Last week I addressed the whole stay-at-home-mom versus full-time working mom question I've been receiving lately regarding Little Miss Paisley. You can read the entire Q&A post here, or I can cut right to the chase and tell you that I will not become a stay-at-home-mom once baby girl arrives. Like I've said before, though I'd love to toy with the idea in the future, I thoroughly enjoy what I do on an everyday basis (Hello?! Social media & email marketing...LOVE!) so I have no intentions of giving that up, plus, Beau and I both need my salary to continue to afford, well, life. Especially now that daycare expenses are involved... (Shoot me now. I should probably start fundraising...)
That being said, while the little one is in day care, I will still continue to have the privilege of working from home two days/week, Mondays & Fridays.
As a writer, I cannot possibly express the importance of having a balance of working from home and working in an office setting. Mondays and Fridays are super writing-intensive for me, while Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are all focused on meetings and collaboration with co-workers, with writing in between. When I agreed to this type of work schedule, I'll be honest, I was a little curious how it would all pan out but it is honestly far better than I ever expected. If you're in a creative type position and find yourself being interrupted (or easily distracted, if you're anything like me) do yourself a favor and talk to your boss about a combination of working from home and the office. Though I can really only vouch for myself here, I can definitely say it has been a winning combination.
That being said...I have had to teach myself to become very disciplined on the days I work from home so I thought I'd share my tips with anyone else who may be in a work-from-home position or anyone who may be considering it. Take it for what it's worth, mmkay?!
#1 Start early. I always have a much more productive day on the days I get up at my 'normal' alarm clock time, which is 5:45am. Though I must admit...during my first trimester, when exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks, I did not stay true to this. I woke up at 7am and stumbled to my computer (#honesttruth). That extra hour and 15 minutes was much needed but now that my energy is back, I'm up and at it bright and early. I wake up, head straight to the coffee pot and get my morning started right away.
#2 Get out of your pajamas. While many people may think that working from home means working in your pajamas, this is a false assumption...for me, at least. Now I'm not saying I get up and do my hair or makeup because I actually never do either on Mondays or Fridays, but I do change out of my pj's, usually into workout clothes, so that I can feel like a semi-normal human being and so that on my lunch break, I'm ready to take Oakley for her walk.
#3 Stick to a routine. Wake up at the same time as you would as the days you're going into an office. Whether you get started with your workday right away, or you throw in a load of laundry, snoozing through your alarm clock is never a good way to start off your day.
#4 Set up your office in a room that makes you happy and is comfortable. After all, you're going to be spending quite a bit of time there. And NO...your couch, though comfortable, does not count as an "office".
#5. Invest in a good computer. Or two. I have one computer for work, and one personal computer and I am always sure to keep them separate. While they both sit on the same desk and I rarely even turn on my personal computer during work-from-home days, it's nice to have it there when I need it. Also recommended, invest in dual monitors for your machines. Best money spent. EVER.
Kate Spade Agenda here
#6 Plan out your days & write out your goals. I've always been the type to use a paper calendar, rather than a digital version and I absolutely positively without a doubt could not survive without a good agenda. And I mean a gooooood agenda. My current agenda (and honest to God, my favorite agenda of all time) is my new Kate Spade 2015 jumbo agenda.
The Kate Spade 2015 agenda is so nice and clean and not to mention, it has monthly, weekly and daily views, which is a MUST for this girl.
...not to mention the gold touches make it that much more pretty to look at...
...and so do the inspiring quotes that change when you flip to a new month.
#6 Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Like inspiring quotes, yummy candles and pictures of ridiculously good looking men... ;)
#7 Hire ridiculously cute co-workers...specifically the furry, four-legged kind that stick by your side all day long and don't complain when the printer is jammed...
#8 This one may seem silly but you must remember to HYDRATE!! Maybe it's just me but I drink SO much more water when I'm at my office, versus when I'm working from home! Make sure you make it a conscious effort to drink lots of water throughout the day! It helps to detox your body, which improves energy levels and can help you think more clearly. (And Lord knows I need all the help I can get in both of those arenas!)
Mason Jar Mug here
#9 Take a lunch break. I am a huge stickler when it comes to breaking up your workday by always taking a lunch break. Because I'm at home, my lunches usually consist of some sort of quick leftovers from the night before or a salad so I spend the first 10-15 minutes eating, and the last portion of my lunch break taking Oakley for a walk. Even if you don't have a dog, get outside on your lunch break and get some fresh air. I promise you will notice a HUGE difference in your day and your creativity from just a simple walk around the block!
#10 Have a cutoff time. Though I don't always follow this, I typically stop working at the end of a "normal" work day. Though I love what I do, it's so important to have that work/life balance and shutting down your computer and not responding emails after 5pm is the first step to achieving that balance.
And if you're still here, you get an award. ;)
No but really...I definitely encourage the whole "work from home thing" if it fits for your position...especially any type of creative position, but I also HIGHLY recommend setting guidelines and rules for yourself while working from home. I hope someone out there in the world finds this helpful!