How To Make Working From Home Work For You (part 1)
I love working from home. I love all of the time and energy I save by not having a commute. I love that I get to spend the majority of my time surrounded by beautiful and functional spaces fit for my needs. I love making my own meals and taking breaks to run errands or work out. I really love it, and like anything else, it does have it's challenges.
The biggest one is the actual process of work itself. Sitting down, everyday to do the work. At least that was my biggest struggle. When I worked in an office, surrounded by people, I worked non-stop. I showed up on time everyday and didn't leave until I did my full eight hours. I was always "too busy". I never said no to taking on new work. I spent my days juggling phone calls, client meetings, pulling permits, designing and do paperwork. Everyday was an adrenaline rush to get it all done. It was sort of addictive. And probably unhealthy. AND, I got a ton of shit done.
Five years ago all of that changed when I started working from home full time. I remember the fist day. I got up, went to the gym and got ready same as I always had done. When I was ready to sit down and work, I realized I didn't really have that much to do AND that I didn't really feel much like doing it. So I decided to do something I really needed to do: go grocery shopping. I walked to the store the whole time thinking about how wonderful it was that I could do this and at the same time feeling like a total loser that I was running errands and not sitting at a desk working. So began the struggle.
I've figured some stuff out since then. For example, we use Instacart to have our groceries delivered now. One distraction eliminated. Yes, I called grocery shopping a distraction. When you work from home, and you love grocery shopping, it can become a distraction.
I've also created lots of lovely areas around the house for work. I can work standing in the kitchen. I can work spread out with lots of space at the dining room table. I can work focused and alone in the extra bedroom when we don't have guests. I can work at a desk set up in the living area. And that desk is on casters so I can move it into our bedroom if I need a change.
Another thing I've started recently, is developing "normal work hours". I try to start work around 9am and finish around 6pm. Monday - Friday. At first I thought I would feel too constricted by setting a "9-5" boundary, but so far it's felt freeing to have set work hours.
(I'll keep this post updated with part 2 as I have more to add here. )