I’ve been working from home (as creative director for Braid Creative) for over four years. It’s not for everyone; a more extroverted person might find the solitude suffocating, but I love it. Even so, I still need to keep a few routines in place to keep me somewhat connected to the world—and to take advantage of some of the (major) perks of working from home.
After I discovered how much more chill it is to go grocery shopping during the weekdays, I’ve gone out of my way to avoid doing it on the weekends or after work. Shelves are usually better stocked, parking (or shopcart maneuvering) is easier, even the people working there seem happier. Appointments are usually easier to schedule during weekdays, too.
Breakfast, lunch, endless snacks: you’ve got the full force of your hopefully-well-stocked kitchen at your disposal, whenever you want it. No tupperware involved! (Unless, you know, there’s something easy in the fridge… it’s not an all-or-nothing game).
It’s less about work-life balance, and more about work-life blend.
I’ve fallen out of this habit lately, but I used to “walk to work” every morning. I’d get up, get dressed, and take a quick walk around the block. I left my house, and came back to my office. It helped me wake up and phase into workday.
Sometimes, it’s just about the little things. Making the bed before you sit down to your desk, buying fresh flowers that you can see from your desk, brewing a cup (or whole pot!) of loose-leaf tea in the middle of the afternoon, lighting a candle to signal the start of the workday, even making a cocktail to signal the end of the workday. These small daily practices keep you in the moment, and keep your home and work time feeling as different as you want them to.
If you’re a type that’s suited to working from home, it’s probably less about work-life balance, and more about embracing your work-life blend. Realizing that you don’t have to play by the same old corporate rules, and that as long as you’re personally responsible enough to handle the “freedom” associated with working from home, you can make it work for you.
Any other working-from-home enthusiasts out there? Let us know in the comments how you make the most out of it.