Remember the days of going to an office from 8 to 5? Remember thinking how glorious it would be to work from the comforts of your home?
You would daydream of working in comfortable sweats, being much more productive without Linda’s very loud conference calls coming in from the next cubicle, and skipping the mediocre office coffee for your own decadent blend from your trusty coffee pot. And now, you’re doing it. You work from home. You answer to yourself! You should be ticking things off your work list at lightning speed...right?
Reality check for all the work from home babes- the grass is always greener on the other side. While working from home has many, many benefits, it also contains a lot of traps and pitfalls that you don’t know how to prepare for until you’ve made a permanent divot in your bed because that’s your new work space. And while we’re all about being comfortable at work, it turns out working from under your duvet doesn’t do much for productivity.
We’ve made ALL the mistakes for you, so heed our advice! (and please share your tips with us. We’re not experts at this work from home thing yet!)
Dress for Success.
Yeah, I know. This is pretty cliche. But when you’re dressed to be a boss, you do boss work! And when you’re dressed to watch Netflix, you...watch Netflix. Set your morning up like you would actually be going into an office. Change out of your sweats or PJ’s, shower, set up a mini ‘get ready’ routine. You don’t have to wear those fab stilettos around the house, but putting on a pair of (comfy) jeans will help transition your brain from home mode to work mode.
Save the chores for after work.
When I’m facing a big project or dreading a task, suddenly mopping the kitchen floor and folding the laundry seems very enticing and urgent. Suddenly grocery shopping and organizing a random pile of magazines moves to the top of my list. And five hours later I find myself neck deep in a closet organization project. Not. Productive. It’s easy to get distracted by all the home and personal projects when you work from home. The line between work and home doesn’t exist. My trick: when I find that my mind is running through the personal chores I need to take on, I keep a specific notepad on my desk and write down these chores for safe keeping. I don’t worry about forgetting them because they are written down. As soon as the clock turns to 5, I turn to my personal chore list and start tackling them. It takes some time to train the mind and build this new habit, but I find it has increased my work productivity!
Make a designated work space.
And it can’t be your bed! If your home has the space for a separate home office, that’s wonderful! If not, search for a corner, nook or cranny that is now your designated office space. Nothing else crosses that threshold except for work! It’s another trick to transition your mind from being at home to being in work mode. Even if it’s a small space, dec it out with things that inspire you and are beautiful. You’ll be more enticed to utilize it!
Skip the Guilt.
When I first launched into business and working from home, I noticed a large amount of guilt surrounding my work hours. I’m not an early morning person and don’t find myself to be productive before 9 AM. So, I would allow myself to get a slow start to the morning, and begin my work day between 9 or 10. Some days I had a lighter load so I would finish up earlier. I couldn’t admit to anyone that I occasionally only worked 3-4 hours per day. It felt like I was cheating, being lazy, and not a ‘good enough’ business owner. Shouldn’t I be working all hours of the day?! After talking with many, many lady bosses, I finally accepted that this was totally normal and OK. Some work days will be lighter. And other work days will involve 15 hours of nonstop work. This was true in the corporate office setting as well. But unlike a corporate setting, we’re not punching a time clock and expected to be at work for 8 hours every day. It all balances out in the end!
Find Your Tribe.
We couldn’t have a work from home blog without mentioning The Dostal House space! It helps to have your tribe of other work from home babes that meet up in a beautiful space and get stuff done! Your home-away-from-home awaits!