Blogging // Working from Home

Tips for Working From Home

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

13 thoughts on “Blogging // Working from Home”

  1. You provided some great tips that I fully support. I started working from home two days a week about two years and half years ago. At first my office space was a built-in desk area in the pantry area at the back of my kitchen. It was nice because lots of natural light flooded the area from the neighboring breakfast nook, but sometimes it was inconvenient, mostly when I had to get on conference calls. At the time I had two dogs (I now have 3) that bark at everything! And then when my kids came home from school, it was sometimes difficult for them to determine what my working from home really meant (so lots of interruptions). We have a small bedroom (it was a guest room) that sits off of our family room that I turned into a studio (I’m an avid crafter)/office and had a carpenter friend build a really beautiful floor to ceiling bookcase with large drawers at the bottom. So now I have everything I need at my fingertips (whereas before I had “craft closets” spread throughout our living spaces). Having a dedicated office has changed the way I work, it helped change my daughters’ perceptions as well, and I feel much more productive. And now my workspace has a door I can close when the dogs start barking!

  2. Great Advise! I am a full time telecommuter for my “real” 40 hour a week job and I run my small business from home. I started telecommuting 2 years ago. It was a major adjustment at first but now I have a routine and it works. I like you, get up and get ready for the day, take the dog out, eat breakfast, shower and get dressed. It really helps to set myself for a good day. I always break for lunch and leave my office. This is key, I walk away from the computer for at least 1 hour for my lunch break and don’t go back into my office until that hour is up. It helps so much! I also try and take a break in the afternoon and go sit outside. Sunlight re energizes me for the rest of the afternoon.

  3. I’ve worked from home and for myself for the last 2 years, and it was quite the learning curve. I especially agree about setting a schedule. Before I set a routine, I’d act like I could set whatever hours I wanted, but that would result in never feeling like I actually had solid downtime. I did a similar post about this topic with some tips from fellow freelancers and boss women: http://bit.ly/1aqshs6

  4. Love these tips- I feel like it is the same with studying. Somehow you get so much more done when sitting on an actual desk rather than having your laptop on your knees in the bed. Also, I LOVE the graphic! Any chance that you do a post on how you did that?
    Have a great weekend! Joi x

    http://www.joiful.me

  5. Thanks for these tips – I feel like it is the same with studying. Somehow I always get so much more done when sitting on an actual desk than with my laptop on my knees in the bed! Also, I LOVE the image you created! Any chance you could show us how you did this? I love all your photography and would really love to hear about how you edit your pictures! 🙂
    Have a great weekend, Joi x

    http://www.joiful.me

  6. I work from home. My son just turned two so I don’t get much time in the day. We get up have breakfast and go to a toddler group in the morning. Get home, make lunch and then he has a nap. I try and do my DIYs and take photographs during his nap but I can’t be guaranteed he will actually nap!

    When he wakes up I play with him for a bit, give him a snack and tidy up the mess from lunch, make dinner and when my husband is traveling for work I bath him and put him to bed. I then try and fit in a few hours of blogging and catching up on social media before bed. I can’t work too late though – I need my sleep!

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