The one thing I am always asked when it comes to having a blog is how the heck I work from home productively. Now, I had a long, hard think about this and there really is no secret. Since my blog became my business and main source of income, I had to give myself a kick up the bum. You can't rely on your mother forever!
Blogging to non-bloggers probably seems quite glamorous. It really must sound like all we do is tweet loads of nonsense, review "freebies" for companies and drink lots of cocktails at event. Well, they wouldn't be right (although I use the word 'freebie' very lightly. There's a hell of a lot to risk when you turn your hobby into your job. I often have to sacrifice nights out if I have a lot of work to do over the weekend (nobody wants to work with a prosecco hangover after all). Sometimes I work hard for a week straight so I can pre-plan and have the weekend off to hang out with friends. There's a hell of a lot to consider!
One of the things I am always asked is how I turn a normal day into a productive one without falling behind due to the fact that I am at home. After all, I don't have to get a stuffy tube to the office, I don't have to buy over priced lunches and I don't come home with sore feet from wearing heels all day.
I would say over the past 6 months, I have really learnt how to plan things ahead of my week, how to schedule things properly, how to complete to-do lists; thus having productive days 5 days a week. The truth is... there is no real secret. If you want a good pay at the end of the month, you'll choose to work hard.
Before I go to bed the previous night, I make a 'do-able to-do list' of all the things I need to achieve by 5pm the next day. I don't try to overload myself with too many things to tick off as I know they won't end up getting done and it'll result in me feeling bad about myself. I try to make sure there's a brand new task to do each hour of the day. So, if I'm working 9-5, that's at least 8 things that can be done by the end of the day!
Elsie makes sure she wakes me up at 8am on the dot every morning (weekends included, grrrr!) so I never need to set an alarm clock as I have a furry chocolate one. I'm not going to lie and say that I live a glamorous life that sees me up at the crack of dawn followed by eggs and avocado on the table as my breakfast ritual. When you're me, it just doesn't like that. Especially with a needy puppy!
After my plain toast and OJ, I shower and get ready for the day. I don't like to sit around in my pyjamas as I definitely don't feel like I'm ever in the work mode when I do that. So for me, I have to go about normally as if I really as travelling to the office. I put makeup on and comfy clothes if I know I am going to be working from my mac or XPS laptop.
I always make sure I have hot drinks and snacks on the go; especially if I am photo editing. Next is music and it's essential for me to have some upbeat and happy music blasting out. At the moment, I am loving The 1975's new album and also the weekly #ThrowbackThursday playlists that Spotify have. I find if music makes me happy, then I am in a much more positive mood to get work done. The mind works in mysterious ways!
The first thing I do blogging related is emails. I get hundreds every week which can become quite stressful by mid-week but I do find if I keep on top of them every single day, I don't fall behind as much. I try to answer urgent emails first and deal with any outstanding work that needs to be completed. I leave the less important emails or the ones that can wait till the end of the day.
My routine every day is different and really does depends what is on my to-do list for the day ahead. Some days I will be doing a bit of everything, writing, social media scheduling, photography, editing etc. Other days, I may only film a video and write one blog post. However, I do find that if I have the to-do list written the night before, it really helps me to distinguish the most important things that must be done the following day.
I wasn't fibbing when I said there really is no secret to having a productive day when working from home. Sure, you can stay in bed all day and feel like a marshmallow by the end of it... or you can get ready and take on the day ahead. As long as I have my geeky to-do list plenty of snacks and some funky tunes playing in the background, I'm well on the way to having a good week!
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Dell. However, all words, opinions and photographs remain my own.