Friday, March 29, 2013


Working from home is both the best thing and the worst thing. You an set your own schedule which provides you some flexibly but it also means that you have to be your motivating force to getting things done. You are the boss that gets mad when you are late, or when you work isn't done on time, and you have to keep yourself going when there is stuff you don't feel like doing.

I used to work for a little boutique in our area. I had a schedule. I had a reason to get out of bed, shower and look cute for my day. Working at home has been a little different. I don't have anyone telling me what time I have to get up, usually I only leave to run to the post office or the grocery store, where other days I don't leave my house at all. This has proved a challenge for me.

The first month of committing to Designs by Nicolina full time was like the first few weeks of summer when you get out of school. I slept in, wore my PJs, caught up on my daytime TV, went shopping and got almost nothing done. I quickly realized that I needed to take things more seriously, if I wanted to grow my business I needed to treat it as such. So here are a few tips that help me!

1. On Mondays take some time to plan you week
The wonderful thing about working from home is that for the most part you can control when you work. So if your friend asks you out to coffee and shopping on Wednesday morning, plan the rest of the week accordingly so you can make it happen!

2. Find a routine that works for you and set a schedule
When you get into a routine, you always accomplish more, and you are happier. When you don't have a routine you are more likely to get overwhelmed or miss out on things you might want to do. For example, when I sit down to work I go through all of my edits first. Because I know by the end of the day, I am not going to want to edit, and it will get pushed off for the next day!

You also need to make sure you are realistic in your schedule. Time how long it takes you to accomplish tasks and budget your time accordingly. If you over schedule it will only cause frustration and a lack of productivity!

3. Take a shower and put some real clothes on {or real cute sweats}
You wouldn't imagine how much this helps! When you feel good, you will be so much more productive! I hate dressing up to be at home. I want to be comfy, but I have found places like aerie and pink by VS have adorable 'lounge wear' that looks cute and feels comfy.

You home is your work place! So brush your hair, get out of your PJs and you will be so much more productive!

4. Sometimes you have to take a min to do what you want to do, so you can focus on what you have to do
I think this is so important especially when you do something in the creative field. You never know when a good idea is going to come to you. But sometimes I think, I have 15 people waiting on invites, and 30 convos to answer, so I tell myself I will work on it later. But I usually don't, either I can't focus on the tasks at hand, or I forget the awesome idea.

So take a min {or an hour} do what you want to do, then it will be SO much easier to focus on what you want to do!

5. When coming back from vacation or a weekend break - sit back and make a list before you dive in and PRIORITIZE! 
This is something that I have been struggling with all week. For the first time since I quit my day job we went on a week long vacation and I didn't take my laptop. EEEKK I didn't know what to do. I closed my shop 3 days before we left, busted my but to catch up on orders, gave everyone a heads up that was going out of town, and then closed my shop. It was 7 days of not needing to worry about edits, orders or convos and it was a lovely break!

But now I am home, and this week has been a challenge to get back into the swing of things. Everyone who was waiting for me to get back is placing orders and sending me messages and after a week of not worrying about it,  I am having a hard time worrying about it. So I sat back and prioritized, who needed to be answered first, what orders did I need to get a jump on. As I crossed things off my list I was able to see my accomplishments and ease back into work!

6. Maintain a clean workspace
This is something that my OCD husband taught me. When my office is a mess, so am I! So put this in your schedule! Take some time each week to reorganize, straighten up and vacuum!

7. Ask for help
I am the biggest breaker of this rule. I have always been the one who takes the whole project on herself because I am not sure anyone could possibly do as good a job as me. But I think this is the most important thing I have learned. I need help, and I am surrounded by people who want to help me. And most importantly, my husband can wrap invites in twine better than I can {who knew}. As my business grows I need help more and more, and I am so grateful to have a husband to understands, appreciates and wants to help me with what I do!

Have any tips that help you? We would love to hear!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I will be applying some that i don't use already. I completely agree with #4. I always check my blogroll before I start studying. This may be a little TMI on #3, but sometimes just putting on supportive undergarments makes me feel like I need to get things done! lol.