Working from home, month 1

Has it really been a month already? Wow, that was fast!

Working for myself from home has been really interesting. Before making the leap I spoke with many people about it. Everybody has their own concerns & ideas about what goes on when you work from home. Some are pretty accurate, some not so much.

One thing is for sure, there are a ton of things different about working in an office and working from home. Here are a few along with my thoughts.

Not waking up to an alarm
This may be the single greatest thing about working for myself. I wake up and get out of bed when I’m ready. I would love to tell you that I’m sleeping in until 10 each morning, but that’s simply not the case. I’m awake and at my desk by 8 or 8:15 each morning. But still, not having that alarm be the first thing I hear in the morning… glorious!

Working in your PJs (or sweats and a t-shirt)
It is said that working in your PJs is the #1 mistake made my people working from home. The idea being that if you are sloppy, your work will be sloppy. Bullshit. Working from home requires some discipline, for sure. But, if wearing sweats and a t-shirt magically makes you do half-assed work for your clients, you have far worse issues to deal with.

Time management and billing is tricky
One thing I’m realizing I need to get better at is separating the time I spend reviewing a project and time spent doing research for a project. It’s a subtle difference that boils down to billable time. With only so many hours in a day, I need to make sure I’m billing correctly for my time. Currently I’m not great at it, but I’m working on it.

Get organized
I’ve never been really good at keeping paperwork filed and organized. I’m quickly learning that if I don’t spend some time now getting in to a groove of doing this the right way, I’m going to be in bad shape in a few months. This is on my to do list for this weekend.

I need to set a schedule
This is another one of those things that is said to be a problem for people working from home. They don’t know when to get up and walk away. I am 100% guilty of this one. But, that shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. Before quitting my job I would work from 7-4, come home, have dinner and then work until midnight or later. I’m not really doing anything much different now. But, I do see the need for some separation. Over the next 60 days, my goal is to get to a point where I’m working 60-70 hours per week.

Get out of the house!
I used to go out to lunch every day. Now, I usually grab some food from the kitchen and eat it at my desk. I know this is a terrible habit, but really, it’s only half of it. I need to spend more time out of the house in the evenings and weekends, too. It’s tough right now because our company is just getting off the ground and I want to do everything I can to make it a success. But I know that in the long run, for my and the company’s well being, it’s better if I step away from the computer for a while. I’m working on this, too.

Get back to blogging/podcasting!
This is just a recurring theme now. I need to set aside some time to do the things that helped me get to where I am. Blogging and Podcasting are things I enjoy very much. I used to do them both semi-regularly. Plus, they have the added benefit of being tools that help me in my business. Sorta makes this a no-brainer, right?

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. I’ve already learned some valuable lessons about working from home and I expect to learn a lot more as time rolls on.