So you decided you will take your future into your own hands and started working with your clients personally. But since you are probably solopreneur, you are working from home. Yep, that’s me (though I have an intern now).
And I do love my home. And I love my work (though there are days when I think I don’t). So this feels like a perfect combination. But there are some things we, people who work from home, deal with every day or at least once a week. So I will share some ups and downs on working from your home, and how do I deal with those downs.
1. Your workplace.
If you have a whole house, that’s great, because you can have a separate room as your office (my perfect case scenario), but if you don’t, that is kind of thing you have to deal with. Like I live in a spacious loft apartment, although there are completely separated rooms, so I was travelling around the apartment looking for a perfect place to work.
Since I was working on a dining table at first, I suddenly realised that my workspace will come with the new table, so I bought big table, and now it is standing against the wall and I feel like I own the place even if it is not isolated. There are some invisible boundaries around my table. This is my workspace, when I sit here I work, so there is an invisible do not disturb sign above my head.
Advice – let your peeps know where is your sacred workspace, and let them know that it is important to you to have that space (meaning – don’t leave empty cups on my table).
2. Your homies (love this word).
My homies are my cat and my boyfriend, and I don’t really mind the cat (if I would have a studio, every day would be a “bring your cat to work” day), but my boyfriend, on the other hand, sometimes is too much. So I am very happy to work whenever he is at his work, considering I only focus in a complete silence or just with some podcast on when I edit the photos or do design.
I imagine peeps deal with children, so I am glad that my homies are considerably compliant about my silence policies.
My advice here is make the best of what you can and try to avoid confrontation with your family members.
3. Dirty dishes & laundry.
Unless you are one f those peeps who either ignore the mess or get inspired by it, you might get distracted by dirty dishes, laundry, floor and other things. So there are few options – some of the entrepreneurs actually hire a housecleaner. That is a good thing, because you actually pay somebody to do their job while you can do yours. And there is nothing bad about it. You don’t have to actually do it all yourself.
But what I do is whenever I finish my work, I get some relax time, so if I stay at home and watch some series or something else, I make few ten minutes breaks (like two or three of them) to wash the dishes and clean around a bit, so whenever I wake up I don’t have to deal with dirty dishes and ca easily go work.
Sometimes you get ashamed to invite your clients to your home. But don’t be. If it’s clean, it is okay. Some of the best clients been there where you are, and they understand your position.
But if you don’t feel comfortable, you can meat your clients in a coffee shop, and it will be a good time of from your usual workspace.
You work at home, you sleep at home, and sometimes it might feel like you don’t leave home at all. That is a real issue, because if you are a workaholic, you probably work until you drop, and then you drop in your bed, so it means you basically never leave home.
What I like to do when I feel like this is to take a day off from my home and go work to the coffee shop, at least for something like four hours (especially if my boyfriend has a day off) or schedule a meeting day when I spend almost all day meeting people and running some errands, so by the end of the day you would feel exhausted and a bit keen to work again.
When you workplace is 3 meters from your sleep space, sometimes you might be tempted to take a nap (at least use to be), but the secret key is to have a very strict plan. Sometimes people think that working from home means sleeping till noon, having homemade lunch and spending time with your cat, when with real schedule you are working even more than the usual person in an office.
But the question is how to achieve this order. I like to wake up at 8 am and start working at 9 am, and till noon I like to be done with one big task. Then for the rest of the day I either do one task, or few smaller tasks, or deal with clients and do when they need to be done. If I do all the things right, by the end of the day, that is around 5 or 6 pm, I have a plan for another day and feel good to just lay low and spend some time with my peeps. And if I keep up with my plan for 5 days a week, I can have a proper weekend. So it means that if you plan everything right, and follow your plan, you might be saving time to do your own thing care free.
Sometimes it gets really hard to just switch from your morning mode to work mode and from work mode to evening mode. And that is normal. You might be saving from 10 minutes to, I don’t know, 2 hours each day, because you don’t need to go to work, but at the same time you might as well use those 10 minutes to adjust to different day modes.
I heard an advice somewhere, that taking a walk helps. Just a simple 10 minute walk around the block to pretend that you are walking to your office. Or walk your dog if you have one. I usually just let myself get into a day with my morning coffee and scrolling through some social media (because I am not letting myself do that when I am working). I plan my day again, sometimes I change my mind through the night and have 10 minutes of cat petting time (this is a serious ritual). Whenever I need to finish my work, I usually go to social media again, and sometimes do some blogging, so it makes me relaxed. But anything that works for you is good – exercise, letting your family out through the door or lighting a candle (I heard that somewhere too), as long as you are all home-free and work-ready.