This is what working from home is really like:
Working from home can be one of the most liberating lifestyle changes you make for yourself. Having total control of your schedule and being able to work from the comfort of your home is magical.
But working from home is a huge lifestyle change!
Whether you broke free from the 9-5 already or are getting ready to take the plunge, I am sure you are here trying to sort out what it is really like to work from home. And what you can do to make it easier.
For me, the work from home lifestyle was always a dream of mine. The freedom of being my own boss as a freelance entrepreneur called to me constantly.
As a Pinterest Manager, I maintain total control over my schedule.
Some days I work a lot and some days I don’t work much at all. I chose this path in life because I always dreamed of having that much control over my work life balance.
If you are in 9-5 life dreaming of becoming a freelancer, we are going to dig deep into what it is really like to work from home.
Work from home requires time management
Learning how to schedule a productive day will help you stay focused and motivated on the task at hand.
I speak in detail about two different time management methods here.
The time blocking method which involves blocking out pieces of your day to accomplish tasks, be sure to include relaxation and meals on this one! Time blocking is most effective when used from sun up to sun down.
The other method we discussed, a personal favorite of mine, is the Pomodoro method. I enjoy being able to use this timer method as a flexible but effective way to put my head down and power through work for 45 minutes knowing a break is waiting for me.
No matter what method you prefer, I highly recommend starting (or ending) your day with a To Do List.
This makes mapping out your next day so much faster.
Pro tip: break down your To Do List into bite size tasks, this will make your list seem less overwhelming and make you feel more accomplished as you check things off.
Example: for my Pinterest clients instead of writing “SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK” I write Schedule for 5/01, 5/02 …
This way I can cross off each date as I finish them.
For me, when I spend a whole day in front of my laptop I do not always feel like I accomplished a lot so tricks like this help ease my brain.
It can be distracting while you work from home.
Staying focused while working from home is a huge adjustment to the lifestyle.
Creating ways to signal to your brain “work mode on/off” will help you get to work faster, but also help you unwind faster. Working from home is a lot of mindset work. In this article I talk about checking into your mindset.
As a solopreneur you must hold yourself accountable, sometimes this is easier said than done. One way I make sure to stay focused on a project is I wake up with the birds in the early morning hours. I find I get most of my writing as a blogger accomplished before the rest of the world wakes up.
Obviously this isn’t for everyone, so do what works for you.
Maybe you are an afternoon pigeon, or a night owl.
For me, I can try to deny it all I want, but I am an early bird. Sleeping in or putting off work until after my husband leaves for work or because that is what appears normal actually makes me groggy.
Find your sweet spot for working and trust it.
There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to sit down to work on something when you aren’t focused on it.
How to work alone effectively
This is one of the biggest things to get used to when working from home.
Whether you ditched the 9-5 or you were moved to a remote team, you need to make sure you know what kind of interactions you require every day.
Ask yourself things like:
- Do you prefer to work alone on a team?
- Do you draw energy from socializing?
- Do you draw all of your energy from within yourself?
No matter where you stand on this, working from home can be for you.
If you need more socialization throughout the day, schedule yourself virtual (or in person) lunch dates or maybe a few coffee chats with people in your field.
Working alone effectively comes from being okay with being on your own all of the time. I personally draw all of my energy from within myself, but about once a week I meet a friend for breakfast.
Working alone effectively means you need to stay focused and on task. Some people need someone on a video chat also working away, to create more of an office feel. And some people really love the silence and control of their space.
Figure out what you need and run with it.
For me, I need need need to have music playing in the background or I cannot focus. Silence is way too loud for my brain to work in.
What is your optimal work environment?
But how do you stay motivated when working from home?
The best way is to build a routine. I talk more here about how to create a routine.
Building a routine or schedule to follow is so important for your motivation.
As humans, we like to know what is coming next in our days. I always recommend writing out a To Do List whether you do time blocking or another time management method. This way you know what is expected of you throughout the day. I also recommend blocking off some time for a self care ritual.
For me, I need to drink my coffee in peace with the birds… which is why I wake up so early. But for you, it might be making sure you go for that walk around the block after lunch every day. Taking 10 minutes to do what makes you feel your best will make you more productive and motivated.
What’s it like working from home
Working from home can be the most liberating and isolating experience.
There is something beautiful and terrifying about being held accountable for your work life balance.
Using these tips and tricks for:
- Time management
- Staying Focused
- Being okay working alone
- And staying motivated
Will set you up for a successful work from home lifestyle.
Good Luck mama!
Hi, I’m Katie O’Grady, a lifestyle blogger. Working from home gave me the lifestyle freedom I wanted for my family. I love helping other entrepreneurs maximize their productivity in their work from home lifestyle.