How To Make Working From Home Work For You
I don't think that it's any surprise that I love working from home. It's what I've always wanted to do, and I believe will continue to always want to do throughout my career. Home is where I'm my most productive, feel my most relaxed, and just generally, love to run my business from.
But I get asked very frequently how I make it work for me. To be honest, it's quite natural, but when I came to write this post, I realised that I did do things that made working from home work for me, so I thought I'd share them with you here today.
1. Have a seperate work space
I know that some people must imagine people who work from home as sitting in their PJs all day, in their bed, typing away at a laptop. This might be the case for some, but I'm definitely not productive if I work from my bed! That's just like telling my brain: "hey, why not have a nap when you get bored?!"
I have a desk space set up in the second bedroom in our flat. It's my little workspace sanctuary. I've filled the space with things that make me happy, and made it comfortable as possible. It also means that when I'm at my desk, I'm in work mode. When I'm not, I'm not working. It can be really hard to seperate work from life when you work for yourself, and I find that keeping work related tasks at my desk really helps me to switch off.
2. Invest in a Desktop
I have a laptop which I plug into a big desktop screen on my desk. This means that I still have the flexibility of a laptop when I travel, but when I'm in the house, I can't quite as easily move my laptop around because it's plugged in to the screen. Again, this helps me to keep my work in the office, and the rest of the house as a home.
I also really do just love having a big screen to work on! I spend a lot of time at my computer, especially if I'm editing images, so this screen was a worth while investment.
3. Create "office hours" for yourself
But don't think that they have to be 9am to 5pm. I generally start my working day at 8am, and work intermittently throughout the day until 6pm. After 6pm though, I know that I need to stop working. In fact, if I even so much as walk into the office and do something on my computer past 6pm, it messes with my sleep. Every time!
Your office hours might be very different to mine, and that's fine, but I do think it's important to create some boundaries for yourself. Otherwise, you will so easily end up blurring the lines between work and life, and that's just not healthy.
4. Get out of the house regularly
Getting Milo, our dog, was one of the best things we ever did. He's the happiest, cutest little thing, but above all, he keeps my mental health in check. Milo needs to be walked twice a day at least, and in between walks needs to be taken outside for toilet breaks (we live in a flat). That means that I need to get out of the house often, too!
We've had Milo almost a year, and I can tell you without a doubt that all the extra time I spend out of the house with him benefits my business massively. I'm more productive, I'm more inspired, and more motivated. Every time we go for our morning walk, I get back to my desk and I'm ready to go. These small "out of the house" breaks, are essential.
5. Make other "Work From Home" friends
Working from home can get a bit lonely. I'm lucky that my job as a photographer does mean that it's part of the job to get out and about fairly frequently. However, I know that anyone's job is purely desktop based will value this even more. Making friends who are also freelancers working from home is SO essential. I have a bunch of friends who work from home, and we regularly meet up, break up the day, chat about work, and just generally see other humans! Trust me, it does really help.