I truly love working from home and can’t image going back to working a traditional job. Working from home though does have its challenges, I’m sharing some of the things that I have done over the last few years to help me get things done, stay focused and manage a demanding household.
Tip 1. Set a Schedule
I have kids so I can only work while they are at school or napping. I have created a start time of 8:30 AM at the latest so if I don’t start at this time I consider myself running late for work! I set lunch a break and then I have a set time to leave “work” which is when I go to pick up the kids from school. As soon as the kids get home, it’s family time for me and I put the work away. It’s important for me to set these boundaries and make sure that I’m not getting sucked into the 24/7 work week which often happens when you own your own business.
Tip 2. Have a Strategy
One of the things that I have been trying to do lately is to have a marketing strategy in place every quarter. This way, I am very clear on what needs to be done on what day. For example, this blog post, I knew that I had to write it months ago so it was easy for me to schedule the time to do it on the day that it needed to be done.
Tip 3. Scheduling Calls or Meetings
When I set up client calls or meetings I like to schedule those for late morning or early afternoon. I find client calls take much longer than scheduled and they take away from task priorities. I like to start my workday by checking emails, working on my most important tasks first, then prepare for my call or meeting. I find that I am most present for meetings in the afternoon because I have already taken care of my top priority tasks so if the meeting goes longer than expected that’s okay! I set myself up for success and already accomplished what needed to get done at the beginning of the day.
Tip 4. Personal Appointment Scheduling
If I need to set up personal appointments I try to make them outside my set work hours. When I can’t (for example; doctor appointments) I like to set up the appointments for either first thing in the morning (doctors are typically on time more so in the mornings than afternoons). This way I can get my hours in by asking Gary to pick up the kids and I can work a little later.
Tip 5. Workspace
Set up a workspace that makes you feel comfortable and help you focus on your work. Creating a workspace or office will encourage you to be more productive and you will start to love your work day more. One thing that I have done is that I have turned my desk around so that it faces the window. The natural light has helped me to enjoy sitting at my desk for those long editing sessions.
Tip 6. Accountability
When working from home there is no one there to watch over you to make you accountable. No one knows what time you start, finish or even what you are wearing (hello, leggings all day every day!). Noella and I, hold each other accountable with daily check in texts and calls.
Tip 7. Practice Saying “NO”.
I think the biggest misconception from working from home is that people around you assume you work whenever you feel like it, you have so much flexibility to do anything you want and your house is always clean. In reality, my house still looks the same as it did when I worked in an office and my hours are pretty similar to when I worked in the office, too.
People will ask me to do all sorts of things while you work from home– they have the day off so let’s meet for coffee/lunch, can you watch my kids or can you pick/drop me off at the airport? Sometimes people will call midday to chat and I often need to remind them that even though I work from home I still have set working hours.
I hope these tips help you get your hours in! It can be tricky when you’re first starting out in your career or working from home but by trying out my tips you’re at least trying something out that works! I would love to hear what you do at home to make sure your hours get in. Comment below and let me know!