I began working from home about 5 years ago.
It wasn’t something I planned. Looking back I wish I would have planned it out better - but that’s a different story.
I went from college and working (countless) clothing retail jobs to focusing on an online business. I had no idea what I was doing and put my faith in ETSY.
I got “in” on ETSY when it was less congested, less saturated and more focused on the art of hand-made then anything else. I was part of an algorithm that featured my products often. My shop got traction, it was a thing.
What I was doing online became my main hustle.
What I didn’t realize was the discipline I would need to have.
One of the biggest griefs I have when talking to people about my business are comments like, “oh it must be soooo nice working from home… your own hours… you can wear whatever you want…sleep in…”
That sounds all well and good - honestly if that’s what you want out of your day - blogging full time might be your calling.
I take on my day a little differently.
I have a studio space in my basement where I spend my work days. I treat that space as if it were separate from my home.
I think, the biggest challenge when working from home is staying focused and not being overwhelmed by loneliness.
I’ve developed some habits in the past 5 years that lead to better days. Maybe they’ll help you too 💪🏻
TIP # ONE: CREATE YOUR OWN WORKSPACE and treat it as such.
You’re creating a safe place for your work and it’s important that your work has an area of it’s own. It can be toxic to intertwine your work into your home space. (My only exception to this guide is laptop work.)
Whether it’s a basement, a garage, a converted closet..wherever it is - own it.
TIP # TWO: REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE AREA.
Now, just as important as it is to create a place for your work it’s also important to step out of that space.
There is nothing more draining than cabin fever when you’re a creative.
So, get up and get out. Take your notebook, laptop, AirPods, camera..and just GO.
Inspiration is out there and it’s hard to find when you’re at the same location 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
TIP # THREE: DRESS FOR A PHOTO OPP.
Be dressed to impress.
Sure, leggings are great but have you ever gained 5lbs because you haven’t worn actual jeans in 3 weeks and the give of your leggings led you to believe you were still crushing that fit look. Not so much honey, sorry.
I get ready for the day, everyday like I would for an out-of-the-house job.
Keep an edge, keep a style. This will allow you to keep a confidence about yourself and your work - even if it’s jeans + t-shirt with the cutest, greasiest messy bun and some hoop earrings.
TIP # FOUR: PREP YOUR MIND AND BODY.
Self care is important.
Plan out your week. Make goals, create focus for the days ahead.
An easy way to create a healthy work/life balance is to meal prep. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to cook all your meals to order - that’s just a distraction.
Every day I pop upstairs to grab my lunch from the fridge, take it outside on the patio(in the summer) or have “mindless computer time” in the studio. This little energy break will reset you to conquer the rest of your day.
HONESTY HOUR: One of the biggest challenges I come across is the struggle to “clock out” and leave that business mindset down in the studio. It’s easy to keep going when your work is where you live. Maybe you’ve been there? Telling yourself, “just one more task, just one more email..until it’s almost 10pm and you’re wondering where the day went.
TIP # FIVE: KEEP IT FUN.
Find that podcast, reality TV show, or playlist that just lights up your life.
Until you take on an employee, you are on your own. That background nonsense can be the comforting white noise that will avoid you from going crazy.
Connect on your socials.
Instagram has been monumental in connecting with customers, collaborating with other creatives, gaining relationships with stockists, staying relevant.
All of that will assist in building your confidence, and your brand. Showcasing some personality can add up to an authentic impact.
I may have been working from home and on my own for awhile but I swear, every damn day I learn something new.
The point of all of this is that we both know it’s really not ideal to have a blurred headspace or home space.
Your work deserves a focused flow and you deserve a normal life. Work on finding your jive.
You don’t always have to go to bed feeling un-accomplished and claustrophobic.