Streamlining my working day | Working from home

I’m eternally grateful that I get to work from home and for the flexibility it provides our family with. I love the surprise of an email pinging into my inbox and being able to carve out wonderful working relationships with brands and businesses that I really believe in and, in turn, for the creative challenge such collaborations offer me. 
However, after years of watching my husband navigate the self-employed route and now feeling my own way with it, I know it is far from the ‘easier’ option than a regular job. The pressure to accept whatever work comes your way, whilst maintaining your own identity as an ‘influencer’ on social media can be tricky to balance, not to mention the constantly shifting goal-posts of work time v’s leisure time within the context of the home.

When I have scheduled collaborations or deadlines to meet, it’s obviously essential that I deliver and that I allocate enough space and time within the week to get my content edited and uploaded. But that said, we all have 'those days', regardless of where we work, when we just feel a bit unmotivated or distracted. There was a time when I only had to glance at my phone to check the time and I was bombarded with notifications and alerts. Until I turned off my phone notifications, I found myself getting really distracted by the 'next' thing on my list of things to do, and not focusing on the task-in-hand.

For anybody who works from home, you'll appreciate how it can be both your best friend (hello phone meetings in your pyjamas!) and your worst nightmare (Like that time when I sat down to write a blog post and realised I had eaten alllll the chocolate in the process!)

However, I do have a few tips I've learnt along the way which I'm going to share with you. They all make such a practical difference to my work ethic and basically limit procrastination, the thief of so much time!

The first one is this, to start your day well. Aside from my parental duties of getting three children up, dressed and breakfasted by 8.30am and heading out on the school run; I do like to take a moment to collect myself before settling into my own work. After getting back from the school run I'll often pause to eat breakfast and properly fuel myself for the day ahead. Aside from getting out at some point in the day, I think eating well is key to my being able to stay focused and on task without getting cabin fever from working in the same spot for a long time. I'm not a massive 'break-for-lunch' kinda girl anyway and often work through lunch regardless, so eating a decent breakfast is pretty essential if I don't want to be a nervous wreck by 3pm!

My second tip is to plan your time and stick to it. If you have a piece of written work due, then make it your focus to see that through to the end without refreshing your emails or checking up on social media- trust me, it's one of the steepest slippery slopes to time lost. Plan what absolutely needs to be achieved on a given day and then once your deadlines are met you can see what else is doable, within your working hours.

Also, if you're working at a computer, try not be using other devices too, unless absolutely necessary to the task. For example, when typing the copy for a collaborative blog post, I try not be on my phone if I can help it. Like I said above, it's just too tempting to slip into the world of social media and time, that precious gold dust, just disappears. Instead, I try to implement the old school rule of no phones being allowed at the desk and for the most part, I find I am able to get jobs finished faster when I stick to my own rules!

Finally, (and this is possibly the hardest of them all), but when you decide that your day is done, stick to it! No more checking up on emails or planning new blog content, no matter how much you enjoy doing those things. Try to give yourself some mental space away from work so that you have the oppertunity to step away from it. It's only when I do step away or have time off social media that I come back to it with renewed energy and fresh eyes- and what a difference that makes!
 It's important to mentally switch off from work no matter what job you have but I think it's particularly difficult to do that when you are self-employed or work from home. Somehow, your work is never far from your mind and whilst that is not necessarily a negative thing, it can be if you don't give yourself headspace away from it. I know it's not always doable, especially when things crop up at the last minute but try to be firm about working hours and stick to them. We all need some down time!

Anyways, if you've made it this far, thank you! I'm always looking out for new ways to streamline my working day and to become more efficient with my time so I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and how you make it all work if you work from home too! Comment below and share your tips and ideas!


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