As a creative entrepreneur I value the fact that I’m able to work from home and am allowed to dictate what my day looks like, but I still treat it like work. I love that I’m able to be flexible when I need to be for my family and still run a successful business. Here are some tips that I have for being productive while working from home.
Every morning I get up and get ready for work with the rest of my household. This means doing my hair, putting on makeup, and putting on a new set of clothes. Some days are fancier than others depending on what I have on the calendar, but I get ready. This puts me in the right mindset for my workday.
Creating a routine for your work day helps you with your productivity to create healthy habits. If you don’t have a particular schedule you have to stick to (because clients aren’t waiting on you), this can look however you want. I personally work best in the mornings, so I schedule all my hard tasks in the morning and save the afternoons for the tasks that don’t take as much brain power.
5:45 Take a shower, get ready
6:30 Wake up the kids, get everyone ready, and off to school
9:00 Head back home to get settled for my workday
9:30 Look at planner, name my Top 3 tasks
11:00 Break for Lunch
12:00 Continue work
3:00 Finish up last task, update to-do list
3:30 Pick up Kids from school/bus
Creating work hours, just like any other business, is helpful to create boundaries for you, your clients, and your family. My work hours are from Monday-Thursday from 9:30-3:00, during school hours. I post these hours on my website and my email signature so that clients know that I won’t be getting back to them till the next business day. This allows me to be a mom and wife when my family is home. It’s so important to create these boundaries since your home is your office, don’t let your work take over your life.
Designate a place to go to for work in your home. If you have a dedicated office, great! But if you don’t, make sure you have a place that you go to do your work. This could be a comfy chair in the corner with your desk or at your dining room table, but make sure you have a dedicated spot that you go to, this will help your brain get into work mode. If this gets boring, go somewhere else…you’re welcome to even leave your home. A couple days a week I find myself working in a local cafe for at least a couple of hours. I love the change of scenery and makes me feel like I’m around people.
Just like someone who works outside of the home, you’re allowed to take breaks! Every couple hours, make sure to get up–walk around, grab a drink, grab a small snack, check your social media–studies have shown that these frequent breaks will increase your productivity (for more take a look at this book: When, by Daniel H. Pink). A few days a week, I’d take this opportunity to get out of the house and grab lunch, bonus if it’s with a friend.
Designate a day where you’re going to stack all your meetings. I usually designate Thursdays for all my in-person meetings. This ensures that I don’t have to get professionally dressed every day of the week, but also makes sure that I have a few days a week that I can sit down quietly and get the hard tasks that take a lot of brain power accomplished without meetings interrupting my workday.
Even though I love my work days alone (introvert here), I love connecting with other business owners and collaborating. I believe that my relationship with other creatives and business owners is a vital part of my success. About every other week I set aside a morning to get together with another business owner to bounce ideas around or to just simply work alongside one another. Many of these fellow entrepreneurs have become wonderful friends and supporters.
Remember to always stay flexible…after all, that’s why we chose to work for ourselves, right? If you need to veer from your routine or need to take a mental health day…do it!