I started working from home back in 2015 when I transitioned from my corporate design job to running Ashley Shelly and freelancing in the design industry full time. I’ve learned a lot since then and today I’m sharing what I really do and some tips from my experience over the past 5 years!
Considering the current virus situation around the world, many people are working from home who don’t normally, so I want to start with some tips for that.
- Plan your week ahead on Sunday evenings if you can. Getting a clear view of everything you want to accomplish is so helpful.
- Check in each evening with your planner and make adjustments as needed for the rest of the week/next day. If you didn’t get a task done, move it to the next day and start fresh.
- Set working hours. Include a lunch break as well. Stop working at the time you set for yourself and don’t feel guilty for doing so. Unless there’s something that HAS to be done, don’t extend your hours for the day. Start again tomorrow.
- Find ways to keep yourself company if you are home alone and used to chatting with a coworker. Turn on YouTube in the background, listen to a podcast or audio book for some background noise. Just make sure it’s something that won’t distract you from actually working but just makes you feel happy and content.
I’m a night owl to the max and do most of my personal tasks during the evening like cleaning, laundry, playing with my dog, spending time with my husband, etc. so my working hours are a bit different but perfect for me!
Here’s a typical day for me as a work-from-home small business owner and freelance graphic designer:
11:30AM-12:00PM – Wake up and spend time with Evie (my pup). Feed her and take care of her potty needs. Breakfast for me.
12:30PM – Make my bed and get dressed in my comfy work clothes. Usually yoga pants and a tank/tee. I don’t need to be dressed up but don’t recommend staying in pajamas. Your mind needs that mental shift of getting ready for the day.
12:45PM-3:30PM Work time
3:30PM – Lunch break and watch a YouTube show
4:00PM-6:00PM – Work time
6:00PM – Work day ends and hubby gets home from work. I catch up with him and then we make dinner together.
And that’s pretty much a normal day around here! In my work hours, I am either designing projects for my freelance clients or working on Ashley Shelly projects/marketing/social media. Each day is different but my hours stay the same and that’s what really helps keep me on track and feeling normal. I used to work super late at night and having no boundaries, especially with my clients, was a nightmare. I felt like I was always working and never let my brain turn off.
It is SO much better with healthy boundaries! I am more energized each day and happier in general this way. You just have to find what works for you. Keep in mind, I don’t have children yet, so I have way more flexibility with my hours than a Mom would have. Those days are coming, but for now, I will soak up my sleeping in as much as possible! haha
A few tips for being your own boss as a business owner:
- Stay on schedule as much as possible. It is very tempting to let things slide when no one is telling you what to do, but the panic that sets in later when you get behind is never worth it.
- In relation to #1, find what motivates you and use that to stay on track. For me, it is not allowing stress to creep up on me, because I know I don’t handle stress well. So when I make a schedule, I do my best to stick to it so each day is easy-going and not a rush.
- NO ONE is telling you what to do. This was a huge adjustment for me 5 years ago. If it’s going to happen, it’s ALL up to you. View this as a huge opportunity and not a scary thing and you’ll thrive! Also, over the years you’ll get used to that feeling and you’ll find your rhythms that work for you.
- Don’t feel like you have to be a superhero. You’re a human doing your best. Take each day on with a fresh perspective and always remember what a blessing and joy it can be to have this kind of freedom. It is one of THE biggest reasons I created my own business. Freedom of schedule. Time is precious. Work hard, play hard, nap hard, organize hard, whatever-makes-you-smile hard!
You’ve got this!