I think that sometimes people think that working from home is a super glamorous thing… it means waking up without an alarm clock everyday, sleeping in as long as you’d like, making your own schedule, and finishing your work whenever the heck they feel like it :)
And don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is that glamorous, but I promise you it doesn’t look quite like that…! It does mean that I have the flexibility to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day if I need to, or help watch my friends’ kids if they have emergencies, or go work out in the middle of the day before it’s dark out, or catch up on a new episode during my lunch break – it’s such a blessing!
But there’s also some less-than-glamorous things too. Like the fact that working for yourself, from home, means that some days you might not even leave the house, or talk to anyone other than your dog and your spouse when they finally get home. Or perhaps there’s the fact that it means that you have to try to compartmentalize things – stopping yourself from cleaning the day away when you really need to be putting your head down and working. Or that wearing yoga pants multiple days in a row starts to make you feel a little less-than human. It means discipline has to be a big part of your game and for artists, sometimes that feels like pulling teeth!
Maybe I’m the only one, but for someone with my personality type – either all in or all out of something, this concept of discipline can be pretty tricky. You see, I’ve had to create systems for me to be sustainable and hold to my own deadlines (more on that in another post soon, I’m sure!), and that means I’ve had to learn which habits make me more productive vs. not:
1. Working from my office space makes me 10 times more productive than working from the couch.
Working from the couch feels much comfier, but with the temptation of the tv in the background it’s honestly just too much for me! I’ll start a show while I’m editing and then push off some of my other work because I can’t concentrate as well. Lose, Lose! I’m also super fortunate in the fact that within my office space I have two separate working stations that I can flip back and forth from when I get bored and need a minor change of scenery! It’s really been super helpful in making sure that my productivity is up!
2. Getting Dressed for Real – it makes you feel less like Bum and more like a Boss.
This may seem like it’s not a big deal, but choosing to get dressed, put on some make-up in the morning, etc, helps me to start the day off with a great attitude. I feel better about myself and so I feel like I can approach my work more confidently, too! It’s a subtle cue for my brain to switch from “just a day at home” to “let’s get some work done.”
3. Turn off the distractions while you’re working.
Not having someone else watch and judge your performance can lead to complacency if you’re not careful! One area that I found that I could get lost within is the realm of social media, which is tricky because part of my job is managing those things, but not in a way that’s too time consuming or distracting. I actually turn off my notifications for email, social media, and don’t leave any of those tabs open. I also will leave my phone off of my desk for portions of the day if I keep finding myself getting stuck in that rut.
These are just three of the things that I’ve learned that help make me more productive on any given work day, and sometimes I do them well and sometimes I don’t. I get distracted by the dishes in the sink or the number of likes on Instagram. I think we all do and the most important thing is to give yourself grace, and permission to leave the house if you need to, too!