During the last year that I was working full-time, I did work from home on occasion and had a 3-month period where I always worked from home. I struggled with it because I was not getting out of the house at all and was never getting myself ready for the day ie. Taking a shower, or getting out of my PJ’s. No one will see me, what’s the point? This left me feeling discouraged, uninspired, and unmotivated.
Since working for myself full-time, I’ve tried to change things up a bit to be happier and more productive. First, I force myself to get ready before lunch. This still sounds late, I know!! But, we are taking baby steps here. I work out a few times a week, so that typically takes place between 8-9am, that way I can shower, get dressed, and be ready for the day. A big number two is I try to get out of the house for a day of work once per week. Even if it’s only for a few hours it really does help! I’ll go work from a coffee shop or attend a networking event. Both of these options forces me to have social interaction to some degree.
How I plan my days:
The last week of every month, I create of summary of what was accomplished and what needs to be accomplished for the next month. That is the starting point for planning my days. Every night, I make a to-do list of items that should be done the following day. These lists consist of both business and personal tasks. Things that don’t get done, get circled and pushed to the next day. I find that hand written to-do lists work best for me. There is something satisfying about crossing off items, seeing what you’ve done, and reflecting on past months on paper.
A Snapshot of my Day:
Here’s a sample schedule of one of my work from home days:
7:30 am: Wake Up! I take my time getting up and drinking a bunch of water and hot tea.
8:00 am: Take Yoshi for a walk. We will either walk on the wooded trail outside our apartment or walk around in a nearby neighborhood.
8:30 am: Feed myself and Yoshi. I love breakfast!
8:45 am: Get to work (or workout & shower): I’ll typically start by reviewing my to-do list and begin work by getting the easy stuff out of the way.
10:00 am: Read a Chapter of a business book. I’m currently reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. It has short chapters and provides just enough motivation for the day.
10:20 am: Continue with work on client projects or other business work. A shower would also be happening at some point during this time.
12:30 pm: Make lunch! I’ve been on a veggie wrap and ginger carrot soup kick lately. I will typically watch some YouTube videos at my desk and eat.
12:50 pm: Back to work!
2:00 pm: Break time. I take an hour to do anything that needs to be done, maybe run to the store, clean up, or start to prep items for dinner.
3:00 pm: Finish work for the day. I’ll wrap up anything that needs to be done for the day and begin to make my to-do list for the next day.
4:30 pm: Take Yoshi for another walk.
5:15 pm: Start dinner and wind down for the night. I try not to do work after 5 pm, but it does happen on occasion.
That’s pretty much it for most days, exciting, right? I do volunteer every Tuesday afternoon and that is a wonderful thing to break up my week.
Working from home can be challenging at times. I still get distracted from time to time by household chores that should be done or sometimes just lack of motivation slows me down. I think being aware of what is helpful and hurtful to your work days is a big step in the right direction. I find that I’m most productive when I stay on top of my to-do list and take needed breaks.
When people tell me “it must be nice to do freelance work, you can do whatever you want.” I usually laugh… “yeah, sure! I do have to figure out how I’m going to make money every day, but yes you’re right.” I do agree that working from home for myself is a gift, but I work my butt off most days and it’s no walk in the park. It comes with its fair share of struggles and benefits.
If you are thinking about working from home full-time, I urge you to plan your days and strategize what will make you most and least productive. This will help to keep you feeling good mentally and physically.
“Set yourself up to win. You don’t want to end up in your PJ’s feeling bad about yourself. Plan your business and your life in a way that both can be successful. ”
Thanks for Reading,