Sometimes blogging is a really niche, weird profession to understand, and sometimes it’s just exactly like any other profession. I have been sitting here trying to sort out how it might be different to be a blogger at home and, say, a financial manager at home, and really I think they might be pretty similar. Because while a blogger’s workday might have a little more glitter or Instagramming than some other at-home professions, anyone working from home has to find a way to make it productive and fulfilling.
Blogging has been my “job” now for a few years, and during that time I’ve realized that working from home has some major benefits and some major challenges. Obviously, it looks pretty amazing to make your own schedule, work in sweatpants, and be your own boss. But I know that I also have to keep myself in check when there’s no bossman to answer to or timeclock to punch. So I have a few little rules and tricks that I use for myself when I work from home, to be sure I stay productive and keep rocking out.
Get Dressed. I’m not gonna lie. There are days when I wake up at 6 am and I sit down at my computer and start working and I look up and it’s 10 am and oopsie I’m still working in my pajamas. But most days I make sure that I get to the gym, get cleaned up, and put on regular clothes like regular people. There’s just something about being put together that gives ya a little extra boost of productivity and professionalism, even if you’re at your kitchen table.
Get Out. Don’t get stuck at home. It’s a trap. Especially if you are feeling creatively stuck or in a professional rut. Get out! Go take your computer to a coffee shop, or take a research trip to a new location, or scout and source some materials that you might need. Maybe not every day, but if you tune in you’ll know when you need to get out. Sometimes you need a change of scenery to get refreshed, and puttering up and down your own hallway just ain’t gonna cut it.
Connect. This particularly has been something that’s changed my work experience over the last year or two. It can be so isolating to work at home for yourself, and connecting with other people can shoo away the isolation. Schedule meetings, plan work dates, put events together, find a partner to tackle a project with. Whatever it looks like to you, find a network of people to connect with.
Have a (Vague) Schedule. Mr. Lovely and I both work from home, and I wouldn’t say we have strict stop and start times, but we do have a structure to our day and that helps immensely (especially now with a little one). Mornings are usually administrative business, email catchup, and phone meetings. We always, always break for lunch — neither one of us do well when we’re hangry. Then afternoons are website builds for him and usually creating or photoshooting for me, with lots of flexibility for both of us when other things pop up. Sometimes we get sidetracked when the doorbell rings or something comes up at home, but we can always get back on track if we stay flexible.
Have a Workspace. When we finally found a place to live with enough space to create a little office, both the quality and the quantity of the work we do skyrocketed. It’s a luxury for sure to have an office if you work at home, but a “workspace” can mean anything — a small desk with just the essentials, or a favorite spot at the kitchen table. Carve it out and treasure it. (Disclaimer: Sometimes I loooove working on my couch. Especially in my final weeks of pregnancy, it was the only comfortable place to sit and work. I fully endorse a couch workday every now and then.)
Do you work from home? I’d love to know what you do and how you set yourself up to rock out. Do leave a comment and gimme your two cents! xoxo