How to Work Remotely
This is a question I get asked fairly often in my personal and professional life, so I figured why not write something about how I make working remotely work for my life. This post comes as a long overdue follow up to a post I wrote last year about staying motivated while working at home, but that didn't give as much info as I feel I can provide now.
Working for yourself, or working from home isn't for everyone, but it's a transition that I see many fields toying with (writing, social media, PR, etc).
1. Schedule While not every day is the same, having some similar schedule or structure to my day helps me stay focused. I usually wake up, have some breakfast, but try to avoid going on my computer right away. I head to my favorite local coffee shop and crank out work there for at least two to three hours before I head home and have a "lunch break."
Giving myself a set break in the middle of the day, like I would get with a 'normal job' refreshes my energy levels and is when I get in some reading and checking social media. Then, I hit my workload again. If I find my energy levels are fading around 3, I'll do some stretches, open the apartment windows, do light chores, or drink some kombucha, although sometimes a second cup of coffee might be necessary too.
2. Dedicated workspace Even though you can definitely find me moving between my desk, my kitchen table, and sometimes the sofa, the desk is my home base and where I feel most productive. I joked with my mom recently that yes, I do need a tree in here, because it also serves as my office, and it deserves to be treated as a place I want to work.
3. Set hours Going off of setting a schedule during the day, set hours that you're going to work, and that includes checking your email. I find myself throughout the day and night, including weekends, obsessively checking my email when I really don't have to because most of my clients and people who I'm communicating with are working off of a Monday-Friday 9-5 schedule.
If I have a project I'm working on that I'm not finished with, I'll do a little work on the weekends, but this is something I hope to stop doing soon.
4. Get dressed I usually start or end my day with working out, but getting up and showering in the morning and putting clothes on, even if it's jeans and a sweatshirt (yes, it gets cold in LA), makes me feel better and less tempted to jump into my bed.
5. Goals I make lots of lists. On my phone, on my iCal, on my computer, in my planner. Setting daily goals for myself of work I want to accomplish, whether it's a piece of a long-term project or something small, setting goals and writing down what I need to get done each day keeps me on track.