If you find your kitchen table doubling as a work desk, your hallway closet as a home office (hello tiny 1-bedroom apartment life), and endless amounts of Friends reruns playing in the background to keep yourself company, then you’re probably a fellow entrepreneur working from home like myself.
It’s easy to idealize the idea of working from home but let me tell you, it takes work to make it work! Before quitting my 9-5 job, I definitely saw working from home as this magical life to attain. And there are definitely aspects that I absolutely love but I think it requires some structure to make it work. The biggest word of advice I can give to fellow entrepreneurs is to create a routine and stick to it! Without a routine, the days all start to blend together and you’ll find yourself taking every day as a “personal day” and binge-watching all the Netflix shows.
I thought I would share my own routine should anyone be looking for some inspiration to stay productive while working from home. Let me preface this by saying that I definitely do not always stick to this as there are days when that snooze button just keeps going off; the temptation to stay in bed all day is oh so real when you’re not a morning person like myself.
Whenever you decide to start your day is obviously up to you. I’ve opted for the choice of not waking up at the crack of dawn and working later in the day. Without a commute to factor in, I savor any extra sleep I can get and set my alarm for 7:30-8am (ish).
I then stumble out of bed and enjoy breakfast and a cup of joe as I spend time with God reading my Bible and devotional for that day. This has been a crucial part of starting my day on the right foot and prioritizing this special time for myself with God. This was something that always got put on the back burner when I was rushing out of the house to get to my 9-5 in time and so I have loved making this more of a priority in my daily routine now. If you’re looking for a great devotional, I have loved using She Reads Truth to guide my reading plans.
My next task around 9am is tackling any email communications I might have waiting for me as well as outlining the “to-do’s” for that day. If you're able to set aside a space that's just designated for just work (be it an actual office or a corner in your apartment), I highly recommend that so you can mentally separate work from your home life (aka try not to work on the couch or bed - though some tough days do call for that).
EXERCISE + GETTING READY FOR THE DAY
Even if it’s not every day and more like every other day, I feel so much more energized when I put in the time to work out. Following this, I get ready for the day. For a lot of people, this could look like trading in the yoga pants for “real” clothes to embody the “look good, feel good” mantra but I think I actually work better when I can be comfy at the same time so I am definitely “team yoga pants” on this one if I’m not leaving the house that day.
SOLID WORK TIME
With those personal tasks as part of my routine, I’ve already checked off several “to-do’s” for the day and feel much more motivated to keep the productivity going. I set the next few hours aside for solid work time until lunch. I definitely recommend putting on your favorite music and lighting a candle to make the work fun! If you’re a neat freak like me, I love using work breaks to throw a load of laundry in the wash and tidy up my home. It’s one of the many perks of working from home!
SECOND HALF OF THE DAY
My second half of the day often begins with lunch at home (in a different spot than where I've been working) or running a few errands during this lunch hour (I love doing this at this time instead of in the evening so there are less crowds and traffic to deal with + it gets you out of the house for a bit) and then returning home to crank out work for the rest of the day. I set aside a couple days a week to spend this second half of the day at a local coffee shop. This helps me stay focused by switching up the scenery. For a $5 coffee, it gives me time to feel like I’m being social by at least being around around people! That work from home life can definitely get lonely and this is the best remedy for me to switch things up a bit.
The flexible work-life is both a perk and a negative as there are plenty of times my work continues late through the evening and weekends. But I encourage you to set up boundaries and most importantly a ROUTINE that works for you. Sticking close to the typical 9-5 life allows for a good work-life balance.
I hope this has been helpful for you if you’re needing tips for working from home or are just curious what that entrepreneur life can look like. I would love to hear any tips you might have as well!