I’ve only been on social media sporadically the last few years. I’m not sure if it is “this whole lockdown thing” but I recently have had an overwhelming urge to post. My mind has been racing so much. Mostly about what is next once this whole thing is over, but also I started wondering how everyone else was coping with working from home.
I’ve worked from home since 2014 and hope to never step foot inside an office again. Working from home comes easy to me but I know a lot of people have struggled with it.
If I could give those people any advice my top four would be to:
- Batch your work.
- Take a mid-day walk.
- Don’t eat at your computer.
- If possible, pick your schedule.
One of my favorite things about working from home is having a schedule that works for me.
I know that my busy days are Monday and Thursday. They are the only days I have work calls. That also means those days are my deadlines for getting my tasks ready to handoff. It makes scheduling easy because I’m in control of my time.
Often when I worked in an office my workload was piled up, deadlines were all over the place and everything was followed with “This is a RUSH job.”
Working in an office setting I often felt pigeon-holed. My job was to organize the work for someone else to do it. That became booooooooooring, stressful, and unfulfilling. I had no control in anything that was passing through my desk.
I thought that was the way it had to be. I had to focus on one thing. I needed to become an expert at that and the job would be passed to a different expert to do their part.
This was what my day use to be like:
That looks as boring as it was. I should have been focused on learning as many different skills as I could, instead of being the person that just passes the job to someone else and I was so busy I didn’t have time to learn other skills.
Once I started working from home I’ve been able to make my job what I want it to be. I can work on any skill I want to learn. Here are just some of the skills I’ve worked on over the last few years.
- Video editing
- Website admin
And because I’ve learned so many different skills, I can pretty much jump into any project and be an asset.
That feeling is motivating and energizing.
Before working from home I was afraid of losing my job, even if I didn’t enjoy my job. I needed that job because without it I didn’t know what I would do.
I was working out of fear.
Working out of fear is horrible for your mindset. It puts you in a fight or flight state all the time. Every time you make a mistake, every time someone isn’t happy with your work, and even if you are perfect your company still might need to lay you off.
That changed for me once I started working from home because it opened up the whole world for employment, not just the places in driving distance.
Is working from home is easy?
There seems to be a huge misconception that working from home is easy. I have to be able to prioritize work and home life. I need to continue to learn and I have to be good with computers. I am my own IT guy/girl and I need to constantly be up-to-date on my skills.
Yet, friends have always been intrigued by the freedom of working remotely. I am constantly asked:
“How can I get a job like yours?”
I’d tell them, “go to upWork.com and create a profile.”
A few months will go by and they will come back.
“I wish I had a job like yours.”
“Did you upload your profile?”
They NEVER do. Most people won’t even take the first step.
People think I don’t have a job.
“Why don’t you meet me at my work for lunch?”
“I have to work, can you do me a favor?”
The truth is they aren’t being disrespectful, they just can’t relate to my situation. I go grocery shopping when most people are working, so it is easy for someone to think I can slip by and do them a favor mid-day. What they don’t get is I put in an hour of work before 8 am or last night after 10pm. Or my creativity peaked on Friday night and was excited to work on a project over the weekend.
“We’re hiring, you should apply.”
Sometimes people think I don’t get paid a lot and are trying to be nice. Some go as far as asking what I make. The answer is enough. I live comfortably, I own my house and car.
Most online workers are highly skilled and self-starters. They need little handholding and are excellent employees. If we wanted to work in an office we would but:
- I have a better work/life balance.
- I work when my creativity peaks.
- I only do meetings twice a week.
- Can have multiple clients.
If you want to test out working from home or change professions now is the perfect time to learn some new skills and test them out.