Working From Home Isn’t As Easy As It Sounds!
I spent a good hour playing with camera angles and filter options to create this ‘Space-Kitty’ image. While I tried to tell myself that it was good content-making practice, really I was just procrastinating.
When I tell people that I work from home as a freelance digital marketing specialist, most of them think that I am living the dream. Roll out of bed, stumble to the coffee maker and then plonk myself at my desk without needing to get dressed or brush my hair? What a lifestyle!
It is actually really hard to motivate yourself day in, day out when you work for yourself. Its great when you get a fun or exciting new project to focus on but when your tasks for the day include doing your accounts, writing reports, replying to lengthy emails and making awkward phone calls to clients that are a month late on their invoices, it is easy to get side tracked by new photo editing apps and cute pictures of your pet cat Princeton (aka Mr Fluffin-Top).
I do feel that I have been getting better at mastering the work-from-home lifestyle and getting that whole ‘work/life balance’ zen thing sorted, so here are a couple of my tips for being more productive from the home office:
- Routine! This is probably the top one for me and involves setting an alarm, getting up and getting dressed (even if ‘getting dressed’ just means changing into clean pajamas!), brushing my hair, teeth, etc. The process of ‘getting ready’ for work puts me in the right head space for the day ahead.
- Get Outside! I try to spend at least half an hour outside every day – this is pretty easy since I have two large dogs that are always up for a walk! A good dose of Vitamin D gives me an energy boost, puts me in a good mood and helps me focus on the task ahead.
- To Do Lists! I write a ‘To-Do’ list at the start of every day and I do the crappiest tasks first. If I get through all of my ‘to-do’ items then I can knock off early, and getting the dodgy tasks done first means that when motivation levels start to droop mid-afternoon there is still something a bit creative and maybe even ‘fun’ left on my list of things to tackle before the day is over.
- A Change of Environment! Make the effort to get out of the house when you are not working – on weekends and days off. I actually have a retail job that I work one day a week that gets me out of the house, keeps me on my feet all day instead of sitting behind a desk and forces me to socialise with people face-to-face.
- A Complete Change of Scenery! I am lucky in that my business is mobile – as long as I have my laptop and an internet connection, I can work anywhere. I often go into uni on days that I don’t have classes because I find it easier to get solid blocks of work done when I don’t have the distractions of home (pets, Netflix, chores etc). As I will be graduating in the coming months, I have been looking into ‘office share space’ locations in the City like Little Tokyo Two – I haven’t been there yet but it seems link an interesting concept so I might have to give it a whirl!