Rule #1: Find and Claim Your Office Space
I love my home office. It’s my favorite color, has MY STYLE all over the room. From the ridiculously expensive tattoo art I “won” in New York City, to the almost frightening amount of skulls I have placed around the room, it’s my favorite part of my whole house. It’s my space. The only other being allowed in that room is my dog. She claimed the lovesac I have in the corner for her own and honestly, she has a toddler chasing her all day. She needs her own room too.
Does this mean that I will ONLY ever work in my office? Heck no. I work on my couch in front of the TV, I work in my bed (that sounds weird), I work when I’m at my parent’s house just visiting them (sorry Mom and Dad). I’ll work anywhere and everywhere, even on vacation, because I have zero chill. Being flexible about where I work and when I work is so important to getting work done. Which brings me to rule number two.
Rule #2: Stick To YOUR Schedule
When I first started working from home, I wanted to keep “office hours”, which was wild because I had a newborn so, LOL to that. After I got over having my strict office hours, I realized that for me and for what I do, I needed to work my work around my life. I don’t have office hours. I don’t have a clock-in and clock-out time. I have instead a schedule of deadlines. I keep a dry erase magnet calendar on my fridge that keeps me on the ball project-wise. I wanted to put my calendar in the one spot I look at the most in my house. Hence, the fridge. Don’t judge me.
This is the one I have and it’s perfection. But I PROMISE YOU it will never say “morning run” on it. Ever.
Rule #3: Be Firm
People have zero respect for your schedule when you tell them you’re a writer and work from home. Like NO RESPECT. “Hey, my kid is sick can they hang with you today?” “Hey, wanna hang out?” “Hey, can you run this errand for me?” These are things I hear all the time and when I say, I can’t I’m working, I get the eye roll. At first, I felt guilty about this and would give in. Not anymore. I’ve reached a level now where I can’t give in I need to pay attention and take a long time on my projections.
If I still worked at the vet hospital, would I get the last-minute babysitting requests? Nope. And that’s the thing I have to remind myself. My work is real, it’s legit, and it can be challenging. I can work on a project and watch my son at the same time. He’s almost two but his entire life has been this way, and he’s great at playing on his own and doesn’t mind so much that Mommy isn’t always on the floor playing with him. Adding another kid to the mix means I get NO WORK DONE. None. At all. It’s impossible. Looking at it from a business standpoint, when I have a looming deadline, I have to say no.
Now, if all my work is caught up and I don’t have anything going on, yep, bring those kiddos on by and let’s play. But otherwise, I have learned to set boundaries and how to say “no”. Even if it’s a super fun day hanging with my bestie shopping.
So, what does this all mean to you?
This could mean nothing to you. You might have a great office type of job and you don’t want to ever work from home. No worries! That’s totally cool. But if you’re looking to start transitioning to work from home either for yourself or with your current company, keep in mind my three rules. Keeping a schedule that works for your work, being firm on people who think you can do whatever whenever, and creating a space that is comfortable for you to work in.