10 Tips For Working From Home

I've been working from home now for almost 2 and a half months and am so happy with how everything has been going! I remember the day I was still working in an office in Korea Town, Los Angeles freaking out about giving my two weeks notice. I thought, 'am I really ready?' I was and I'm sure if you're currently working from home or have thought about working from home, that thought might have crept up. In this blog post, I'll give my top 10 tips for working from home as well as the steps I took before quitting my full-time office job.

1. Plan - When I realized I wanted to quit my office job, I knew I needed to start planning my exit. It wasn't just the 'I'm tired of doing this job' thought. I knew there was something else I wanted to do and needed the support to go for it.

I'm a Youtuber and have been making videos for my main channel consistently for over 4 years now. As you might know, Youtubers make money creating videos and working with brands. After years of experience, I started planning out how much money I would need to make each month if I did quit my full time job. I started saving from my Youtube earnings to create a cushion for when Youtube and blogging would be my only job instead of my other full-time job. I told my husband, Kyle what I was thinking and he supported my decision. I also spoke with friends and family and received support from them as well. Once I put a few months of savings away, I planned a date to give my boss a two week notice. If you guys would like a separate post on that, I would love to make one! I felt that a lot of worry and stress went into giving a notice but it turned out fine and I now think, why was I so worried about that before?

2. Schedule - Let's jump ahead to your first day working from home. Even before I quit working in an office, I made a schedule for my Monday through Friday. I actually planned to work Tuesday through Saturday and take Sunday and Monday off but changed my mind. 
That's one major pro for working from home, you pick which days you work and how long you'll work. After working my new schedule for about 3 weeks, I realized I needed to make some adjustments. As a blogger, taking off Mondays is kind of a set back for your posts. Most people who work office related jobs will scroll through the internet on the job and check their social media pages, Youtube and other favorite sites. Making posts on Mondays gained views and new followers. 
Before changing my schedule, I realized my planning was too strict. The time frame for when to do things is helpful, but you don't have to stick to it everyday or feel bad if you end up doing something else. There needs to be balance. Don't over work yourself but don't fall into Netflix Neverland for hours either. Having a loose schedule is helpful for me. On certain days I'll fill out my spreadsheets that keep track of the various jobs I have for the month. I'll also go through invoices and more of the 'business side' of what I do. Other days I'll dedicate to filming, editing, taking photos for my blog and social media. Other days I'll focus on reaching out to brands I'd like to work with or channels to collaborate with. The list goes on but just make it something achievable and right for you. 

3. Start Your Day At the Same Time Everyday - It feels great to get up, make some coffee and get ready for the day. I've also had days where I've slept in, stayed in my pajamas and moved my laptop to my bed to check emails, edit, etc. Those are my least productive days. It's like I've stayed in this weird zombie-like funk for a day and haven't functioned as I normally would if I just got out of bed and woke up. Seize the day - get up, make your bed so you're not as tempted to fall back in it and start your work day. To help me wake up, I like working out first thing, walking the dog or taking a shower. Getting into this cycle has helped me be more productive and feel good about the rest of my day.

4. Take Breaks - I get into the 'I have to get everything I've ever thought of doing done today' mode and end up feeling sick by the end of the day. Headaches, sore muscles - yes I'm just sitting there craning my neck, back or getting weird spasms in my right hand from editing without a mouse. Get up and walk away from your computer/work station. Giving myself a few minutes away from my work area really helps boost my mood and I come back feeling like I can take on the world. I'll walk the dog, read a few chapters of a book, drink my coffee outside on our patio. Doing this re-charges me and helps clear my head. I usually take a few of these breaks whenever I feel like it. Since I do what I love, sometimes I forget it is work. But it'll be there when I get back from my break, so take 'er easy.

5. Stay Focused - Sometimes I'll start a cleaning spree in our apartment and think, 'OH SHIT! I SHOULD BE EDITING!' Yeah... house chores, save them for later or if you want to take a break and do them, fine but give yourself a time limit when you'll come back to your actual work. I've also had days when I'll want to cook a huge lunch or whatever but then later wished I hadn't. Really, when you work from home you are your own boss so if you want to do those things go for it. I like spending my evening hanging out with Kyle when he gets home from work instead of editing throughout the night because I got distracted. Again, it's your schedule but you have to prioritize your time. 

6. Keep Track Of Your Payments - This was a headache for me when I first started. As a blogger/Youtuber, I'm constantly working with different brands every week and it was hard to keep track of. My husband actually made a spreadsheet for me to schedule all of the various brands I work with each month; when I need to upload a certain video for them, which brand it's for and when I should expect to get paid. I'll go through this at least once a week. Sometimes, I'll have to email certain people I've worked with just to check on the payments. This is the uncomfortable part for me but it's also something that has to get done. One of my friends who's also a Youtuber has suggested to send an unlisted link to the brand and making the video/blog post live only after getting paid for it. That way, it's not a hassle.

7. Get Out of the House - Coffee shops, libraries, parks - awesome! If you need to change your surroundings, do it. I've even taken my laptop and planner outside on my balcony and worked there for a few hours in the morning. Why not? The weather is gorgeous and it feels like I'm just hanging out outside... even though I am getting work done =)

8. Socialize After Your Working Hours - Make a habit to have a set time in the day that you accomplish your work. Any personal phone calls or hangouts with friends can wait. This goes again with your scheduling preference but you need to have 'work hours.' I've needed to set my own boundaries with my time because what I do does take up so much of it. Editing videos itself is something I've gotten faster at but it still takes several hours to make a single video and that video is not created out of thin air or under an hour.. it really does take hours to make, and that's just one video. Adding info to the video after it's uploaded (description bar, tags, creating a thumbnail, researching SEO, sharing the video to social media pages, emailing brands you worked with on the video) blog posts, social media posts, emails, phone appointments with brands, etc. I like to handle it all during 'normal' business hours. Whatever you do at your job at home, I'm sure takes plenty of time and you have to guard that time.

9. Create a Sweet Work Space - I've been using my desk and our small kitchen table to multitask. When I'm at the table or my desk, I go into 'work mode' and kind of zone out getting things done. It kind of reminds me how my husband is when he's writing music, he just keeps going and doesn't stop until he's satisfied with what he's been working on. Having a separate space to work in, there's something about it that just feels like, yeah, I'm getting things done. When I leave that space, it's either for a break or because I'm finished with my work day. I'm not really doing anything else at my desk unless it's work. If I'm at the kitchen table, I'm probably snacking while editing photos or creating blog posts. I've also been on the lookout for different screen savers and wallpapers for my laptop and computer. It's nice to change it up - I've been thinking of placing something inspirational on my wall above my computer too but haven't found the right thing yet. Maybe a dream board? =) BTW no, that picture is not my desk, I pulled it from the net - shame. But I am planning to show off my desk organization soon *throws glitter in the air* When your work space is de-cluttered and attractive, it's like a breath of fresh air. Ah

10. Don't Get Discouraged - I've had my ups and downs from working at home and it's mostly been a very positive experience. The only time I've been bummed out about it is when I'm over-thinking everything and trying to cram a ton of work in over the course of 12-14 hours. I really do enjoy what I do but I've realized to create balance with work and my personal life and whatever I didn't finish can wait 'til the next day. I think sometimes I'll put too much pressure on myself and then get upset when the outcome isn't what I expected or hoped. 
Don't get discouraged if things don't go exactly as you planned them to. Don't beat yourself up if you're getting used to your new routine and have to make some adjustments. Be nice to yourself and look ahead. Again, I've only just started working from home almost 3 months ago and it's gone better than I ever expected it to. So, here's to the next few months and many more! 

Do you guys work from home or are thinking of transitioning into freelance? Let me know in the comments and if this post helped!

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