Business

The pros and cons of working from home

So what do people who work from home REALLY do during the day? I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I’m making out and I have to admit a few things have surprised me.

One is the number of people who have asked me how I am enjoying ‘retirement’…including my Mom. On my first day of self-employment, she pointed out “I guess you don’t have anything to get up for now that you’re retired, huh?”

Even when I gently correct people by saying “I’m still working, just from home,” they tend to smile knowingly and nod. As in “yeah, sure you are…”

Also, when researching working from home, I found out that one of the pitfalls is supposedly a danger of overworking. If your workplace and home are one and the same, you run the risk of working TOO much.

Well, I know myself pretty well and never dreamed this would be my problem. In fact, Jeff and the girls both suspected I’d be taking a daily nap because I love naps on weekends so much! How would I be able to resist? And I have never skipped a lunch break. Lunch and breaks are both way too important to me.

However, without the daily interruptions that come with working in an office environment, I have found I am able to get extremely focused on whatever task I’m working on. So much so that today, for instance, I’ve been sitting for nine hours and not had a break.

To clarify, I ran downstairs to throw in a load of laundry (if that constitutes a break) and I opened the pantry to grab a granola bar. But the rest of the time, I’ve been:

  • Writing and responding to emails
  • Lining up all the articles/photos/captions for tomorrow’s magazine deadline
  • Writing and/or revising a few more articles for the same deadline
  • Obtaining quotes from video companies for a potential client, which led to a conference call with one company
  • Finishing up a proposal for the same potential client
  • Writing and issuing a news release for another client, then realizing I sent it with the wrong heading (sigh)
  • Uploading the news release to the client’s website and Facebook page
  • Writing this blog post.

IMG_4283But guess what? It’s ok. Because yesterday I worked until noon, went for a massage, wandered around a garden center for two hours, bought some plants, brought them home, planted and watered them, ate dinner, and went kayaking.

It’s all about balance.

Granted, I’m in a perfect position right now. I am not an employee who has to worry about the boss thinking I’m slacking off, or a new business owner scrambling to find enough clients to pay the bills.

I allowed my business to gradually grow over time to a place where I felt comfortable leaving full-time employment, and over the years I learned to be self-motivated.

IMG_4279
Today’s view…

At the same time, I’m only in my third week of being on my own, and I am well aware that things could change very quickly. For instance, my main client operates on a shoestring budget and could decide at any time they don’t need my services anymore. But that is motivating in itself – I have to make sure I do exceptional work so when the s*** hits the fan it’s not me on the chopping block!

Staying motivated is also easy since I am doing work I enjoy (not what someone else tells me to do) while wearing comfortable clothes (shorts and a tank top), with the freedom to choose when and where I  work (earlier in the week I was in my home office, yesterday was on the deck, and today I’m at the dining room table.)

In fact, Monday morning of the long weekend there I was at 4:00 am writing an article on the living room couch. (That’s another unexpected ‘con’ of working from home – if you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work, it’s all too easy to go into your home office and work until all hours…even if it’s a holiday.)

But tomorrow is Friday, and I have a few pots yet to fill, so I’ll likely punch out early and head back to the garden center. Then I may even take a nap.

6 thoughts on “The pros and cons of working from home”

  1. I love your view!! You are an inspiration! Make each day the best it can be. Take time for yourself and love life 💕

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  2. I’m so proud of you Lynne, life is short and balance is important. It is wonderful when a person can do what you truly love and are good at it. It sounds like you got this all under your belt and hope all the success in the world for you, you have worked hard to get to this point, enjoy.

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    1. Thank you so much Donna, that means a lot to me! As you know I’ve been talking about this for awhile, but fear was definitely holding me back. I am so happy to have finally made it to this point and it’s going so well. I have worked hard but I am also really lucky to have this opportunity! See you soon my friend.

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