Almost three years ago, we were packing our bags and getting ready to moving to Denver. It was chaos, Gracis’ new company had given us a whole two week to get here. Two weeks to pack the apartment, sell a car, sell most of our furniture, say goodbye to lifelong friends, and eat my way through all my favorite spots in LA. Thankfully, having to search for a new job was not on that list. My amazing ex-boss, agreed to allow me to continue to work for our company exclusively from home. Thank the stars, because without the stability and the normality that working at my old job brought me, I definitely could not have made it through that 1st very difficult year here. Flash forward, and I have been working from home either exclusively or in some capacity for better part of 3 years. Not surprisingly, working from home can be amazing. It brings you a lot of flexibility, too long of a morning work out? No problem, just shower at lunch. Gorgeous summer day? Take your laptop to the deck and enjoy the sun. What I was surprised about was how hard it really was. An email comes in at 7pm, well you are home so you might as well take care of it right then and there. No one sees you, so maybe working in Lululemon messy bun and sans a morning shower isn’t so bad. And what about that human interaction? I mean talking to the puppies is totally normal right? Well, to an extent.
Over the years I have come up with a list of five rules I live by
Have a designated office Space:
When I tell people that I work from home, they envision me in my PJs (or Lulu’s) plopped down in front of the living room TV. Just imagining that scenario makes me laugh. I have a designated office space, and I use it. Being able to separate yourself from your work is one of the biggest ways to keep yourself sane. You have no idea what being able to close the “office” door can do for one’s mental well being. Work life balance is much harder to achieve when you are always home, but it can be done.
Have a Schedule:
Have a normal operating rhythm, one that keeps you accountable. My personal schedule is wake up and immediately work out. For me personally, I have found if I am at home, it takes a bit longer to wake up and really get that brain firing. A good sweat sesh really helps get those endorphins going and makes you more alert and ready to tackle the day. Shower and get dressed. I know it sounds crazy, you work from home just wear yoga pants! Getting dressed really helps your self-confidence and puts you in a better mind set for the day. Most importantly, set a designated start time and a designated end time. Try your best to adhere to those times as much as possible
Do not do house work during “work” hours:
Maybe you use your lunch break to throw a few loads of laundry in the washer, or empty that dishwasher. That’s fine. But never break your work flow in order to try and get the floor mopped between conference calls.
Embrace the flexibly but do not abuse it:
That call didn’t go as planned and you are in a funky head space? Brew a cup of coffee and go for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood. Do not, throw in the towel for the day and brew a cup of coffee and plop down on the couch to watch that Sex in the City Marathon streaming on E!
Make it a point to see People:
The isolation was definitely the hardest part for me to deal with. I LOVED my team and it pained me to see their after work happy hour photos… without me. Schedule a yoga class for right after work, make it a point to have a happy hour with your girlfriends, schedule one low key date night a week. Get out. Do something. Talk to someone. No matter how draining the work day is, having an interaction with other people will make the next day that much easier.
Do I always follow these rules to a T? Well, obviously nothing we do is ever perfect. When life gets wonky those are the times I am most thankful for the flexibility that my work situation allows me. Have you ever worked from home? Any rules you live by ?
Image Via: Interiors By Studiom