I get asked about this a lot on my Formspring so I decided to do a full blog post on it! Some of you guys are like me and also work/study from home, but wanted some tips on how to stay motivated, not get lazy and actually be productive. Let me start off by saying that it is HARD WORK, and nobody should ever make you feel like your job is worth less just because you don't leave the house to do it. That's ridiculous...otherwise why would you be getting paid?! On occasion I get a nasty comment here and there like "your job isn't serious" or "why don't you get a real career", yet the irony of it all is that whoever is leaving these comments is clearly either watching my videos or reading my blog to know who in the world I am in the first place, and is therefore contributing to my pay-cheque. That sounds a bit bratty, but my point is that you shouldn't listen to people who say stupid things about your career or your work, no matter whether you work from home or not. I firmly believe that every job (okay with the exception of criminals and prostitutes perhaps...lol) is worth something, is meaningful and should be respected. Whether you're a plumber, a volunteer worker, a professor, a teacher, a waitress or a stay-at-home mom, we are all equal and we all deserve respect. So now that my little rant is out of the way, here are some tips for those of you that do work from home :)
1. Wake up early
This does not mean that you have to get up at the crack of dawn, but a 7 or 8am start will give you that extra PUSH in the mornings to be more motivated and get things done throughout the whole day. It definitely helps if you have a partner or house-mate who gets up at the same time for work/school anyway. My fiancé Jonathan is in the studio Monday through Wednesday and gets up at 7am to leave at 8. I do the very same as him! This gets me showered, dressed and ready for the day all before 9am. Sleeping in and lounging around in bed all day are not advisable, because you're just going to get lazy and end up slacking!
2. Stick to a schedule
I usually have some kind of a loose schedule which I try to stick to. Make it work for you by planning your day around it. For example, every morning I walk my dogs. This is something that I do religiously and I tend to plan my work day around it, making it a priority. I will often film/edit/upload before then which gives me some sort of deadline to stick to. I do the same thing with other daily "rituals" like lunch, household chores and preparing dinner. I try to have everything done before 5pm (when Jonathan comes home) so that I have the evening off like a typical work-day. This doesn't always happen though!
3. Take weekends off
I will generally only work Monday to Friday (again, there are exceptions to this rule!). That includes answering emails and messages too. Because everything I do is very computer-based I try my best to make the weekends as laptop-free as possible. Although I still blog Saturday and Sunday I will generally prepare those posts during the week. It's important to have a regular weekend like everybody else, because it keeps the weeks more structured and you also get a break!
4. Leave the house
Hahaha, this makes me sound like a crazy person...but you know what I mean! It's important not to get "cooped up" or develop cabin fever. This hardly ever happens to me anyway because I have two dogs that need to be walked twice a day, but even if I didn't I think I would definitely go out and get some fresh air at least once daily to keep my sanity. Working from home can be very solitary so you need to make sure that you still engage in lots of social activities (again, I sound crazy here but you get the idea) and interact with lots of people on your time off! Meet your friends for coffee, go out for dinner, visit family at the weekends...make sure you don't end up living like a hermit (especially if you live alone) because it can happen more easily than you think!
5. Get plenty of sleep
This is the most hypocritical tip so far because I am the worst at this one!! But it really is important not to pull all-nighters (again, referring back to what I said about working regular office hours and taking weekends off) just because you can! You need to discipline yourself into thinking that tomorrow is another 7am start, otherwise your sleep pattern will be all over the place, you'll be less productive and your mood will most likely be quite low. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep a night (on week-nights at least).
I hope these tips will help those of you that work or study from home! Trust me, I've made all the mistakes there are to make having both studied and worked from home for over a year now...so I do know what it's like to feel like a lazy, grumpy hermit ;) But once you get into the swing of things and find the right balance you will reap the rewards!