This blog discussion is brought to you by Kraft McCafé Coffee. This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser, all opinions are mine alone. #McCaféMyWay
I announced in late December that I would be kicking off 2015 as a full time blogger (you can read the full post on how I came to the decision and steps we took to make it happen here). It’s been one month and I’ve already learned so much! I’ve teamed up with my friends at Kraft McCafé coffee to chat about working from home, how I tackle the day and some tips to consider.
Several friends and loved ones asked in my first few weeks working from home if I ever get out of my pajamas. Yes, I do get out of my pj’s, but my secret for getting things done is coffee. Lots of coffee. To stay on top of deadlines, tackle the dreaded inbox and carve out time for brainstorming I rely heavily on coffee. I must admit I like how coffee so sweetly introduces itself to me each morning.
Working from home is a big change! I’ve mastered how to start my day the right way, but there’s a few other things I’m quickly learning too. Finding balance is something so many of us struggle with and what works for us varies person to person. Here’s 8 things I quickly learned in my first month working from home and tips to consider:
- You have to shut it off at some point. I am a total workaholic. I have no issues getting up by 7am and starting my day even if that day is front of the computer ALL DAY LONG. The earlier I get started the better. My first few weeks working from home I watched the clock melt. What works for me is trying my hardest to complete the task I was on the moment the husband says he’s heading home. This can be hard, but you have to shut it off at some point. This gives us time to talk about our day, cook/eat dinner, go for a walk and fit in some TV before I check my messages one last time while laying in bed.
- Get up and walk it out. In the middle of the day, stop what you’re doing and go catch some sunshine. After spending the first few days in my office working I started to get cabin fever and so did the dog. I take my time checking the mail in the middle of the day and on those super gorgeous days I sit on the porch or walk around the block.
- Don’t turn on the TV but turn up the tunes. I find it hard to function without noise unless I’m writing. When I’m writing I hit the pause button, otherwise Pandora, my record player or Rhapsody are doing their thing while I work. The TV is too distracting so I never turn it on during my work day. Ever. I also shut off my social media notifications from time to time.
- Research. In my opinion research is work. It’s important to stay current, read a few articles related to your industry, pause to look at your stats and write up your monthly/weekly goals. I often check out my Instagram stats along with my blog stats to see what’s working. When are people most engaged? What do they like most? Research is hard work, honestly it’s harder work than styling a table display.
- Take advantage of your job from time to time. One of the things I felt guilty about was making calls, grocery shopping, meeting friends for lunch, etc when I was suppose to be working. Um… I work from home which is tough work but it also has its perks. Schedule those lunch dates from time to time and run to the grocery store to get that knocked off your to-do list!
- Clean up after each assignment/project. Sometimes I’ll leave a small mess from a blog post photo styling or DIY post and begin editing the photos or answering emails. After a few hours I start to get anxious and before I know it I have small piles that need to be cleaned up before I can do anything else. It stressed me out. Now I make it a point to clean up after each crafty masterpiece is created or table display is photographed.
- Make things functional. I thought I had my office set up perfectly, but after spending triple the amount of time in it I’ve discovered a few things needed to be moved around. You can see my cozy office space here. Shop order packaging is super important to me so this year I started dressing up orders even more. To dress up orders you need more items to do so and that means space. Recently I shared on Instagram a photo of a door organizer that helped get some of my packaging supplies out of the corner and in a more functional manner. Take the time to stop working and make things functional.
- Don’t go crazy snacking. I don’t feel guilty about having a variety of drinks on my desk and I stick by that. I’m also fine with 1 snack on my desk. What wasn’t working for me was having multiple snacks on hand. I can totally blame the “snacking while you work” on the pregnancy, but in all reality there’s no reason I had chips, donuts and macarons on my desk at 2pm on any given day. Water and coffee are always desk acceptable items to help get you through your day…. but maybe not the overload of sweets.