When I first left London and my full-time journo behind I majorly struggled with the whole working from home thing.
It’s *kinda* like uni when you’re like I could write that 3,000 word essay but LOOK OMG FOUR CRIME DOCUMENTARIES IN A ROW.
I missed tea rounds and dissecting first dates and having people to bounce ideas off. I missed Fridays that felt like Fridays and gossiping about who the mystery person weeing on the office toilet seat was. I missed colleagues. I missed an environment that spurred me on to get my head down and hustle like Queen Bey.
And so I thought I’d share a few of my HG girl boss tips with you in case you work from home too and OMG HOW DO I NOT GET DISTRACTED BY THE WASHING UP PILE EVERY 22 MINUTES, or you’ve got uni work you need to obliterate, or, you just need some motivation to smash out some blog posts on a Saturday.
So yeah, I got ya hun, I got ya.
1. START EARLY
I used to sometimes wake up a bit groggy and think ‘ahhh I love freelance life and I love bed, I’m going to start the day with a couple of episodes of summin’ summin’ on Netflix and then work into the evening instead’.
It sounds like a killer idea but it’d often leave me more buried into my slump than before and then I’d be overwhelmed by the guilt of not having achieved anything by midday.
Hashtag not so sassy.
Now I always have my laptop open by 8am, even if I just start with tiny tasks like reading emails and scheduling tweets. I often find that once I’ve had a coffee and ticked a few easy things off my to-do list, I want to just crack on with the rest of the day.
There’s obvs the odd day where I stay in my comfy Super Mario pjs until Chris gets home at 5.30pm and rolls his eyes at me, but normally I’m showered, dressed and looking like a non-freelance slob by 10am.
I find getting ready as though you’re leaving the house even if you’re not, makes a huge difference. It’s like it helps your brain separate lazy downtime and WE GONNA TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND GET SHIT DONE time.
3. SHOES ON
I guess this is kinda similar to the point before but oh man it’s a game changer. I actually read this idea on Sarah Akwisombe’s blog a while ago and on days where my to-do list looks like it might just turn into a black hole and swallow me right up, it keeps me powering through.
I tend to do my early bits from bed, shower, get ready, head out for errands and then keep my shoes on to power on with work through lunchtime and beyond. Wearing shoes somehow makes me do the washing up, reply to emails and edit photos all at the same time and I feel a *bit* super human and I LOVE that feeling.
4. MIX UP YOUR LOCATION
When I first started working from home I turned our spare room into an office, but over time I came to kinda dread walking into the room, the way you kinda dread going into the office on a Monday morning.
So I traded in my iMac for a MacBook air and now I switch up my workspace whenever I feel uninspired or unmotivated. Sometimes I work from the dining table with a cup of tea and a candle, sometimes I get v well acquainted with the sofa and other times I leave the house and work in my local coffee shop.
It keeps me on my toes and means work doesn’t feel so much like, well, work.
5. TREATS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
It’ll be no surprise to most of you that I keep a pretty hefty supply of my number one girl Diet Coke in the fridge and I reason in my brain that I can have one as a reward if I just finish the post I’m working on, or just edit my vlog, or just get up to date with emails.
I promise myself little treats throughout the day – things like Diet Coke or a sneaky snack or an episode of Teen Mom – every time I tick off another task. It means I always have things to look forward to and it breaks up the day a little bit.
Some days my brain has no ideas. Zero. Zilch. I’m like hey Hannah wanna come up with a cool piece of content that people will share across Twitter and relate to and love and my brain’s like HAHAHA NO PAL, NOT TODAY.
That’s when I get out a notebook or piece of paper, my fave coloured gel pens and start writing anything and everything that comes into my head.
Things I’m feeling, things I like right now, posts that have done well recently, doodles of stars and love hearts, anything. And then somehow my inspiration for creating content comes soaring back and I’m fist pumping myself and feeling like Taylor Swift the day her 1989 album came out.
Morale of the story: if it’s not happening, back away from the computer and pretend you’re in Year thee.
7. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM WORK
I often find one of the best cures for re-discovering the queen inside you is stepping away from the piece of work you’re obsessing over and getting yo cute lil toosh out of the house and focusing on sometimes totally un-work related.
If I’ve attempted to write the same post five times and it’s just absolutely not happening then I’ll shut down my laptop and head out for a swim, or go for a drive for takeout coffee. I’ll physically remove myself from my work environment.
By the time I get back I always feel a bit more like LET’S DO THIS and the words that felt so far away before suddenly come flowing out and I’m doing happy dances around the house like the red lady emoji.
What are your fave tips for staying inspired when working from home? Hook a girl up.