It’s 1pm and you realize you haven’t showered yet today, you’ve been wearing the same yoga pants for 3 days and you aren’t even sure you brushed your teeth. You only vaguely remember feeding the cat today (or was that yesterday?) and you forgot to eat lunch. Again.
You got up this morning, got the kids off to school and then got right down to work creating product for your next craft show. The first show is next month and you know you don’t have enough inventory to last more than one or two shows. It’s time to work hard and beef up the inventory before the season begins.
It’s crunch time.
But you also have a family, your own needs and a life. Or at least you USED to have a life. This working from home thing has kind of sucked some of the fun out of things. You don’t get out very often except for craft shows, you miss your friends and the house looks like a tornado went through, changed its’ course and came back again.
You are happy doing what you do for a living but some days it feels like your clients and customers are getting the best part of you and you and your family are stuck with whatever is leftover.
It’s a balancing act. Part sweat, blood and tears and part art-form.
Here are ways you can work from home and feel like you are LIVING an artful life for you and your family as well as your customers and clients. Little things that will make a big difference in attitudes and ……
1) Dress every morning. Lay your clothes out the night before if it helps but dress in fresh clothes every day.
2) Put some thought into your appearance. If you were working in an office you’d probably do your hair and make-up every morning. Just because it’s not LIKELY that you will be seeing one of your customers today doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good for yourself. I call it “putting my game face on”. It means I’m ready to see, be seen and tick things off that “To Do” list. And if I should get a last minute invite to lunch (or have to pick a child up from school) I’m ready to be seen. No hiding, no embarrassment.
3) Wear shoes. I have inside shoes and outside shoes. I wear my inside shoes all day long and I swear I get more done when I’m wearing shoes. I’m also more likely to stand to do my work or to sprint up the stairs (getting a tiny bit of exercise) if I’m wearing shoes. Shoes are my version of an action hero’s cape.
4) Routines. If you haven’t seen my downloadable and editable “Daily Routines” sheet you can find it in this post: The Work/Life Balance and Being Organized. Routines are those things that will keep your home from falling apart and your home from looking like an episode of Hoarders. Routines are a work from home super-power. If you always wash the towels on Tuesday you’ll never find yourself wet, cold and naked searching for a clean towel.
5) A TO DO list. As part of the same printable above there is a section for things that need to be done today. Get them done. First. And then no matter what else happens you’ll end the day knowing you got the Top 5 things done. While a day may fall completely apart before 7am, it doesn’t happen often. If you follow your To Do list most days and miss one or two here or there you will hardly notice.
6) Change of scenery. Sometimes all you need is a little time in a coffee shop to type up a blog post, to take photographs outside in beautiful weather or some time in the hammock writing up descriptions to make a little bit of your day feel like a vacation. It’s these little things that make working from home truly enjoyable.
7) Eat. Don’t skip meals, you need that energy to keep your mind focused on what needs to be done. It’s really hard to come up with a great description for a necklace you want to list online when you can’t hear yourself think over the noise your tummy is making. Having regular meal times also helps you gauge where you are in the day. Have you ever skipped lunch and then looked at the clock “a few minutes” later to realize you are late to pick the kids up again. If you eat lunch every day at 1:00pm you will know you have 2 more hours to work before you have to leave.
8) Drink. Drink plenty of WATER and take a little time in the afternoon for a cup of tea. Staying hydrated will help you think more clearly, give you energy, and give you a second to stop and breathe.
9) Create something you WANT to create every day. Whether it’s a gift tag, a page in an art journal or a few minutes working on a needle art project be sure to take time every day to create something just because you enjoy it.
10) Pick up a timer. Get a good timer and use it. Put one in every room if you have to. Set a timer and work for 1 hour and then set it again to play online for 15 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes and tidy up as much of the house as you can in that time. My kids always thought it was a fun game to see how much we could do together in 15 minutes. A timer is a great motivator for all sorts of things.
Some of the suggestions may seem overly simple but they really do work. Work one of them into your day a little at a time until they are habits. Pretty soon you’ll look up from you laptop, gaze around at your surroundings and realize that you are living your dream. And doing it quite artfully to boot!
Do you have any tips to add?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
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