Following on from my last post on Creativity, Productivity and the Voice Inside, I wanted to share a little more about working from home and the effect that has had on me as a person and the knock-on effect that has on the blog and podcast.
I know what your thinking, working from home is great. You’re on your own time, run your own calendar and in charge. For the most part, this is true but no one talks about how you compensate when you work from home. You compensate by taking on a longer, larger workload to find that feeling of accomplishment. You compensate by taking less and less time off for you which quickly leads to burnout. You compensate by saying ‘yes’ to lots of things to feel like you are still connected to that world outside.
For the last little while, I have been very open about being a little lost and overwhelmed by the amount of work and opportunities that have come my way. Although I am delighted and want to do everything, in reality, I can’t. I’m working 7 days a week at the moment with no scheduled family time or downtime. There isn’t a day in the week where I don’t turn on my laptop and write or schedule something. In the days I work lunch cover I’m usually up early and scheduling something before leaving to go squish some yarn.
This is the downside of working from home. That lack of day to day interaction with business counterparts, I mean you real life human beings, face to face, has an effect on my personality as well. It gets harder and harder to be light hearted and write/podcast when all you can see are deadlines and no one to chat with. Yes, social media can help for a quick fix, or slack groups or comments but sometimes it would be really nice just to see a friendly face for a coffee and not to have to deal with a cranky toddler who needs something else from me.
It’s easy to lose sight of original goals because there is no one else to rail you in and say “Well what did you want to achieve originally?” Yes, you can set aside overview sessions once a month but really who has the time? I mean, I can barely find the time to change out of my pj’s between mommy duties, social media, writing, cooking and all the other things that have been creeping into my daily life. I’ve been following Martine Ellis’s blog and podcast and I do recommend that any of you who are in a similar position head on over and check her out. Her community is open and friendly and her blog/podcast deal with many of these issues along with productivity and business hints and tips.
In my day to day life, I’m lucky to get to chat with a few people, to check in with how things are going and what’s needed from me. This is fantastic for forcing me to draw up a schedule even when I don’t feel like it and it helps to dispel those down days when all I want to do is knit and stuff my face with chocolate. I don’t even remember the last time I did that! In this type of lifestyle, a business buddy is your lifeline, in my opinion, everyone should have a personal go to buddy to hold you accountable for your targets and goals. To make fun of you for being too serious or to give you feedback on your latest ideas etc.
Chatting to a lot of the people I collaborate with, who also mostly work from home, they are also struggling. I think it’s perfectly fine to have down periods because how do you know when something is truly fantastic if you have never been lost and unmotivated? It’s at these times that usually out of nowhere, I come up with something that inspires me so strongly that I fight the urge never to record or write again.
So, for April, I’m going to be taking the time to reflect on what I truly wanted to do and where best to spend my time. Why not join me in taking a few steps back from all those monthly posts and targets and have a simpler, happier April. Let me know your project goals/ aims below and hopefully, we can all get through these down times together.