Now that I work for myself, I have a lot more freedom and flexibility with my time and how I spend it. I no longer have to go into an office from 8-5 Monday through Friday, I don’t have a commute, and I can sort of work from wherever — which is pretty incredible. I’ll be completely honest though, my life is by no means glamorous! There are days when I work from 7AM to 10PM still in my pjs and wondering where all my time went. There are days where I stress out about the responsibilities that come with running my own business. Then there are days where I get up, spend a few hours working, and sign off early to go to the beach, on a hike, to happy hour, you name it! I am so grateful to be able to do that during this time in my life.

The Rose Garden San Jose

Lessons Learned From Working For Myself

One lesson I’ve learned from working for myself is that there is a luxury to having more time for the things that matter most to you, which is why you should really take advantage of it. That’s why I did something that I rarely would have been able to do if I had an office job. I went home to see my family and friends for 10 DAYS. That’s probably the longest I’ve been home in years and it couldn’t have been better. 

Flights San Jose – They serve everything in flights (drinks, apps, dessert, etc.!).

This extra time home allowed me to:

  • Spend time with my friends exploring a new happy hour spot called Flights and catching up on life
  • Take a road trip to Napa where we spent the day wine tasting in the valley
  • Celebrate my friend coming home from deployment in San Luis Obispo (another road trip!)
  • Spend weeknight dinners with my family like we used to do when I grew up

The best part about all of this? I had 10 days to see the people I care about while still getting my work done for my clients on time and to the best of my abilities. I used my sister’s extra computer monitor and set up my desk in the living room where I stuck to my usual work routine. I even got ahead on some projects for October! I think this was a great first test at being able to “work from wherever” successfully.

If you’re working from home or working while traveling, I’ve put together a few tips I’ve found helpful for sticking to a flexible work schedule:

  1. Stick to Your Normal Routine (As Much As Possible): It can be tempting to sleep in, watch movies on the couch, or schedule dates with friends, but it’s important to stick to your usual working schedule so you can continue to be productive even while at home or away. This means waking up and going to bed at your normal hours, answering emails and blocking off time to get work done.
  2. Use a Calendar: Schedule times throughout the day to complete certain tasks. This will help prioritize what needs to be done so that you can do the most important tasks first and then if they’re complete, spend time enjoying what’s important to you.
  3. Create Lists with 3-4 Priority “To-Do’s”: Having a concise list of priority items will help you feel more accomplished. One thing I liked from my last company was stating “I will be successful this week when I complete task 1, task 2, task 3.” Pick a few things that will make your day or week successful and focus on those. This is the difference between being productive rather than “active”.
  4. Create a Fun List of Things to Do:  For example, if you’re working from home, you may not have a commute that day so you have an extra 30 minutes to an hour to finally go to a fitness class. Add that to your calendar! Or if you’re working while traveling, block off your lunch hour or just some time to try a new spot, visit a museum, or catch up with a friend. There are so many benefits to working remotely so make sure to enjoy them.
  5. Be Grateful: Working from wherever is a luxury and it should not be taken for granted.  Technology has come so far as to enable many workers to get their jobs done remotely which is a pretty incredible advancement, but it also comes with concerns such as abuse of power or lack of productivity. Be grateful for this opportunity and use your time wisely.

Do you ever work from home, remotely, or while traveling? What are your tips for staying productive?

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