How to Work From Home Without Becoming a TOTAL Weirdo
By: Jennine Jacob

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Everyone knows that the vast majority of bloggers work from home. Yes, even professional bloggers. There might be a select few, like, Garance Dore, who have a studio, but the majority of us are working from home, and probably unbathed.

I’ve been doing this “full-time” blogging gig since 2008 and at times in an office setting, and at times at home. My first few years working at home I made ALL the mistakes you could make, rendering me a total recluse. Seriously, I became socially inept. I went a little crazy… Like how Jack in The Shining went crazy. Ok, not that crazy. But crazy enough to be able to relate.

Over the last year, I’ve made some significant changes to my habits that helped curb my reclusive tendencies, so now I’m a little less Jack and a lot more happy.

Keep regular work hours.

Your office buddies work from 9-5. They go to work; then they leave. If you work from home, your laptop is ALWAYS there. There’s your desk. There’s also a MILLION things you have to do. Trust me, it will NEVER end (if you’re doing your job right). Create boundaries by setting regular work hours. 9-5 (or whatever) is your work day. Afterwards, you might do a little here and there because everyone has to work late now and then. But make sure you’re keeping that 9-5 most of the time.

Create a schedule for your workflow.

For years, I didn’t have a deadline schedule for when posts came out. They would just come when I had something “good enough.” Sounds nice? Not, that just ended up with me scouring the internet for content, and I had no schedule. Now, I have deadlines set for my posts in the mornings, and in the afternoons, I do content research. It helps keep my hours confined to 9-5 as well as keeping me somewhat sane.

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Create a Workspace You Love

Not everyone has enough space in their homes to have a separate office. I lived in a studio for YEARS working, sleeping, eating in this 12×12 foot square with two cats. Even now, my “office” shares a room with my son’s nursery. Having a small amount of space doesn’t mean you can’t make your workspace a place you like going to. It’s your place, make it awesome.

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Take days off. No seriously, really take days off.

The vast majority of people who work at home LOVE their jobs. They are passionate about what they do.  Sounds like you? Great! Don’t burn yourself out by never taking a day off. Sure, the internet never sleeps, but you need sleep. And you need to take breaks. We’ll be here when you get back, promise!

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Make your bed every day.

There are lots of reasons why making your bed every day is a good thing. It gives you a sense of accomplishment; it de-clutters your habitat, etc. But mostly, I make my bed because it reduces the temptation to hide under the covers.

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Organize meetings with real live people during the week.

If you spend too much time with the internet, you’ll start acting like it. Talking in LOLCAT, raging at the Kardashians, and speaking in 140 characters. The internet is a weird place, and most people don’t spend as much time as we do on it. Twitter is not your coffee break. Don’t socialize by hanging out on Facebook. Get out and meet REAL LIVE PEOPLE, else you’ll just become a weirdo, as the internet is.

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Get out of the house.

I used to spend days on end without leaving the house. When I would finally come out, it was like, WOAH! There are people out here.

Don’t do that.

Get out of the house every day. Talk to people. Do things. Walk. Exercise. Heck, even go shopping. Whatever.

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Find a cafe, or someplace to work every now and then.

If you’re finding that working from home is getting to you. You’re becoming like Jack from the Shinning… GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. No, don’t quit your job. Get out of the house and try to work someplace else now and then. Sure, the cafes are full of people on their laptops… join them. It might help you break out of your funk, and hey, you might even meet a few cool people.

What do you do to keep sane while working from home?

What do you do to keep sane while working from  home?

[Images all from The Shining... if you haven't seen it. SEE IT!]

 

 

Comments

  1. Marlena says:

    Ha ha I love this article and will forward it to a couple of my friends that work from home. I made the mistake of working for days non stop without leaving the house but it is a classic mistake! Will try and be more organised on the days I work from home from now on, thank you for the reminder!
    Marlena
    http://Www.thehighstreetdaily.com

  2. Avatar of Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    I NEEDED this article! No, seriously! Such a relief!
    After moving to Chile with mu husband I started working on my blog full-time, and shortly after literally found myself engrossed in internet world till the dawn, spending days on end without leaving, and feeling every day more weird. Though I do have an editorial calendar ( nice habit left from the fashion magazine’s period of life) and I’m stick to it! What I don’t have are regular working hours and it turns my life into a mess. Another great point is about working space -I’ ll definitely change it! But as to working somewhere else like Starbucks an e.t…No, it didn’t work out. At home it’s simply better and faster for me…

    Thanks for the post!

    xx
    http://fashionpeekaboo.com

  3. Lia S says:

    i really do need to keep up with all this advice

    http://murderonthecatwalk.com/

  4. Alicia says:

    All so true! I’ve been working from home for three years now and I still struggle with getting out of the house. I’ve recently made it a point to meet friends for lunch once a week to get me out of that inevitable hermit mode. Also, setting hours has really helped. I also make it a point to exercise at the end of my day so that I’m forced to shower and move on to something else. Great post!

  5. This is hilarious. I started blogging full time this year, and I could definitely take some of this advice!! I’ve started being more structured with my time and posts, but I should seriously get out of the house more. Twitter isn’t my coffee break, but Pinterest usually is. I like the idea of going out for coffee or lunch more.

  6. Keira Morgan says:

    Hahaha..they know us so well. I JUST started taking days off but it’s so hard. When there are constant emails coming in, it doesn’t help when people say “they will be there when you get back” yes…they will..along with 1000 more!!! (okay maybe not 1000) But i’m starting to set boundaries to clients- no emails after 7pm etc. I walk 2 hours a day too, mostly running errands for my business, but I stay fit, healthy minded and happy listening to my ipod for 2 hours! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee *cough cough

  7. I freelance and blog, but I do have a full-time corporate job. But I HAD to read this article for The Shining references alone!!! (One of my all-time favorite movies, by the way.) LMAO Great article! Thank you for writing it.

  8. Desiree says:

    I can relate to this entire article. My biggest struggle is actually leaving the house. I have 2 little people, which makes it even harder to leave. You can exactly take a toddler to the coffee shop and expect to be productive. Or liked by any of the other freelancers, for that matter. I am happy to say, I do manage to shower and make my bed every morning, before 7am.

  9. Avatar of Arzu Yonak
    Arzu Yonak says:

    I really love this, especially the reference to The Shining, because I’ve found myself feeling that way a lot! I regularly remind myself to do a lot of the things you mention, but seeing someone else talk about it was great – at least I know it’s not just me. :)

  10. Kierra says:

    I dont blog full time( almost wish I did) But it is really hard to blog AND work a 9-5. Plus Im a commutter so my days are even longer than the average worker. My coffee break and lunch break are all about twitter and blogging because its the only time I can squeeze it in. I am however far more productive when I am out of the house. I usually end up falling asleep or getting more distracted. I defiently want to try blogging at a startbucks or something! That would be perfect for me!
    http://aprettythought.org/

  11. Haha thanks for the heads up….I had a blast reading this!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

  12. Lisa says:

    I LOVE these tips!! We can so easily get caught up in the grind, and make habit of not so healthy things. It can easily become ”our life” and suddenly there is a Grey area. This is a great reminder of how NOT to do that. As always, great article. :)

    Lisa,xo

  13. Sarah Sarna says:

    Great article! I can relate, as I work from home. Found myself laughing at each recommendation – good to know I’m not the only one who finds these reminders helpful!

  14. Avatar of Nadia King
    Nadia King says:

    This is hilarious! so true! I used to work from home for 5 years, It really does make you a bit of a nutter! Another good tip is to exercise, I used to go for a run in the afternoon – it perks up your mood, breaks up your day and, most importantly, gets you outside!

  15. Oh, this is sooooo me. I’m what you call an accidental housewife/freelancer, and since we’ve moved to a new city, I rarely do any of the things suggested in this article to make me ‘less creepy’ lol… I seriously have to make a conscious effort to bathe. I take heed to one of my mother’s many old-school dictums, “once you begin to smell yourself, others have smelt you long before.” It’s a good thing I’m home alone most of the day. GREAT ARTICLE BY THE WAY. I will be sharing with my many socially inept friends.

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