How To Stay Focused When Working From Home: A Fashion Blogger’s Work Day

Earlier this week we discussed how your space can affect your blogging creative juices, but as most independent fashion bloggers are strictly working from home, we thought we'd delve deeper into one organizes their “work” day when you never leave the house.

While many dream of working from home, for some it can actually be more difficult. Working from home can make it harder to separate “work life” and “home life.” Emails are being answered while cooking breakfast, dishes are being scrubbed in between conference calls, and sometimes you may just even spend a whole day working from bed (which isn't as fun as it may seem).

So how do you organize your work day when you never leave home?

What's the magic behind working from home? One word. Schedule.

The night before you start your work day, plan your next day. Schedule in lunch, errands, phone calls, when posts will go up, and what exactly you will working on. That way you don't waste time in the morning trying to figure out what you should start tackling. This works best if you start scheduling your Monday “to-do” list on Sunday night — that way you are always ahead.


If you build a schedule and routine, working from home can be just as efficient as working from an office. But the first step is to get out of bed.

What successful people do with their first hour awake:

What you do with your first hour awake can actually immensely effect the rest of your day. It's when you willpower is at it's greatest and when your brain is at it's freshest, and embracing this time of the day can be extremely beneficial.

  • Exercising, reading an intriguing article or text, listening to music, and eating well can all boost your brain power first thing. Find what you enjoy doing the most and schedule it into your routine every morning. This will start your morning off on a “happy” foot.
  • Don't check your email in the first hour. If something is “urgent” someone will call you. And unless you are emergency surgeon, most careers don't require a 24-hour on-call attention. Instead, set time aside mid-morning to take of emails when it's not interrupting your work flow, schedule it in to your work day like you would a meeting. It's unreasonable for others to expect email replies during off-hours, plus you want to have full focus when writing back to others (as opposed to being in line at the supermarket or crossing the street).
  • Eat a frog for breakfast. Mark Twain once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” After you have your bit of fun to get you pumped up (see above), then pick your frog — that one terrible weighty thing you have to get through — and do it first. Say, for example, graphic design is most tedious for you, make sure to do it first. The rest of the day's challenges won't look so bad and you'll be less likely to procrastinate. After your finish, set aside a mid-morning break to congratulate yourself for a job well done.

Save the household chores for “after work” hours.

Sure, there's a ton of laundry that needs to be done, you need water the garden, and oh yeah, vacuum too. Working from home leaves these chores as daily reminders (ones that are constantly in your line of vision). While it may be your instinct to stop your work to clean the bathroom because it's driving you crazy, you have to think of working on your blog as your “work” chores. They take priority during “work” time — household chores take priority during “home” time.

Leave your house at least once.

Working from home can be rather comfortable — maybe a little too comfortable. While sitting behind a computer screen can actually be a lot of fun for a blogger (seriously, who doesn't love getting sucked into Twitter or Pinterest), it's important to get out of the house at some point to keep a peace of mind. Whether it's simply to take a personal outfit post, to take a few photos for your Instagram, or to schedule a friendly lunch with a fellow blogger, stepping out from behind the screen is just as vital to keeping your work flow productive. If your feeling burnt out, take a walk around the block.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

A lot of people seem to think working from home is a luxury. And yes, to some extent it is. But on the flip side, sometimes working from home can cause you to work later into the night, into what would normally be “after hours” at a regular 9 to 5 job. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done in a day — sometimes you can be your own worst boss.

What are some things you do to organize your work day? Tell us!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

25 Responses

  1. Molen

    sometimes is hard to work at Home .. Is great to have a shedulle and plan your future post 🙂

  2. The Style Box

    I work from home and I have to admit that I’m generally dreadful at sticking to a schedule of any kind but if stuff needs to get done then it gets done fast. I’m so much more efficient than I ever was working in an office.
    I love being outside in the sunshine too so I’ll often go for a walk in the afternoons and then work until late at night to make up for it. Having an iPhone makes this really easy because any urgent emails can be answered on the go.
    I love the schedule you’ve suggested though and you’re spot on with keeping the household chores for ‘home time’.

  3. Jennie

    Again a great article Chelsea. I am not a full time blogger even though I have 2 blogs that I edit 3 times a week. It is so hard to stick to a schedule when you’re home. The distractions are numerous! However that is true that I can get lonely at home and I need to get out to freshen up my mind. I would love to interact with other bloggers in real life for once. If anyone is interested in chatting about blogging with a French New Yorker, feel free to contact me! 🙂

  4. Toni Styles

    Yes, working from home can come with its many challenges. My advice is to work as much as you can outside of your home – try different Cafe’s, meet with other bloggers, etc. Have fun – remain disciplined but take it easy! Something I need to remind myself often. Cool post! <3

  5. daria

    great tips! I always plan my day (even week) ahead, work-wise, by writing things down. and I usually do the boring/unpleasant tasks first, to get rid of them, cause I’d rather work late on something I like than on something I hate. But I do get distracted by chores and not get out of the house as much as I should… The cool part is that I can take the morning off if I want, and just work a different “shift” of my choice!

  6. Irina Bezdezhsky

    great post, such an important topic!!!
    I too have trouble staying on schedule because things come up and its hard to prioritize them, especially when you are working from home. Than I kick myself at night that I didn’t stick to my plan and didn’t get things done in one day. Unfortunately there’s only 24 hrs in a day and only two hands. Thank you for the reminder about being my own worst boss 🙂
    Also like the tip about leaving your emails alone in the morning. I think I’ll start doing that!

  7. Lisa // Elembee

    Love these tips! I would also add that it’s important to have separate areas for work and play as much as possible. When I’m at my desk, I’m working. If it’s time to take a break, I leave my desk. My bedroom is off-limits to anything not work-related so I know when I’m in there, it’s time to relax.

  8. Wil Harris

    This article has been bookmarked, thanks Chelsea! Sometimes working from home, I get so distracted with other things but having a schedule makes things run more smoothly.
    Another great tip is to get dressed like you’re going to work. I get it, the best part of working from home is staying in your PJs but this can also mess up your productivity. PJs=sleep. Getting dolled up gives you a pep in your step and it might give you some inspiration for a blog post. Dress the part to be the part!

  9. Oceana

    Good article. Some really great points were made. I think the first hour of the day is critical and the suggestions resonated. That said, am I the only one who found this infographic to be a complete fantasy? I don’t even think I want that blogger’s schedule.

    Seriously, I would be dead in the water if I didn’t get to my email and social media until after lunch. The posting is one thing, but I find that the engagement is what creates the relationships with your audience and other bloggers and that drives traffic.

    Maybe it’s because I’m relatively new at this but my schedule is not nearly as leisurely. Once I get to my computer, I’m speed- walking until dinner, and then at least once a week I’m going out after dinner to a business event – a fashion show, trunk show, opening, speaker, etc. all for the sake of the story and/or networking. I love it! I worked at least this hard in my corporate job and it wasn’t nearly as fun.

  10. Bree

    Interesting post, I write after I get home from work so I have to keep a pretty set schedule otherwise my blog will go stale for a few days. It’s definitely hard to write after work but I can almost see it being more difficult to stay on task when you have your whole day free!

  11. David Venter

    I found working from home to be more challenging than when I had a 9-5 office job. Working from home requires a lot more self discipline and dedication than a “regular job”. But once you’ve got your self discipline issues sorted out, and mastered your daily planning you’ll find being a full time work-from-home blogger to be the most rewarding profession. Follow the tips from the article above and you’ll be good to go. Just my two cents. Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

  12. Mishka

    This article is totally on-point, especially with the need for a good (preferably raw-food based) start to the day, a walk around the block to avoid burn out, and avoidance of nagging house hold chores during your “work” time. Good reminders!

    I hiiiiiiighly recommend a green smoothie (spinach, bananas, fresh ginger, berries, maca powder) in the morning for energy that sustains itself a lot better than a few hours of coffee-high, coupled with a walk and some morning productivity affirmations.

  13. HauteFrugalista

    This article is great but its only geared towards single bloggers. what about those mom bloggers? Im in my mid 20s with 2 children, a blog, an online column and I write for different mags. I also style photo shoots and plan events. A schedule? More like an insane hectic life! once you have to add making breakfast, lunch and dinner so children dont starve to death, do laundry or wash baby bottles, pick up kids from school, take care of a newborn, do homowork with the kids and on top try to actually spend quality time with them.
    Blogging and writing moves to like 12pm till 3am!! I think its important to have a schedule but its realistically impossible to stick to one or have one as organized as that one when life has so many things around it.
    I would love to see more articles here that actually approach bloggers that have more things to do than just outfit posts and twitter. Some work full time and sometimes help their families.
    Dee Trillo

  14. The Glamorous Housewife

    I had to laugh at the schedule because 1 pm is the WORST time of day to take photos if you are outside, as most fashion bloggers are. Great satire!

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  15. Fete du Juliet

    This I such a great post! Most people don’t realize how much work goes behind running a blog. I run 3! It’s important to get out of the house that’s why I love the Writer’s Retreat Travel Guides. They’re travel guides for writers and bloggers! The best cafes to write and find inspiration in New York & Los Angeles. Working from one in NYC today : )

  16. Shannyn

    I blog and freelance from home and the best thing I ever did was add two bits of advice you mentioned: Do something brain boosting in the morning (I run now, started this summer) and avoid the email trap that can make you feel lost at sea if you don’t have a plan… the second thing is to get out. I agree- working from home is awesome, but you end up looking at the clock and it’s 7pm…you feel the pressure or the pull to work non-stop.

    Just this week, I had to tell myself “It’s okay to turn the computer off at 5pm. Normally people transition from work to home at this time, you’re not a slacker if you need to cook dinner and enjoy it.” Sometimes a kick in the tush and a swift reminder is what we need!

  17. Fashion-isha

    I loved this post. The schedule at the top is kind of what my day looks like. But I still have yet to make a substantial amount of money on my blog! Help..I need to get some advertisers and brands to work with!

  18. Amy

    I just start being a fashion blogger, it’s more difficult that i thought i would be, but i really organize my self with a schedule and try to work-wise. I use a lot my iPad to organize and work out of my house. If you want to talk or share ideas contact me @WhistlesLoudly
    Thnxs for your Post!!

  19. Yazmina from Girl with a Banjo

    I totally loved this post. You gave me such a smart idea! You see, sometimes you need others to tell you super obvious things. Maybe you’re far too busy to realize you gotta change your habits… Swoon.
    I work from home and it’s both awesome and super boring. But the worst thing is that, at the end of the day, I realize I haven’t done much: I haven’t studied any languages, I haven’t worked out, I haven’t gone out shopping, I haven’t cleaned the house… So what the hell have I been doing for the rest of the day?!
    So from this week I have decided that I am going to organize my day in “hour units”. I hope it works out well!!
    Yazmina from the Girl with a Banjo blog

  20. Ren

    I’m no full-time blogger, but this article interested me in giving insights as to how a full-time blogger operates. Like The Glamorous Housewife mentioned, I gave a chuckle at photographing at 1pm; unless it’s perpetually cloudy, it’s the worst time to attempt shots! XD

    Ren //