Recently I have seen so many people talk about the idea that we are exactly where we need to be. This idea that so often we are displeased with our positions in life but the fact that we are there for a reason. As much as I know it’s true it often annoys me at the same time when I want to progress. But I found a slight spin on it that makes me feel a little better about it. “Not only are we where we need to be, where we are is preparation for where we’re going.” With that said, in May of last year, my full-time job closed the physical office and decided that 9 of their 12 offices would now be mobile. So in 2014 I started working from my living room instead of a ritzy office in downtown Philadelphia.
Anytime I tell someone that I work from home, probably the second most popular response I get is “Wow, I could never do that.” The first response is probably, “That’s so cool.” But nonetheless, I always tell people that they could do it. The fact of the matter is, I am still getting paid a salary to get a job done. So no matter whether I am working in a sky scraper downtown or in the corner of my living room, the job has to get done!
This big transition for me is great for a lot more reasons than not having to hustle and bustle over a commute every morning. But it dawned on me the other day that this is preparation for where I eventually want to be. Ultimately I want to work for myself someday, so working from home with a job with demanding expectations is getting me in a rhythm of what it’s like to have to work when no one is particularly looking over your shoulder. Honestly, it’s a lot more productive that way. My work is now way more task based, than “looking busy” or that crazy down time when you hit a wall between 3-6pm where you are really just counting down the time to be able to leave. I have the flexibility to really just focus on the tasks and not just the time.
Being in that habit is great preparation. Sometimes we think that blogging full-time or owning our own online business is exactly what we want, but are we prepared to treat it like the 40 hour plus weeks we work for other people? Well, at the end of the day, you have to be. You have to be willing to get up in the morning and work from sun up to sun down on your own business and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to be “trained” for it, while at my current place of work. I also get up earlier than work to work on my own endeavors and work well after I’m “off” on my own endeavors. The things that we want to do take that type of discipline.
This topic actually recently came up in a Twitter convo as well with a fellow blogger who now is working from home and trying to figure out the best ways to utilize her mornings instead of cramming everything in the afternoon. So I wanted to just share a couple tips on working from home that may be able to help you as well!
- Get a morning routine! This is really important whether you are getting up and going to a job or not. I am constantly singing the praises of finally getting into a morning routine for myself. I wanted to give myself time, before giving myself to others. This is something you should really practice that will help set the tone for your day. I will normally journal, pray and/or meditate and possibly read a chapter from a book I’m reading or work on a blog post. This way I have done something for myself before giving 8 of my hours to my job.
- Get DRESSED! Most people think that working from home is all about working in your PJs. Well, not necessarily. There will be some days where I am slumming it, but for the most part, I wake up and get myself dressed and ready because it sets the that you are about to embark on a work day. Trust me, it makes a big difference.
- Create a Workspace. I had assistance with this because like I mentioned, my company made us work from home. So they provided a very nice desk for me to set up in my home. Working from the dining room table is okay some days, but when you have a desk, good chair, decorations, etc., it again will put you more in a work mind frame than sitting on your couch.
- Be an early bird or a night owl. You have to pick one. I am personally no good in the late night hours. So I have to utilize my mornings the best I can. At the end of the day, you cannot let precious hours get away from you. The days are too short. So if you don’t want to hop right to work in the morning, you best be staying up until about 1-2am to get the tasks done at night.
- Keep the end goal in mind. The other night, I had two blog posts to do and I finished one and wanted to just do the other one the next day. But I literally had to remember, “You want your blog to flourish, you don’t have time to push this off.” The end goal is creating great content so that has to motivate me past being tired. So I finished the second and felt so much more accomplished.
- Tasks and Timing. It’s super helpful when working from home to break your tasks up into timing. So say from 9-11am you will get important reading done. Then from 11-12pm you’ll work on your presentation and so forth. You get the drift? You can also schedule short breaks in between. But I find giving that designated time to a task is crucial in being able to stay focused while working from home at my own pace.
I hope that you’ll find these things helpful when working from home. And if you’re not there yet, remember that where you are is preparation for where you will be. Start implementing some of these ideas for when you do eventually work from home!
If you have other tips you'd like to share, leave them in the comments below! Would love to hear them!
Header Photo: Kaboompics.com.