Oh, mama. I see you and feel your obstacles/dreams/goals if you are trying to actualize your dream of “working from home”. Everyone seems to say they would love to work from home and I always hear from corporate friends (I used to work a corporate 9-5 myself) that it would be magical to be able to work from home. There are more pros than cons, in my opinion. I love that I have NO commute on most given days. I of course travel around the DFW Metroplex on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for client meetings, not to mention my weddings which mostly take place on Saturdays. I get out of my home office plenty and interact with my sweet brides constantly, so I have not run across the “getting lonely” and not having any “social time” that some say is a reality when working from home.
I remember the first few times I worked from home… I pretended that I was not at home. I had a candle lit on my desk (which was never allowed at my corporate job for good reasons). I never allowed myself to have the TV on or work from the couch. I still to this day can barely have my Christian music playing on my Alexa when I am really trying to focus or work on timeline edits etc. I love having a home office. I love that I have French doors now in my newest office setup and that I have a huge window with all the natural sunlight beaming in! When I worked in corporate America I worked in a windowless office…I do not envy those who do that and consider myself so very fortunate that I can make a phone call in peace and not have background noise I constantly have to apologize for or hold my hand over my other ear to hear my client.
Don’t get me wrong… it is hard sometimes to eat, sleep, work, clean, tend to barking dogs, packages being dropped at the front door all while your dogs think your house is being burglarized and causing a ruckus. (Why does UPS ring the doorbell every time?!) HA! But, I have tips that can help a lot!
Here are my recommendations from my personal experience for setting yourself up for success if you are thinking about or currently working from home! You got this, mama!!
1.) Have an office area you love, even if you don’t have a separate room (I literally started my office two homes ago in my living room with a desk from World Market and an old filing cabinet my husband never used. Never the couch! If you have a guest room, that is a great starting point! You don’t have guests a lot, so this is a great way to feel like you have your own office until you move up, which eventually you will! I found that I needed an office space that I enjoyed working in, one that made my creative juices flow. Spend a little time and thought on how you want to decorate it so it feels like an environment you want to kick butt in and check off that long to-do list.
2.) Treat your job like a “real” job with defined hours: I have to close the doors to my office when I am done for the day… if not I will l00% find myself sitting at my desk on my MacBook.
3.) Put on real clothes, not PJ’s (yes yoga pants count!)
4.) Have designated days off: I do not work on Tuesdays and Sundays. Period. End of story. If my family time doesn’t get attention, care, and have boundaries, I will crumble as a business and not be able to be what I need to be for my beautiful brides. I have not always had these boundaries so this is how I can tell you first hand that it is vital for me to treat my business like a business at the end of the day. I also do not take meetings out of the office on Thursday. I cannot drive around all of creation every day or I find myself not getting as much done as I need to behind the screen or in my inbox.
5. Do not allow yourself to clean while working and never sit on the couch or in bed to work (unless you're sick and then its free game.) It is called “working from home,” not cleaning your house while you think about getting work done. I have a routine to ensure I have a clean office. I have to vacuum each night and make sure I dust once a week. I make sure to clean my computer screen of fingerprints and make sure I don’t have day-old coffee sitting on my desk. I love my space and find myself not able to focus when I have papers everywhere.
I hope these tips help, mama! I truly love working from home and know you can too if you want to begin the journey or transition if this is optional for you and the season of life you are in.
Author: Jessica Scott has 3-year-old twins, Adalia Reese and Emerson Scott. She works full time from her home office when she is not out meeting with brides and sipping on her 3rd bullet coffee of the day! She launched J. Scott Events two in a half years ago and has loved getting to design and plan weddings for every type of couple! She is truly passionate about what she does.