Working from home is an interesting experience, with its fair share of perks, challenges and adventures. You ever have the compulsion to just go for a walk or drive anywhere or edit the design and tempo of your day whenever you’re inspired to? Well, you can when you work-from-home, for the most part.
Still, it isn’t glamourous and often involves other activities like sweeping, laundry, wiping down your kitchen counter and tiles, washing up plates, pots, forks and spoons, cooking your meals a couple times a day, feeding and walking your pet, clearing and tending to the garden or yard, taking out the garbage and every other household chore there is.
Pacing Housework with Business Duties
But i’ve come to appreciate those kinds of ‘homey‘ things, especially having lived at a pace where before i couldn’t ‘find the time’ or the urge to learn how to cook or tend to household duties, home-decor projects, and gardening with any kind of meaningful attention.
i used to have ‘hot feet’ – always on the road…driving from rehearsals to meetings to studio sessions to radio interviews, stopping by a cafe, passing by a boutique, swinging by the supermarket, visiting and shuttling friends around, and returning home for a bit before heading to some gig or another – while running a 24hr hr vocal studio and travelling ‘on a regular’ (sometimes weekly.) Somewhere in between this was dance class for 3 1/2hrs 4 times a week and frequent swims at the beach – but still…
living as a hostage to time always shoulder-pushes us to the next activity and the next…
As music is in the air and travel is on the horizon, the pace is sure to pick up but this season serves as a reminder to make sure quality of life is at the fore. If you’re employed and maybe are longing to start your own work-from-home business, please don’t romanticize the experience and don’t despair – you’ll find encouragement throughout this post AND some doable tips.
Sleep and i didn’t speak for a number of years and though there were many highlights, i distinctly remember getting home sometimes and wondering where the day went and how productive i had actually been in terms of generating business for the amount of energy (and gas money) spent each day.
Has that ever happened to you? You know you were on the road for what seemed like all day, and the faces you saw are a pleasant blur but somehow you can’t really account for how all that translates into the grocery bill in your hand or the rent coming up around the corner.
To the untrained onlooking eye, the glam and pace of the ‘busy’ or ‘hustle’ life can seem so dynamic and dazzling (in a few ways it feels that way) but…
Y’see, quality of life, peace of mind, wellness, serenity, refreshment and contentment en la casa? There are no substitutes for those.
And ‘busy’ doesn’t necessarily mean productive or effective.
i once dropped an artist home and as i sat in my car to wait ’til she got in the house safely, the door swung open to reveal what looked like a domestic whirlwind or stampede…like a case from a reality show. Yeah sure, it was a surprise, but more than that – it brought instant tears to my eyes to realize that someone who on the outside was so ‘successful’ and was such a sweet person was so clearly suffering on the inside. That’s not unique to her in any way; this is something i figure many, if not most of us can relate to in one season or another.
Since we’re not able to physically be in two places at the same time, it makes sense that more time out of the house translates into less attention to the inside of the house (unless you’ve hired a cleaning professional or dedicate time to housework on weekends.)
When you make the step from away-from-home job to working-from-home (if this is what you’re called to do or are preparing for) there’s an acclimatization process; at first, you may not have a sweet clue what to do, how to schedule, where to start, and how to carve out and distinguish purposeful business time from home life and siestas. Don’t be too hard on yourself; you’re certainly not the first nor will you be the last person to experience this.
Be sure you want to do it though, and if that’s the case it’s best to save all the funds you can from your present salary, without confining yourself to a corporate title.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and none of us needs to prove ourselves any kind of hero to anyone else, so another reminder – be sure.
It takes a little time to get oriented, and there are steps you can take to create a specific workspace to help the process become more clear, structured and doable.
Things i recommend (to avoid biting your fingernails down to the knuckle in tough or slow seasons):
- going (safely) for nature walks
- charity work
- stretching and gardening
- reading & online learning
- making the most of your quiet time
- being creative, learning or fine-tuning a skill
- making something
- co-working spaces in seasons
- inviting close friends over or visiting them
- church activities (for believers) and at-home worship sessions
- consider different income streams that spring from your gifts, hobbies and skills
- hosting webinars (though online, it’s interactive and still invitational)
- designating a set workspace and setting up your home office desk
- inviting joy into your home and heart by grace, on a daily basis
This journey starts with your mindset. Do you believe it's possible? Examine the feelings or fears that pop up when you contemplate a life working (mostly or solely) at home but don't let them be the driving force in the decision. Working well at and from home is very possible - and doable. It's also a discipline and requires motivation, planning and implementation so maybe start by training your brain and listing your gifts and goals to have a more clear vision about how you can begin if that's what you're called to do.
Here’s where you sound your voice using the form below and share any questions you have or encouraging comments that someone else who reads this can be inspired by.