Just like any longterm relationship, working from home requires a bit of a maintenance in order to stay sane, motivated, inspired and generally feeling the love for your office-come-haven. For me, life has become so busy lately that I relish those rare days solely spent working on my own in my happy place. However I still have times when I get to the end of the week feeling a bit stale… After the great response Homework Truths got, I thought it was time to share some more tips for creating a great working space at home as well as walking you through a typical working day for me.
- Don’t leave the washing up till morning. You will never want to get out of bed in the morning and sit at a table to work like a normal person if there are congealed dishes waiting for you in the kitchen.
- Buy flowers (I have a great cheap florist round the corner that I go to weekly), light candles and tidy away unneeded crap. Anything to make sitting in the same space 24-7 more appealing.
- Don’t feel tied to your desk. If you want to edit images on the sofa or in the garden, do it and don’t feel guilty, that’s the main perk of being your own boss. Although I draw the line at all-day bed working.
- Invest in your kit. Yes it can feel daunting dropping multiple £££s on technology when you’re first starting out but you’re effectively investing in your business and it’s all tax deductable once you’re registered as self-employed. HP & Intel recently sent me this HP Stream x360 with Intel Inside® (half laptop, half tablet) to play around with and it’s amazing how much of a difference it’s made to my daily routine having two screens on the go. Plus, it’s super portable so perfect for train journeys, weekend getaways and taking in my bag to meetings. Cameras, printers, scanners and applications all help to make life easier and content better.
- Set aside time for life admin. When you’re a creative it’s tempting to focus solely on the fun stuff and neglect the boring but totally necessary chores, whether that’s doing your accounts, sending invoices or just popping to the post-office. Schedule in a couple of hours of admin every week to save from having a freak out at the end of the month.
If I don’t have a breakfast meeting, I normally ease myself into the day by checking emails and blog posts in bed. I check things have gone live properly and reply to anything immediately urgent while having tea in bed. While I’m sure I should be jumping straight up and into the shower, spending an hour first thing like this always helps me remember how lucky I am to be my own boss and work from the comfort of my own home.
My work space is always a bit of a mess but I like to think of it as organised chaos… I’m ironically old school when it comes to list making and reminders, relying on notebooks and post-its to keep me on top of things. My laptop is always nearby even if I’m doing something else… If I’m shooting flat lays or just tidying up, I normally plays something on Youtube, Netflix or Amazon Prime while I’m at it to keep me company. Yep, when you work on your own TV becomes ‘company’ (gulp).
One thing that’s super important is to stay inspired, which can be difficult when your weeks become one long meeting…. I always try and get on Pinterest, Tumblr, fellow blogs and flick through favourite magazines in the evenings when I’m at home. I’ve touched on this before here, but its a great way to keep your taste refined and ideas fresh. That’s why I’ll always love inspiration posts too. They’re as much for me as for you guys as I love getting excited for trips or just having an aesthetic refresh with a whole bunch of images. The HP Stream x360 comes with 1TB (I don’t know what that is but apparently it is a lot) of cloud storage so there’s no end of dragging to desktop and backing up to be done too….
I also just got back from the RewardStyle conference in Dallas which was super amazing. It’s not just about making money either; when you work for yourself its so nice to meet other people doing what you do, swapping stories, tips and generally coming to the realisation you’re not alone in your chosen industry. If you’re self-employed I would highly recommend going to the odd talk or conference to connect with others. Whether that’s the Vogue Festival or an It’s Nice That panel discussion, it’s a great way to get an extra kick of motivation.
What are your essentials for keeping happy at work? Let’s share away and keep each other going….