Disclosure: This post is brought to you by our sponsor Boise Paper. I was provided with compensation in exchange for sharing my own thoughts. Photos shared within the post are my own.
As you all know by now, I’m a blogger (among other things), which means I work from home. I’ve been working from home for about nine years now. I got my first work-at-home job when I was pregnant with my son.
I’ve been asked many times why I work from home and I have several answers. I love being my own boss. I love the freedom. And most importantly, it allows me to be home with my kids.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with a lot of negativity regarding my choices. There are a lot of false assumptions out there about what working from home means. I’m sure many of you have seen the memes about WAH moms, which often depict what people think we do vs. what we actually do.
Working from home may seem easy, which, unfortunately, makes us lazy in some people’s eyes. That’s not the case at all. Working from home requires a certain amount of ambition because it’s easy to slack off and not do what needs to be done. It requires you to stay focused and on task.
There are days, though, when working from home is tough. When the kids are home, they require more attention, and usually I can tweak my schedule to make things easier. Not always, but usually. On the days I can’t, I have to wait until my husband is home to get anything done.
So how do I make it all work?
What do I do to help myself (and business) continue to grow?
- Have a designated work space. As a blogger, I don’t require the quiet as much as those who do phone work from home, but I still need a space that I can call my own that I can escape to and spread my work out. For those who do phone work, they often need a room that’s quiet since these companies they work for don’t want the noise of kids and animals in the background when on the phone with clients.
- Have an adequate amount of work space. For me, I like having a larger desk because I always have multiple things going on at once, so I need space to spread my stuff out.
- Keep your printers and filing cabinets closet at hand. I actually have my printer right next to my desk on a small filing cabinet, so if I print something, I don’t need to get up to retrieve the paper. (Also, make sure to keep plenty of paper on hand. The last thing you want to do is run out. I recommend Boise® Paper for several reasons, which you can read about in my last post, titled Tips for Office Organization.)
- Buy a comfortable chair. If you’re sitting for long periods of time, you want a chair that’s comfortable and won’t give you a backache. I’ve made the mistake of using kitchen chairs or fold up ones in the past, and let me tell you, by the end of the day, my back is killing me. So invest in a good one. And remember, since it’s for your office, you can write it off come tax time.
- Keep track of all of your expenses and payments for tax time. As a blogger, I keep track of income from sponsored posts, ads, gift certificates and merchandise. While some feel you shouldn’t claim the gift cards or merchandise you receive, I disagree and err on the side of caution. Also, make sure to keep copies of all of your house bills (taxes, internet, electricity, etc.), as well as office supply receipts. You’re going to need them come tax time.
- Take breaks and stretch your legs. Don’t sit in a chair all day and not move around. Doing so will not only hurt your back, but it can also give you a major kink in your neck. I’ve done that several times and have dealt with neck issues because of it that last weeks and have even left me in a sling and on pain meds. IT’S NO FUN!!
- Keep track of all of your work in a planner. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have several planners that I use. One is to keep track of bills. Another is to keep track of the kids and my husband and I’s schedules and one is for my work assignments.
- Set hours. I try to work as much as possible when the kids are at school so when they are home, I don’t have to. This isn’t easy during the summer, so I have to be more creative and flexible with my schedule. It doesn’t always work out the way I would like, but I try my hardest. Luckily for me, I have a husband who understands that my schedule can sometimes change, so he is there to help out with the kids more if I have to do something work-related at night. I don’t know what I would do without him.
- Play motivating music. Seriously, I have a playlist made up of music that motivates me and keeps me working. Songs that I can chair dance to. It’s fun and it helps you get the movement you need to avoid those neck and back issues I already spoke of.
Do you have any other tips about working from home that you would like to share or any questions that you would like answered? Please leave a comment below.
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