Working (From Home)
This particular post has taken many forms. When I originally thought of the idea, I was planning a how-to about working remote....but that didn't feel quite right considering I'm still figuring out the how-to myself!
I decided the most authentic to do was just to take everyone on this journey with me — I don't have it all figured out, but I can at least share some thoughts on why it's working for me.
When you work where you live, you're responsible for achieving a work/life balance as opposed to having your employer provide you with it. What that looks like for me evolves a little more each week, and I think that's normal! I'm trying a lot of different daily schedules to see what sticks, but I've accepted that it's always going to be a fluid process.
Let me start by saying that while working from home is a dream for me, I definitely think so many factors play into whether it works for you! I was homeschooled until college so being in charge of my day-to-day schedule is basically a part of my personality — but just like I wouldn't recommend homeschooling for every kid, I wouldn't recommend working from home for every adult.
Both for my job and any freelance writing, I mainly have long-term deadlines — meaning I'm still figuring out the best way to schedule my days. I've always been intrinsically-motivated, which is what makes it possible for me to do this type of work, but it also makes it way too easy for me to get my head down in something and not resurface for hours.
While I love rapidly checking off my to-do list, I'm also learning to remind myself to breathe! As a writer, I relish in uninterrupted stretches of time, but I also need to slow down and stretch my legs once in awhile. Taking meaningful breaks (aka walking around the block as opposed to refreshing Twitter) helps me not be as exhausted when I return to my work — and is way healthier than sitting for 6 hours at a time! I also take advantage of the nearby coffee shops once or twice a week, and I've found that the change of scenery helps me come up with new ideas if I'm feeling stuck (full disclosure: this is being written from a Starbucks!).
There's also a lot of misconceptions about working from home — that you're always available, that you can do whatever you want all day, or that your life is just generally more relaxed. I would say that's equal parts true and not true. While I have more control over my schedule and my tasks, I still get the same deadlines as anyone in an office would. The difference is, instead of taking breaks to chat with coworkers, my breaks typically involve laundry or dishes — and for me, that's a much better way to handle stress! I'm borderline-obsessed with efficiency, so being able to take breaks that still feel productive is something I'd consider a big factor in my success.
Like I said, I wouldn't recommend this lifestyle for everyone, but with companies becoming more flex with their work from home policy now is a great time to have a dialogue with yourself about your personal working style. Knowing what works for you can do volumes for your productivity regardless of where your "office" is!