The Downsides to Working from Home
This is the stuff that nobody seems to talk about.
I see so many posts, videos and blogs about the "amazing world" of working from home. Everyone is always so happy, so aesthetic and blessed to be in this position.
Honestly, it makes you think that working from home is 10x better than working outside the home...in every way.
Don't get me wrong here.
I love what I do, but there are times when working from home has its downsides.
This is stuff that I learned the hard way and it was really hard for me. Sometimes it still is.
Right now, I'm going through a transition from being a full time VA to being a full time VA/mentor/team leader.
I have loved this journey, but I have been SUPER neglecting myself in the process.
I didn't really notice it until two days ago when I looked in the mirror and came to the realization that I hadn't brushed my hair in three days...
Honestly, there's quite a bit of things that I've been neglecting lately because I've been so caught up in work, the move and keeping my clients happy.
I have been neglecting myself by not brushing my hair, not dressing in a way that makes me feel good about myself, keeping my space clean, eating right and spending time on my hobbies.
I've noticed that a lot of people who work from home do this. It becomes a new challenge when your "work place" and your "rest place" are the same place! It becomes harder to differentiate and make time for rest that isn't just passing out on your bed after scrolling through Tiktok for an hour.
So, here are some things that I decided to start doing to help me get back to being...me.
#1 STARTING MY DAY WITHOUT MY PHONE.
This has been SUPER tough because I work online. I'm also in a position where when I sleep, my clients are awake. However, I noticed that I was starting to check my phone and work as soon as I woke up. I was reading messages, handling things and getting worked up before I had even gotten dressed. I was giving myself no time to dictate my mood, my morning or even eat before getting started with my work day. This made it so that my day was decided by my clients and anyone else who sent me a message the night before.
Instead, I have been snoozing all my work group chats when I go to bed for at least an hour after I wake up. The one exception are my personal VA's/team who really only message me when it's SUPER important.
It's made my morning so much more peaceful and happy. I highly recommend it.
#2 I HAVE GIVEN MYSELF A REWARD EACH DAY AFTER WORK.
I have been trying to stop working by 5pm or 6pm Monday-Friday. It's pretty hard when most of my clients aren't waking up until about 4pm (in some cases 10pm) my time! What I've noticed is that I work better when I have something to look forward to.
Lately that something has been watching a new episode of Loki on Disney+, playing Stardew Valley with my fiancé or a long hot shower.
I tell myself that I cannot do it unless I get my things done and that I will do it at 6pm. It makes sure that I'm productive throughout the day AND I have a real reason to sign off at 6pm which has helped me A LOT.
#3 I HAVE ADDED EVERYTHING TO CLICKUP
I know that some people really hate Clickup and I'll be honest...I used to hate it too. That was until I started personalizing it and not using it conventionally. Most people use it as a big to-do list. Everything has a due date and so they are constantly going in to complete 20+ tasks a day. Sometimes they do something but forget to update it and then it becomes tedious.
So, what I started doing was keeping things that I already remember to do in there but not putting a due date. This helped me remember that I need to do it and made it so that if I need time off...there are instructions in place. However, I put due dates on one-off tasks that are randomly assigned to me. I also started adding things from my personal life so that my schedule and to-do list reflects my priorities.
I noticed that if I filled up my Clickup with only business that my day turned into only business. That was all I remembered to do and all that I seemed to have time for. However, if I put in personal things, then I would magically have more time and be able to do them.
I started putting it ALL in there.
doing my morning routine
doing my nighttime routine
eating LUNCH!! (because yes I would forget)
going live in my groups
engaging on my own social media
I KNOW IT SEEMS SILLY.
Some of these things might seems silly, but I find that its better to make your systems work for YOU and not worry about if they work for others. I personally was working so much that I wasn't doing my routines anymore. I was taking quick showers when I remembered to. I was skipping lunch because there was just so much to do. I was doing last minute lives because I totally forgot about them.
The thing is that everybody has the same 24 hours and I had been doing these things before. I just forgot that they were my priorities.
I think that working from home means that you really need to sit down and figure out how to take control. You need to take control of your life and your schedule. You are in such a unique position where you can decide everything...and sometimes that is what is so scary about it.
Many of us build schedules that we'll never stick to because we fail to add in the non-negotiable life events....we fail to let our schedules reflect our priorities. Instead we use schedules as a way to make us do what we NEED to do and forget what we want.
I WANT to play a game with my fiancé.
I WANT to have dinner with my family every night.
I WANT to finish unpacking.
All those things are wants so we have been trained to see them as second to everything that needs to be done. What we fail to remember is that if we never let ourselves have anything that we want...we will burn out. We will eventually give in to all the wants and neglect all that needs to be done.
We have to learn that our work is not our life and our life needs to be in our schedules too.