Yesterday morning I woke up, rolled out of bed, and sat directly in my work chair in my pajamas. I did not move for seven hours. Holy lord, my back hurts today! Matter of fact, my massage therapist just sent me yoga moves I can do from my desk chair. Yes, they exist.
A piece of advice from the desk of the self employed: don’t spend all day in your jammies. Here are some other tips that will help you stay productive in your self-employed work day.
First off, I rarely get dressed, and although people may be jealous about that, don’t be. Staying in your pajamas all day is gross. Rolling out of bed with hair looking like a squirrel nested there, and directly sitting at your desk to start work is not good.. Forgetting to eat lunch because you are working, not listening when your spouse gets home from his day job because you brain is still working, drinking wine while working, and getting up at 3 a.m. to work, all bad habits. Having your work space in your bedroom, another not-so-great idea.
That whole last paragraph has a pattern … work, work, work. Most self-employed people really never stop working. Mind you, I’m doing well and my business is rolling along, but the sea of self sacrifice for the self employed can be dangerous waters to tread in. Habits are hard to break.
Here is my advice, and trust me, I have to work on this problem too, schedule all of the items of the work day. Write down the list of things that need to be done. Start out the day with maybe a cup of coffee, and then go for a walk. Clear your head. Meditate. I have this great app called HeadSpace … whoop, hold on, my alarm is going off!
That’s another piece of advice. Set alarms. At least twice during your work day, set alarms that remind you to get up and stretch, maybe do some desk yoga?
Back to the list, after your head is cleared, GET DRESSED. There is something to be said for dressing for work even though you aren’t leaving the house. Especially if you are meeting with clients, lol! Make sure to wear some of the clothes that have been hanging in your closet (especially to make sure they don’t get those weird hangar bumps, ha ha) because there is something to be said for dressing for success. It helps get you in the spirit of rocking this self employed gig.
Now it is time to churn out the work. Go down the list and try your best to check the items off the list (or spreadsheet, if you prefer). Don’t worry if you get sidetracked and only get a few things marked off. Let yourself off the hook, and just write it on the list again for tomorrow, but give yourself deadlines on the items that need to be done. If you don’t and you are like me, you will procrastinate, and some of the list items will live in a wormhole and never get done. That is a huge piece of advice, deadlines and intentions. Write them down, aim for them, make sure you keep focus on the tasks at hand. Bright shiny objects and dirty windows are huge distractions when working at home! Try to put the home chores at the end of your day or designate a day during the week for the home projects, but keep them out of your workday.
When 5 o’clock rolls around, end your work day. Don’t say, “just a few more minutes.” A few more minutes turn into a few more hours, and before you know it, it is ten o’clock at night! Everyone in your house is sleeping and you’ve just missed some of the most important parts of the day. I’m sure you don’t want that. Those are the best parts.
In the self-employed game, it is really important to regiment your day by making a list, setting alarms, getting dressed, churning out work, writing down and sticking to your deadlines and intentions, and last but not least, ending your work day at a reasonable hour so you can go and enjoy the best part – life!