6 Lessons I Learned in My First 6 Months Working from Home
Let’s be real. Working from home sounds much more glamorous than it actually is. Does anyone else picture sleeping in, staying in your pajamas, and working with Netflix on in the background? (Disclaimer: yes, I HAVE done this. No, it is not productive.) While it’s definitely nice not to have someone else bossing you around, you are now the boss... and working for yourself will teach you a lot about... you.
I’ve shared my story with you all before, but in case you missed it, I was a sports broadcaster for four years before I became a business owner and entrepreneur. PS46 started as a side hustle and back in August of 2017 became my full-time job (you can read more on my journey here). In the past six months, there have been a lot of successes, life changes, exciting projects, and also some mistakes. Whether you’re an entrepreneur like me or are applying these lessons to your own life, read on for six of the lessons I’ve learned (only six, but there are so many more!) during my first six months working from home.
Being busy and being productive are two different things.
I’m a master procrastinator. Always have been. It’s definitely not something I’m proud of and I’ve always had to fight hard against those tendencies. I learned quickly how much more stress is caused when you wait until the last minute while working for yourself. There are a million little and big things to do every day when you run your own business and it’s so easy to pick the tasks you enjoy and put off others that might be more important.
Right now I’m working on batching my work days (using Trello - if you’ve never used this, it’s a must!). I got this idea from my new friend Ashlyn Carter and while I’m only a couple weeks in, it’s already making a massive difference in my focus and productivity.
Establish a morning routine.
Open your Bible before scrolling on your phone. Or whatever you want your morning routine to look like, just do it first. Establish a routine that starts your day off on the right note and don’t check your email or Instagram until it’s complete. When your work lives in your email and on social media, it’s so easy to grab your phone and let your to-do list run through your mind before you’ve even gotten out of bed.
I’ve been starting every morning in quiet time with my devotional followed by a smoothie and an almond milk latte - and just that little routine has made such a difference. I always have so much more to give to my work and to others when I start my day making sure I’m filled up. Which leads me to...
Make time for self-care.
For me, this often looks like working out. No matter how busy I am or how much is on my plate, I’m much more productive and feel so much better when I make time to fit in a run, a yoga class or a quick circuit. I learned just how important this is because at times I’ve done the complete opposite. I love working out but at different times over the past six months, my to do list has been so long that I’ve skipped workouts in an attempt to get more done. In the long run, that just doesn’t pay off.
Your self-care doesn’t have to be fitness. Do you. What outside of your work fills you up? For me, it can also look like treating myself to a latte, a phone call with my sister or mom, reading a book I’ve been loving, or spending some time with my friends.
Have a designated workspace.
If you work from home, you know how hard it can be to separate your work from all of the other life things happening inside your house. And to be honest, I’m still figuring this out. We live in a one bedroom condo so there’s simply not room for PS46 to have an office or even it’s own workspace, which means I’ve had to get creative. The past few months, I’ve gone back and forth with different ideas of how to separate work life from home life when it all exists in a little less than 900 square feet. (Sidenote: would anyone be interested in a post on this? How to organize or hacks to working in a small space? Let me know! It’s been on my editorial calendar list for awhile now but I haven’t yet felt qualified to write on the topic while I’ve been still figuring it out.)
While I haven’t tackled this area, I quickly learned how important this is. When your work is overflowing to the rest of your home, it’s almost impossible to separate work life from home life.
Find a community.
One of my very favorite things that’s come from starting PS46 has been the community I’ve been able to build. There are so many incredible women I’ve been able to connect with in this industry of entrepreneurs, influencers and bloggers - women that I now consider friends. Learning from their experience and lifting each other up as been invaluable to my business.
While there can, of course, be some negatives to social media, one of the biggest positives is the way it allows us all to connect with, empower and build relationships with other women we otherwise may have never met. All of you are part of this too! One of my favorite parts of my job is connecting with you all on social media or through stamping your orders.
Take the leap.
I started talking about and planning to quit my job to run PS46 full-time at least 2 years before I actually did it. To be fair, there were things I did love about the job I was in and sports broadcasting was a dream I’d been chasing for a long time, so I struggled for awhile with which dream to chase.
That being said, finally taking the leap has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I know it can be scary and overwhelming to put yourself out there and take the risk, but it will be so worth it. Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or blog, or already have and are considering taking it full-time, I’d encourage you to stop overthinking it and just go for it.