I’ve been running a business from home since 2005. That’s a pretty long time. Some days it’s not easy to manage everything that I have to do – especially with three kids in tow. But I have a few tricks up my pajama sleeve that will absolutely help you get through your day.
The 7 Work At Home Secrets That Help Keep Me Sane
- I constantly have programming on that I need to catch up on. So, if my DVR isn’t running, then it’s Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. I need entertainment stimulation on top of my compensated gig. If I’m not at home, I have several playlists that I access. You see, I’m someone who texts on her phone, plays apps on her iPad and watches TV at night- all while “relaxing.” I need to be overstimulated. So, I can’t just work on a story. I need to be working on a story while watching a movie and juggling… or something. Be sure to sign up for a few streaming services to help get you through the day.
- Morning beverages are KEY. I don’t care how much they cost or how many calories are in them. Don’t freaking judge me. I have a ritual and I like to stick to it. Get a favorite drink and allow it to greet you with all of its morning glory every AM. It can change your mood in an instant. Is that what addiction tastes like? Maybe. Don’t look at me like that.
- Bra is optional. Yeah, I said it. Sometimes I am in my PJs until after noon and I’m ok with that because I like to get up and just start working – immediately. I know I should incorporate some sort of buffer between getting up out of my bed and starting my daily gig, but it hasn’t happened yet. I wake and GO because I want to be done before my kids come home from school. 8 to 3 are the hours I AIM to keep. It doesn’t always happen, but that is what I shoot for on a regular basis.
- Social media breaks are ok, but don’t lean on them like a crutch. Believe me, I know what a time suck social media can be. I have to be on social media ALL DAY LONG. It’s like… my job or something. But my advice for you is to steer clear of Facebook and Instagram. Allow yourself a few mental breaks – maybe 3 or 4 MAX. No more than that. Otherwise, you can kiss at least an hour of productivity GOODBYE a day. That’s a fact. Cute baby picture. Oh look, Ginny’s got a new dog. Oh wow, I love that sweater Mary is wearing…. and it’s dinnertime. One of my favorite places to visit is Permission to Hustle on Facebook. I can’t get enough of the little community I created with Audrey McClelland. But even I know not to go in there too many times throughout my afternoon. Otherwise, I’m making up for time lost well into the evening… and nobody wins when you are working during dinner.
- Get a planner. You need something to keep you on track. Set goals for each day and really try to hit them. Treat the planner as if it’s your boss. If it’s written in pen, then it HAS to happen. I live and DIE by my planner. In fact, I’m developing a planner with my partner because I am so PSYCHOTIC about how I use my planner that I wanted one specifically made the way I NEED IT TO BE. Yes, we hired a designer and are currently in the process of printing them out. I can’t wait to get my hands on our little gem because it’s exactly what I need for my business. In the meantime, do what you have to using whatever system you have in place. If you don’t have a system – create one. TODAY.
- Go outside for a bit. Working from home is so isolating. I know it. You don’t have to tell me. Even if you run a quick errand to the market, be among people. You know, humans. Not Facebook digital representations. Bump into someone. Make out with a stranger. Ok, don’t make out with a stranger because that would be weird if you are married. Just get outside, friend. Don’t become one of those people that orders everything they need from the web and never sees true sunlight again. Don’t become a digital vampire.
- Set up automated notifications for your mail. I wanted to post an image of this so you can see what I mean. I don’t use MAC mail, but I have it opened on my computer because I like the notification feature that it offers. Whenever a new email comes through, a little pop up shows up on the top right corner of my screen. This gives me a sense of security. I just look over and see what the note is about. If it isn’t on FIRE, then I ignore it and keep working until I am ready to dedicate some time to editing down my inbox. It also takes away the anxiety that one feels when they haven’t checked their mail in a while. I used to go back and forth to GMAIL to see what new mail I received and it would really chop up my mornings. Now, I just let these bubbles flow in and out and I ignore them all day long. Whenever I am done with a task, I then pop into GMAIL and get through the last group of new emails that arrived. For example, after I write this post, publish it, and push it out to social media, I will spend about 5 minutes in GMAIL clearing out new arrivals. Without this feature, I might have been tempted to stop writing in the middle of the MASTERPIECE and see what has come into my little world which truly is a waste of time and energy. Stay focused! The bubbles – while you think they might be distracting – are actually quite helpfully for keeping you on task.
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Would love to hear them!