Working at home is def. The Bees Knees. It is delightful, empowering, exciting…but dang, it’s HARD!
It’s not like I expected my days to be all about reading blog posts in my peejays, but there have been a few things that have come as a surprise, or that I just plain underestimated. Here’s a list of things I have learned (and improved on) in my short time as a WAHM:
–Having set “working hours” is critical. Treat it like any other job and show up on time and get right to work. I get up and go through the whole “get ready for work routine.” I find if I don’t (like skip showering or stay in said “peejays”) I feel like a complete schlump all day. A schlumpy Franticmommy is an unproductive Franticmommy.
–Set Boundaries: Take the steps to encourage friends and family to respect your work hours. I’ve had a few friends who seem to think since I’m “home” I must be available for surprise drop-ins and long coffee chats. NOT. Threats of bodily harm are effective and locks on doors rock too.
–Know When to Play: On the flip side of the above comment, know when to say YES to lunch invitations and networking events. Trust me, if you don’t you will run the risk of become Crazy-Cat-Lady-like and will start talking to your food and potted plants. Plus it’s helps your community see that you have NOT been abducted by aliens or “fallen off the face of the earth.”
–Switch Gears: Turn a blind eye to household chores from 8-5 (or whatever your designated work hours are). During the day we need to be ruled by the Almighty Dollar and be conducting business. The dishes may need washing and laundry may be piling up, but don’t lose focus by allowing home tasks to seep into work time. Dust is not mold, people. House
crap work can wait until after 5:00 p.m.
–Know Your Power Hours: For me the early morning hours are my prime work time (5:00 a.m-ish). It is my most productive time so I try to accomplish my more difficult tasks then. By 3:00 p.m, I am a worthless (tired) piece-o-poo-poo, and that’s OK. Find those peak hours of the day and utilize them to the best of your ability.
–Start a nest egg. A little stash of cash for emergencies is a good feeling. A pretty darn empowering.
–Take Breaks: Focusing on work is awesome, but know when to push away and get outside to smell the roses. Breathing your own sticky air all day long makes for a cluttered and confused brain by the end of the day. Even a stroll to the mailbox is a good thing and will clear your head and give you some much-needed Vitamin D. It also prevents your arse from becoming 2-ax-handles-wide from sitting all day.
–Never stop prospecting: Life may be good and you may feel you have “all the work I need” but that can change in a heartbeat. Allow some time every day to cultivate new clients and look for additional work.
-Count your blessings: And count them often! This is a Season of Life that you will live, love, and cherish.
P.S I just finished this awesome book called the The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants
Christine Durst. REALLY good book for anyone who wants to, or is, working from home.