My Work-from-home Daily Plan of Action
Scheduling your day for balance & efficiency as a work-from-home entrepreneur
Learning how to effectively work from home is difficult and challenging and advice (which abounds when you seem to go solo) can generally be separated into 2 categories:
Pretend you work at an office
At first, I guess this made sense to me. Get up and dressed, put on the makeup and do the hair and then … Well there’s no need to travel so you sit at your desk. Alone. Maintaining some kind of office vibe is difficult when there’s no one to have a coffee break with. Grabbing lunch with a friend who has the power to convince you a toasted sandwich is a better idea than a salad is replaced with you not eating lunch, because you don’t have the time + haven’t earned it yet + eating by yourself is lonely and depressing.
And then you carry on sitting. For hours. Without talking to anyone (unless you have a dog or cat and all of a sudden you’re chatting away to your new personified BFF). If you’re starting out you’ll run out of work in a couple of hours and head over to Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter and find all the cool stuff, leave 1000 tabs open in Chrome and feel worthless because you’re reading all the How I Made $12K blog posts and you’re 5 days in.
So you’re doing nothing, really. You’re being terribly busy (but not productive) and you can’t leave your desk because guilt.
Pretend you're on vacation
You're your own boss - so do what you want. I’m inclined to believe this can be equally as damaging for your soul. You’re your own boss and you’ve never felt more free. So you make coffee dates, you meal-plan for the next year, your spend hours in the grocery store buying ingredients for one dinner and maybe you have a nap. I mean, you earned it by keeping yourself so busy so you’re probably exhausted.
But soon the realisation kicks in that time is money and when you’re not working with clients or trying to get new clients you’re not even trying to reach that $12K. And perhaps the panic sets in, perhaps it’s too overwhelming to comprehend. So you commit to terrifying deadlines and projects for pennies, make your monthly target and the cycle continues.
Don't do this to yourself, friends! You're worth more than the guilt, burnout and under-valued services.
Balance and routine are key and after a rollercoaster of these 2 mentalities, I developed a Work from Home POA that has kept me productive, efficient and rested.
1 | Create a morning routine that calmly eases you into your work day
Wake up at a time that feels reasonable, make yourself a coffee and enjoy it with your partner, family or housemate if you have one. Enjoy some conversation before you get to work or spend some time meditating. Then sit with your planner on the couch and set a list of goals for the day, tasks to accomplish and any other to-dos.
2 | Get ready for the day
You don’t have to apply a full-face of makeup or get dolled up in a power suit. Instead focus on being comfortable throughout the day and get dressed in a clean outfit (and a bra - you’re 50 year old boobs will thank you) that’s outside-the-house friendly in case you need to run an errand later. I have my gym classes in the morning so I get dressed in my exercise gear , wash my face and brush my teeth, opting to save the shower for when I’ll need it most.
3 | Time-blocking your day to ensure you can complete all priority tasks, projects and errands
Like we discussed, you’re your own boss so you really don’t have to work for a solid 8 hours at a time. Instead, figure out when you’re optimal time to accomplish all your tasks are. For me, gym is the morning so I don’t have to shave time from my evenings, emergency grocery shopping is straight after gym while I’m on the road, and all design work is late morning/early afternoon. The 3 o’clock slump is perfect for emails and Pinterest and then social planning and blog writing is a great way to end your work day, before checking and replying to all your mails again. Of course, scheduling time in your day to do things like shopping and exercise can mean you’re running a bit short. Don’t do yourself an injustice by not scheduling that time back if you need it. Get extra work done on a lazy Saturday morning or after dinner. Learn to be flexible with your time (it’s your self-employed right) but keep a sharp eye (and pencil) on your list to make sure you’re not neglecting any tasks.
4 | Create a comfortable and creative space to work
Sitting on the couch or in your bed can perhaps be great for a sick day or social media planning, but trying to be productive in that scenario the whole day will likely not end well. Instead, create an ‘office’ by having a creative corner, desk or room that is dedicated to your work. A space that you can definitively leave at the end of your work day. There’s no harm in finding a change of pace at a coffee shop or hot-desking it in the city for a day or two but having your own work space that you can retire to is invaluable.
Now it’s your turn, lovelies. How do you enjoy the flexible perks of being a work from home entrepreneur? What's your POA for maintaining balance and being productive?
I’d also love to see what your creative spaces look like! Share them with me on Instagram using the hashtag #FreckledFreelancer