My dream came true when I started working from home. Being the homebody that I am, this seemed like the perfect situation, which it is in so many respects. My schedule is flexible, I am able to be creative in the ways that work best for me, and work uninterrupted. Since I have a lot of conference calls and writing to do, my home office is an ideal environment.
That being said, I have realized that there are a few things that I must put effort into in order to keep some sort of balance and sanity.
- Face to face meetings if possible. Unless geography or circumstances don't allow it, I try to attend all local meetings in person instead of dialing in. This is a good way for me to get out of the house and change it up a bit. Not only do I enjoy talking with clients face to face, but you never know where you will find inspiration or have a chance encounter. If I can't meet in person, I prefer to use Google Hangout or FaceTime and a good speaker. My favorite is the Polycom USB Speakerphone. Worth every penny and more. There is nothing worse than poor sound quality.
- Lunch out. If you are anything like me, it is a struggle get out of the house for lunch or coffee. There is always some task to finish or one more thing to do...all of the sudden it is 4pm. While you can save money and eat healthily at home, it is good to take a break and get out. Take a walk downtown and grab a bite. You never know who you might run into or what creative ideas might come to you. Personally, I have to schedule lunch with a friend in order to make this happen. Try to do this at least once a week.
- Follow a schedule. Know what times you work best and what times you are unproductive. Plan around these times to maximize your effectiveness. For heads-down work, mornings and evenings are my best times. Based on this, I try to schedule most of my meetings for mid-day.
Finally, it is ok if working from is just not for you. Recently I have been considering an office space downtown just to have a change of pace and another place to be productive for part of the day. My one requirement is that it must be canine friendly...one of the perks of working from home.