Working from home is a curse and a blessing. I personally wanted to work from home so I could manage my own hours, study for the LSAT, and be location independent. But suddenly, I’m in charge of everything. Accountability, hours, networking, the exact size of my paycheck, managing my social life, and creating a work/life balance all while working from home. Ironic how something that should be freeing actually puts all the pressure on you, right? When I first started, I got cabin fever easily by staying inside my small apartment all day long- which is especially disgusting considering the absolutely beautiful Spanish city I live in. I’ve finally created a good balance for myself, and here are my tips for fellow werkers (from home!):
Limit your “Pajama Days.”
As silly as it sounds, my appearance makes a huge difference in my productivity. If I sit around in my pajamas all week, chances are I will feel unproductive/lazy, even if I slayed all the tasks on my schedule! I only allow myself to have a pajama day once a week, when, let’s be honest, I don’t brush my teeth until 2pm. I alternate my appearance, just like I alternate my work location, which is next on the list!
Find a trusty cafe, and become a regular.
Like in the movies! 😉 I have found my home away from home in a Spanish Starbucks, where they never seem to get my name right despite all my visits. (Jimmy photo). The loft above the cafe is fantastic for working, so once or twice a week, I take my work location there. Plus I look forward to the coffee!
Make a “Study” Buddy.
I met a fellow American here that often works from home. We make it a point to meet once a week and work side by side. Sometimes my work gets lonely, and I look forward to our weekly work sessions!
Libraries aren’t just for students.
A library is a good place to go to switch up routine. Plus, I always feel at home in a library. Chances are, you’ll meet like-minded individuals and make a new “study” buddy!
Create a loose schedule for yourself.
If you’re anything like me, here’s how my brain works.
On a schedule: Ugh this is killing me. I hate structure!
Not on a schedule: OMG I need structure.
Create a loose schedule, or even schedule options to keep yourself on task and productive. Here’s what I mean by schedule options:
Option A. 8am run, 9-12 freelance work, 2-5 study, 5-7 social
Option B. 9-2 study, 3-6 freelance work, 8pm run
This way, I can still have structure, but choose how I want to manage my time. Blocking out the time in advance makes me feel less overwhelmed with tasks I need to complete. If I didn’t set time limits, I would be on my computer all hours of the day, and that’s just not fair to us freelancers!