It’s a world unto its own this working at home caper, so I’ve asked some of the most clever work-at-homers to share their best advice on how to get through the day productively. Today we have a doozey.
I have worked with the lovely Andrea Williams of Jaye Create for many, many years. From working alongside her in an office environment to being one of her first clients when she struck out on her own to become one of us crazy work-at-homers.
Andrea loves nothing more than working with fellow creatives. Her clients love her designs, because before she even puts mouse to pad, she takes the time to learn the ins and outs of their business and goals, so she can design websites and branding that work for them. Clients like The Bride’s Tree, for example!
Here Andrea shares her five simple everyday actions she practices for working at home success.
1. List. Everything
– Skype meeting with client A at 9.00am.
– Send client B website home page design mock.
– Clip toenails.
Unfortunately/fortunately (I’m not sure which), there is no one to set tasks for you when working from home, so I find that creating lists helps me to clear my mind and stay on track with my projects. I break them down into categories like ‘Work’, ‘Home’, ‘Future Andrea Jobs’ and like to make old-fashioned, hard copy lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing off jobs as you complete them. I have tried numerous digital listing apps like Teux Deux, Evernote and Wunderlist, but a note book is where it’s at for me.
2. Organise your food.
Opens fridge, sees no food, closes fridge. Walks away. Returns to fridge, opens fridge, sees no food, closes fridge. And repeat. This used to be my work-at-home ritual. It’s difficult to concentrate and remain healthy when you are not nourishing yourself properly. So now when I am feeling particularly organised, I like to have a cook up on Sunday afternoon of foods that I can quickly grab from the fridge during the week. My go-tos are frittatas and wholemeal banana bread.
3. Have a mental health day.
Working in a creative field, it can be difficult to maintain a level of productivity or inventiveness when you are worn out/ stressed/ lost your design mojo/ all of the above. On these days, it is a million times more sensible for me to have the day off and recharge, than it is to push through and produce mediocre work. Let yourself have the arvo or day off if you need it.
4. Establish good processes.
When you’re a one man/lady band, time is of the essence. I think learning to stream line your processes early can be a real time saver. For example. I like, nay, I LOVE Wave Apps for my invoicing and quoting. I use Microsoft Entourage for sorting emails, Dropbox for file sharing and Pinterest boards for inspiration. I have my rates and terms and conditions designed and ready to go in pdfs for quick email responses and a template for a project planner to help manage my design jobs.
5. Treat Yourself.
I am at home…a lot. I work here, eat here, sleep here, play here. I think it’s important to like the space that surrounds you. If you want to buy a fancy pants desk or new rug, I say buy it!! If you don’t treat yourself to a nice work environment, who will?! And treat yourself to the luxuries that attracted you to working for yourself in the first place. You want sleep in and then watch an episode of Offspring in the middle of the day? Knock yourself out. As long as you are getting your work done and you are happy with your work/life balance, then why bloomin not?