Since I received my national insurance number in the post I’ve always wanted to earn money. To me, money gives you that little bit of extra freedom because, other than essential bills and expenses, you can spend it on what you want. But as soon as I got my very first retail job, all I wanted was a day off. Then came the admin work, and I quickly found myself longing to be one of the people that work for themselves, or, in the very least, someone who was able to work from home.
Working from home used to be something that only the most senior of people could do – the ones that would also be able to fly to any and everywhere they liked because their payslip has so many zeros they didn’t have to worry about cost. But you know what working from home is bloody hard. I did it a couple of times in my last job and, whilst my MacBook (touch wood) is running amazingly, it was insanely hard to do what I needed to on a 13.3 inch screen… and just one of them at that. The thing is, where working from home used to be a dream, it is now becoming more and more of a reality with companies asking seeking freelancers and remote workers.
I’ve just past month two of official unemployment, and finally think I’ve found my stride in terms of actually getting things done blogging-wise. Ask anyone and they can tell you I’m a massive procrastinator, but now that I don’t have to get up at 7am to get home at 7pm I really don’t have an excuse to be because I’m technicallyyy working from home. So if, like me, you make a whole load of excuses, procrastinate or unnecessarily faff around here are four simple things that I’ve found have helped me to actually get things done.
It’s an obvious one right? Making a list is one thing, but actually being able to say I had xyz to do and I’ve actually done them is another altogether. I’m so guilty of setting myself things to do and doing one of them and about five other things that were no where near as important.
PRE-PLAN YOUR DAY AND MAKE IT A ROUTINE
For me transitioning from working 9-5 with a commute either side to working on my blog full-time from home was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve done this year, but only because I’m the type of person who needs routine or I tend to end up in a lull. I’ve found that roughly planning out my day and setting aside designated time for different things each day / week on the calendar in my iPhone and MacBook, has been so helpful in terms of staying on track with everything that I need to do in the day, but also allows me little breaks to watch a cheeky Disney movie.
HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Seriously I cannot stress how much easier things have been since actually stopping to think about what I need to make what I do that little bit easier, organised and comfortable… without wrapping up in my duvet that is.
A to-do list. Firstly I love stationery anyway but secondly because, referring to my first point, I needed to be more organised and focused and lists are imperative in that sense.
Laptop support table. On one of my casual strolls around IKEA – because we all do those – I came across a laptop support table which perfectly angles your keyboard and slightly raises your screen to eye level for a grand cost of…. £2.90! It perfectly fits my 13.3inch with room to spare.
A little notebook. Although I use the notes in my phone for absolutely everything, having a notebook small enough for your smallest bag is perfect for walking around with and scribbling as and when needed.
Penclic Optical Mouse*. It may look and sound high tech but it’s actually really easy to use and for someone who is used to using a track pad on her MacBook, not only does this make for a nice change but also a practical one. I’m right-handed but since secondary school I’ve always tended to use my left hand for the mouse so I opted for the R3 wireless mouse as it’s ambidextrous, operates on a 3-button design – left, middle and right click – and has a scroll wheel.
HAVE A SEPARATE WORK SPACE
It’s not always possible to have a separate work space, and sometimes it’s just more comfortable to working in your your pyjamas from the comfort, and warmth, of your bed. But when you’re trying to work from home having clear boundaries and spaces make it easier for you to focus and switch off.I have a desk in my room, but it’s only been in the past couple of months that I’ve decided to clear it off and use it properly. So now my bed is where I go to relax, unwind and sleep, and my desk is where I go to be productive. I’ve also been told to utilise coffee shops when I need to get out the house, away from any distractions, and still want to work. It’s not my ideal work space because I don’t like leaving my things unattended, but for a couple of hours it makes for a nice change.
If you have any more tips I’d love to hear them!