Since August this year, I’ve been officially self-employed. It’s a constant mixture of pressure and doubt, teamed with excitement and endless possibilities. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives (so far) and I’m loving every minute of it.
I get to do something different each day, combine 3 different “jobs”, work flexibly, be my own boss and work from home.
Working from home is one of those things that on the outside, seems the ultimate luxury. But on the other hand, means you have to be self-motivated and have the will-power to not do all those jobs around the house that need doing (you know, laundry, washing-up, general tidying) instead of your work.
Generally though, if you get the balance right, working from home is a wonderful thing and can lead to ultimate productivity. I like to mix it up and some days I’ll work from home, some days I’ll head into the office and some I’ll head out to a nice cafe with good wifi. I think it keeps my brain inspired.
Working from home and hygge
Now it’s Autumn/Winter, I’ve been inspired by the Danish way of living, hygge, which is about the creation of cosy spaces within the home, to encourage togetherness. I love this ethos and its reflection on the pace of life.
As I’m trying to establish the perfect work-life balance, I’ve decided to incorporate hygge where I can and my new bedding (from Christy) is definitely helping on those days where I allow myself to get cosy and work from home.
If you too are in a position where working from home is an option or a necessity, then here are just a few tips that you might find useful.
Working from home
Tip 1. Get organised
It’s important to have some method of organising your day. I’m a real list-maker, so I have a lot of stationery and note books full of lists. I have post-its and I write in various note-books for each of my roles (including this awesome one from fellow Blogger CocoChicBlog). I also use my Google calendar, which is colour-coded for each of my jobs and is accessible from my phone or laptop wherever I am.
Tip 2. Environment
Setting yourself up in the right environment when working from home, is important. Make sure you have lots of natural light and you don’t get tempted to put the telly on, as it’ll soon become a distraction. A radio for background music is fine, if that’s what you’re used to, but try to keep your environment as “professional” and work-like as possible. It’ll keep you in the right frame of mind.
Tip 3. Get dressed
Ok so this one sounds ridiculous, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people that I’ve met that work from home and don’t get out of their PJs all day. Don’t get me wrong, occasionally if you know you’re not leaving the house then a comfy pair of tracky bottoms and your warm slippers are perfectly acceptable, but in general, you are working and you wouldn’t go into the office in your PJs…would you? Getting dressed gets your ready for the day and puts you in the right frame of mind.
Tip 4. Assign your time
This one goes along with getting organised. When you’re in an office, your day is much more structured, from your arrival time, to lunch breaks, to afternoon meetings and then heading home. When working from home, there may not be these “markers” that structure your day, so it’s important to assign your time effectively to ensure you actually get your day’s tasks done. I like to make sure I’m “at work” (ie signed into my emails) at 9am and work on one project until lunch time. I then break for lunch, before starting another task after lunch. Mid afternoon I’ll go for a quick walk or potter about the house for 20 minutes to refresh my brain and then set to another project for the rest of the afternoon.
Tip 5. Get comfortable
Ok so when working from home, in general, it’s best to set yourself up with a desk and a proper place to work from. But, we’d all be lying if we said we didn’t occasionally work from the couch or *cough* bed. 90% of the time, I’ll work from my dining table but some days, I like to set-up on my bed for a few hours. It’s usually the days where I’m planning ahead, organising my weeks ahead or doing some industry research. The days when I know I’m not going to be on my phone and laptop all day.
This week I had one of those days, when I made my bed with my new sumptuous bed linen (Sofia with Peonia sheets), got my industry magazines out and my diary, so I could make some plans.
When my bedroom is clear and I’ve got fresh bed linen on the bed, I feel refreshed in myself and ready for the day. I put all my pillows out so it feels like a hotel bed – you know what I mean…crisp, soft and luxurious. I open the curtains for lots of natural light and I put a bit of Radio 2 on (yes, I’m old!). Then I get to work.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I might get a welcome visit from this pickle-pot…
[The four photos of me & my daugther were taken by Rebecca Lupton for The Mothers Project.]
So there you have it, my tips for working from home, incorporating hygge. Are you planning to work more flexibly in 2017?