One of the many appeals for working from home for me was, of course not having to get up super early and get ready for work and the belief that I would be able to choose my own hours.
In the beginning of this journey, I was lured in by the siren call of not having to wake up at a specific time, not having to do the ‘ work day grooming’ routine, including wrangling the mane I call my hair, not having to don another suit and pack my work bag and figure out lunch, etc.
Rather, I could stay in my comfy clothes all day, make lunch when I was ready, work out more and then set time in the day to grab my laptop and work!
Everything I needed was here at home with me and it was awesome!
Sounds like heaven yes?
And it was for a while, until things inevitably went completely out of control!
Let’s start with the Grooming.
You do not understand how important it is to have a grooming routine, until you have thrown yours right out the window, watch it shatter into a million pieces as it hits the concrete ground and laugh at the fragments.
One day, after I spent way too many hours (more than 12) on my laptop, I caught a rare reflection of myself in the mirror and it was roouugghh!
My hair was a wild, unkempt mess, I was in distressed ‘comfy clothes’ meaning they had holes they were not intended to have, I had not moisturized my skin in too many days, since I’d gotten into the habit of moisturizing only if leaving the house….so…yeah.
I hadn’t worn jewelry in forever and of course if I’m home all day, there is no reason to actually put on any kind of make up or get my nails done.
Then came the eating habits.
You think you’ll have time to make lunch or just go buy something, but I’m telling you right now, you will not.
Many times, I would hear my stomach grumbling (make it roaring) and belatedly realize that I hadn’t eaten anything in a very long time and then have to make the decision to stop whatever it is I’m working on and go make something, which also comes with the hope that I had in fact actually shopped and had anything in the house to eat.
Sometimes, in a pinch I’d grab a snack and feel the workflow pushing, because usually I’d be working with a deadline and I get a little manic about those.
Needless to say, I started to gain weight, a direct result from not eating properly or at correct times, not sleeping nearly enough, and not making the real commitment to work out, because in my silly mind, if I had time to do these things, then I should be trying to push off my workload.
Next up, came the home chores.
While I took lunch, I would look around and see the seemingly endless list of chores I could be doing as well.
After all, if I’m home, then I should be more on the chores. I should be able to keep the house clean, do the work and also magically take care of myself too.
It took me a very long time to realize my slacking on my health and beauty routines were all due to having a guilty mindset.
I was trying to show that I could find the jobs, I could make the money and that I could handle it all, so I approached this new chapter in my life like I was an employee gone wild…which in retrospect was what I was.
And let me tell you now, that was a big mistake. Huge!
Something we who work from home, will never admit to, is the fact that even though we are not doing the ‘ getting ready for work’ routine and even smirking at our mates as they do, we have a routine all of our own and we are not as ‘ free’ as we like to let others believe.
In fact, when you work from home, you end up working way more hours than your last job and feeling pretty miserable, because your home is now your ‘office’ and no longer your sanctuary.
It’s all about mindset and whether you are willing to put in the necessary boundaries you need to make this transition work for you.
Here are a few that has saved me from jumping fully off the brink of insanity.
Boundary 1: Choose Your Working Times.
This does not have to be a linear- 9 to 5 if you don’t want it to be, in fact depending on what you’re comfortable with you can decide how to align your hours and how many to your day.
You are the boss and your hours are in fact up to you, this means you have to uphold and enforce these business decisions with your employees, your clients and your own mind.
During the working hours, there is no time for home chores, personal phone calls etc. It’s time to get your work done!
Boundary 2: Your Health is the MOST Important Thing
If you’re a workaholic seeking validation about your new life choice like I was, then you’re going to want to prove over and over again that this thing you’re doing is right and that will come at the expense of your health. Nope. Not this year.
Wake up, and take the first few moments to focus on you, and how you’re feeling. Pay attention to your hydration, eating what you should and make the time to workout at least three times a week. Have a cut off time for sleep, so that you are well rested and ready to go again tomorrow with even more endurance and creativity. Sleep heals the body and the mind, so ensure you get your full quota.
Boundary 3: Your Identity is Not Tied to Your Bank Account
It’s easy to get disheartened and stress over money, over how you perceive your business to be going and to freak out when you do not have enough for bills.
I’ve been there and I was almost nominated for Mayor for there!
Your identity, worth and raison d’être have nothing to do with the health of your bank account or the level of success of your business.
You have no one to prove anything to, instead try shifting your perspective to enjoying what you are actually doing, rather than trying to prove that this lifestyle choice is right.
If you’re not comfortable, hopeful and committed to this then, what’s the point?
Boundary 4: Fun and Happiness is a Priority
When I first started this journey, I was a workaholic and I would tell myself that if I had time to be ‘slacking off’ then I could be working harder, because I genuinely believed the amount of money I made was directly proportional to how much I devoted myself to this business.
That was wrong.
In the end, I found that self-care was what made me the money.
Detaching myself from the business and the pressure of making money, allowed the money to finally flow… insane right?
Yes, but it works.
So I started opening my life up to social events with my friends, listening to music, spending alone time with myself, where I’d go on self-dates and walks and indulged in my own creativity.
It is amazing and the more fun I had, the more I strengthened the bonds with my friends, the more positive abundance came into my life.
Boundary 5: You are Important
Too often we get caught up with the need for purpose in life, for conditional results and as an entrepreneur; I can tell you that results are correlation at best.
You are your business, but your business is not you.
Being able to work from home is to my way of thinking, the path to the future, but the way we get there will be determined by us who are laying the foundation.
You are important as an individual.
You are amazing just as you are, whether you are jobless, have no ambition, or afraid to start something of your own, it doesn’t matter.
Work is just a tool, not a measurement of who you are as a person, so stop punishing yourself and LIVE!
Have fun, laugh, socialize, be merry and allow yourself time to find the path you want to fill your days with.
You made it to the end! Wooot!