It has been almost a month since I decided to renounce my conventional 9 to 5 life and pursue my nagging professional goals as if someone was already paying me a substantial salary to do it. Some people might call this daring while others may say it’s preposterous. After all, as a woman already in her thirties, shouldn’t I have gotten this dreaming business out of the way already? Shouldn’t I be properly settled into a comfortable suburban existence with an actual career trajectory, or children, or if I was a real over achiever, both?
This past summer I kept thinking of how everyone has his or her own path in life and examining where mine had taken me. It was very difficult to truly step outside of myself and pin point the choices and decisions that had brought me to my current reality: I was at a job with no prospect for actual advancement, I was not going to a mother anytime soon, I was treating my passions like hobbies and conforming into someone else’s version of who I should be. Changes desperately needed to be made. I closed my eyes and took that proverbial leap of faith.
So now I work from home. I am happy, healthy and so utterly energized every single day because I am pursuing my own real and attainable goals. There is only one problem. I love what I am doing so much, that I found myself working all of the time no matter the hour, the day or the place. I realized that while I am enjoying the process, this is not conducive towards a balanced life, but rather more conducive to a bad case of beginners burn out. In order to remedy this, I’ve had to teach myself how to work from home.
Here are some tips:
1. Designate an actual workspace, whether that is your kitchen table or a home office and keep it consistent so that you get used to working in that space.
2. Put yourself on a schedule and stick to it. This will help with productivity and keep you from working day and night.
3. Break up the day between work activities and home activities. Sometimes I can’t sit for that long, so I will take a break from my mental work and do some physical work like the dishes, or watering the lawn.
4. Reduce distractions by turning off notices on your phone or computer and set aside a time to catch up with you social media, email, texts and phone calls.
5. Actually get ready for work so that you aren’t in your PJ’s all day. I have a morning routine of cleaning the house and personal grooming that allows me to focus on work for the rest of the day.
6. Set up some time after work to socialize with people. In other words, leave your house every once in a while and talk to a real person. Sometimes some friendly feedback is all you need to get even more inspired ideas.
7. Have a back up place to work if your designated workspace is not available. If you can’t work at home because you have guests, go to a coffee shop or the library.
8. Remember to eat. One of the advantages of working from home is that you can eat healthy without spending money on lunch everyday.
9. Set small daily or weekly goals to keep you motivated.
10. Reward and celebrate any and all victories. Pursuing what some would consider an unattainable goal is hard enough. Be supportive to yourself as you would be to your best friend.
Do you work from home? Do you have any tips you would like to share?
By: W. Castellanos-Wolf
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