The day that I decided to work from home on my business full-time was a game-changer for me. Thanks to technology, I was able to schedule virtual conferences with my clients, I learned how to automate my communication, and my commute to work was nonexistent. Yaaas, right? Unfortunately, I still felt like I had to do ALL the things. I struggled with finding that work-life balance that I needed and I didn’t feel happy. Some of the biggest challenges I faced were staying focused and organized, but most importantly, I wasn’t making my mental health a priority.
As a Mom, we’re busy by necessity and we have to wear many hats. For others, it comes naturally. But I know how it gets when our brains won’t mentally clock out because we work from home. I especially, found it hard to detach from my workload because I run my own business. Regardless, getting organized, focused & motivated are key to staying sane while working from home. No one is perfect at this, and no one has the perfect formula… not even Beyonce!
Here are some tips that have helped me.
Establish a Routine
Having a routine helps to keep you grounded. It’s a good idea to set your alarm for the same time each weekday morning and head to your computer or home office at a scheduled time as if you’re leaving for work. Trying to scramble and figure out your work hours each day hampers your productivity.
Wake up and get dressed for the day. I know, I know – working from home sounds like freedom and sweatpants all day. But we have to prepare our minds to get ready for work, not to Disney+ and chill. This will also increase your productivity and get you in the right headspace.
Learn to Say NO
One of the quickest ways to lose your sense of order and become disorganized is to take on too much. Especially if you’re a freelancer or run your own business – you have to use discernment. If you are a “yes” person, you may ultimately disappoint your clients because you promised more than you can deliver. So, BE REALISTIC about the hours you can devote to working each week and learn to say “no” when you have to. Don’t let the Superwoman syndrome force you to believe that you have to say yes to everything and everyone.
Make Room for Your Workspace
Decorating your workspace or home office in a way you love is pretty powerful. It sets the intention that you’re ready to get some work done there. Sure, rolling over and grabbing your Macbook from the nightstand to knock some work out in bed sounds pretty convenient until you realize that you’ve been stuck in that same spot for days. Don’t do it, sis. Get some inspo to paint the wall, add some framed art or just spruce it up with fresh flowers – whatever you need to do so that you feel excited about your work environment. Make your workspace into something you’re proud of, and you won’t mind getting work done. If you need some inspiration for things to add to your office, check out my curated Amazon shop.
Stay on Task
It’s amazing what you can do if you buckle down and shut out distractions. Trust me, I know. I tell my husband that it takes me at least two hours to write a blog. Honestly, though – if you cut out the trips to the kitchen for snacks, the email reads and replies, and every flick of that thumb as I scrolled through Instagram, I probably spent less than an hour typing. Don’t get me wrong, taking breaks is fine – in fact, it’s necessary to avoid burn-out. But schedule your breaks into your day rather than taking them at a whim. Also, use a time-tracking app like Toggl as your productivity tool.
Thank me later.
People who work in an office get weekends off. While you may not be able to spare two whole days every week, set aside free time one day a week where you can rest and spend time with family or by yourself. Invest in yourself by practicing self-care. That might mean going to the spa or just laying in bed to read a book. Whatever “me-time” looks like to you – be sure to encourage it. Organizing your time is fine, but a little downtime can be therapeutic… even if you have to schedule it in!
Schedule Friend Time
Working at home is solitary in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your social life. Studies have shown that well-connected people often live longer than those who are isolated. Make it a priority to reach out to someone every now and then via phone call or text and invite them to lunch or have a girls’ night.
You might even consider getting a friend to act as a motivational partner who can hold you accountable if you haven’t accomplished your business goals. Your “business bestie” can check in on you at regular intervals to see how you’re doing and to encourage you if needed. Tell this person what your intentions are so that she can check on your progress.
Working from home is a lifestyle change, so these tips will help take some of the stress out of your days and make the transition to working from home go much more smoothly.