With the exception of a coffee break or two, this weekend I was pretty much sequestered in my home studio.
The goal is to work from home full time once I start my family but unfortunately at this point in my life all of my illustration work and growth has to be done after hours and on weekends.
Working from home both excites me and makes me nervous. I like to think that having 12 hours in a day to structure exactly the way I want is as easy and satisfying as it sounds. But in my limited work from home experience I am beginning to realize how difficult it is to be in that much control of your destiny.
Take this weekend for instance. Yes I started my work Saturday morning with a nice hot cup of coffee, the greatest playlist of all time, the most comfortable stretchy pants, a cute cozy ‘im not leaving the house today’ sweater with corresponding pony tail – not to mention it was raining outside. And even with all of that – I didn’t start actually working until 5pm Saturday night.
What did I do that entire day you ask? Cleaned my desk, brewed more coffee, made my playlist even more amazing, called J to catch up and complain about not being productive, changed into a different pair of stretchy pants that were a bit more comfortable (you see, it was the first pair of stretchy pants that made it difficult to focus) and as much as I hate to admit this there were a few points during the day I just stared aimlessly at my computer.
If I wasn’t going to get to work until 5pm I could have actually enjoyed my Saturday instead of sitting at a desk all day. But I think I know where I went wrong and it has nothing to do with stretchy pants. I had convinced myself starting and ending my day at my desk was the only way to be productive and not waste time. This is just not realistic. The truth is, breaking up your day is actually the only way to stay productive and inspired. Going for a walk, meeting a friend for coffee, running an errand, even stopping to make a proper lunch for yourself are all crucial ways to keep motivated. They don’t work if you do them as ways of procrastination like I did today – they only work if you schedule these breaks in and give yourself permission to take them.
If you work from home, how do you keep motivated throughout the day?
Also, I love the research Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo compiled on life/work balance both for mom’s who work from home and mom’s who head to an office everyday. This is such a big issue for women nowadays and it is a blessing for women approaching this time in their lives to have access to the stories and experiences of women who are going through it all now.