I’ve now been self employed and working from home for over a month now, and while I’m absolutely living the dream, its also somewhat of a shock to the system.
I knew that I’d find it strange going from always working ‘somewhere’, but the excitement of finally being able to do my own thing full time sorta overshadowed that. Its taken some getting used to, but I’ve finally set myself some guidelines, as it were, to not only help me stay on track with my work, but also to make sure I’m keeping work-life and home-life separate.
Wherever possible, stick to set working hours
The great thing about working from home for most people is the ability to set your own working hours, and fit work around other commitments such as school runs, appointments etc. As I personally don’t really have any of those fixed commitments, I generally keep myself to a normal 9-5 type of day, but I also have the flexibility to start later, finish later, split my day up, work a longer day or whatever I need to do.
I also try, again, as much as possible, to keep my weekends as work free as possible, although if I’m super busy I have the option to work through the weekend as well.
Keep work away from play
I have my own office to work in at home, which means that at least 90% of what I do is kept separate from my home life. Sure, occasionally I’ll sneak out and sit on the sofa to work while watching some tv, but for the most part I keep in my little bubble.
Of course, not everyone has a home-office, but even if you can work in a set place, like at a desk or even just a table, it will help keep the balance.
Try and get out sometimes
When you work from home, sure you get to skip the commute, but it can mean that you have very few reasons to get out of the house. As my work essentially relies on me being at my sewing machine for the majority of my day, I don’t really have many work related reasons to get out apart from going to the post office at the end of my road, so I’m trying to find more ways to get out and about as part of my job, such as getting stalls at craft fairs and markets.
If your work is more computer based, then you can go and work from a cafe from time to time – I even know of some places who have specific ‘events’ for people who work from home to come in for and work but also have the ability to socialise with others which is pretty cool!
Switch off at the end of the day
At my old job, when I left the office at the end of the day I could completely tune out work for the rest of the evening because once I was logged off, there was nothing else I could do. Now, however, I get that little feeling in the evenings that I could go back and do one more thing, or finish up something else, and the temptation to get back into my office can be quite strong, but I have to fight it if I’m gonna keep that first rule of mine!
Honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been working from home and for myself, and while my office looks nowhere near as tidy as it does in these photos anymore, its such a joy and I’m so glad that I was able to have this opportunity! Want to check out what I do? Head over to my Etsy store!