Working from home tips – the busy woman’s guide to doing it well

 Women working from home … Magazines and TV shows would have you believe this is a glamorous affair, freshly groomed and dressed casual but smart, these super women are never frazzled, have so much more time, and can whip up a soufflé one handed while closing a deal on the latest smart phone in the other manicured hand – oh and don’t forget the baby bouncing on one hip! Do yourself a favour and Google “woman working at home” – it’s very entertaining!

The fantasy of working from home

The fantasy of working from home

The reality – well my reality at least – is far from those images! So far in fact, that I have written this in the hopes I’m not alone and that this will resonate with other women working from home.  There really should be more articles with “working from home tips” as a topic! At the very least, take a break and have a giggle with me.

Working from home – stark reality for a busy woman:

  • You actually end up work longer hours because you live in your office. Of course everyone thinks you actually work less because you are home after all!
  • As time passes, you get lazy with your appearance, why dress up to walk to the other side of your house?
  • Distractions are all around and un-ending, “house wifey” distractions … Everyone needs your attention from the domestic worker or gardener to the animals and kids (fortunately I don’t have kids right now)!
  • You tend to work through illness, tiredness, “leave”, etc. because you’re at home anyway, so there’s no “going home sick”!
  • You don’t take breaks, lunch, etc. because again you’re home, where you want to be, so breaking to boil an egg or put some cheese on biscuits because it’s 3pm and you’re ravenous is the equivalent of your “lunch break”.
  • People dump all sorts of errands and favours on you because after all you have the time (in their eyes) … You don’t work … You “work from home”!
Real woman working from home

What working from home really looks like

So what is a busy woman who works from home to do?  Read on for my working from home tips  to get you through your day efficiently…

Let’s start with some sound BUSINESS working from home tips for women:

  • To do lists are your friend – use them and tick them off … This is supremely satisfying and achieving those small goals keeps you positive and moving rapidly through your day.
  • Alarms are also your friend – if you get focused to distraction, set alarms to get you out of your focus-mode and on to the next task. Of course they help you remember meetings and help you to arrive on time for them too!
  • Saying no – this is key in all areas of your life, learn to say no firmly and if necessary learn to say F$&k off nicely too!
  • Saying not now – this is vital, especially for over achievers, you can’t do it all now … So learn to say “yes but later”.
Learn to say "No"

Learn to say “No”

  • Networking – unless you want to forget how to communicate with others, and become some sort of strange dirty-haired recluse, get out there and network for some interaction and perspective.
  • Take meetings out of the office – find a local coffee shop, library, mall or in fact several spots you like and meet clients there rather than in your home office.
Have your meetings in coffee shops

Have your meetings in coffee shops

So you have your business life working (because in a perfect world you’ve followed all the working from home tips I’ve given so far!) but what about the practical personal stuff? The “woman” stuff?

Here are my practical PERSONAL working from home tips for  women:

  • No need to wash your hair everyday, it’s amazing what a Tangle Teazer and Invisibobble will do! In fact, keep an Invisibobble on your wrist at all times! High slicked back pony tail or bun for the win!
  • Tinted moisturizer! Two steps in one – excellent! Every minute counts and it prevents you scaring the domestic or delivery man with your makeup-less self!  My one of choice is Dermalogica’s Sheer Tint – it’s freeking awesome and so good for your skin!
  • EOS lip balms! You will never catch me without “lip ice” … And these EOS (evolution of smooth) Lip Balms are so clever because they’re funky round balls with a flat bottom that can stand anywhere and be left all over the house and office! They’re too big to get lost in a handbag, or bottom of a drawer, and they’re also organic and all that good stuff! And they taste delicious!
  • Tank tops with built in bras! Oh. My. Goodness. Lifesaver! Whilst I absolutely LOVE my Liza Clifford bras and won’t leave the house without one on, when I’m home, I want to be slouchy comfy! Check out the Woolies range of tanks with built in bras, and their camisoles with hidden support, the tanks with the built in bra do the job surprisingly well, even if you’re well endowed.
  • Cotton pants, linen pants, slouchy pants! Don’t do it! Don’t do track pants and become THAT slouchy in your home office! Cotton or linen pants offer that slouchy comfort but can see you amply out the door to the shops or to that meeting as well! When you find a pair that works for you, buy them in every colour!  I have these Woolies ones in all 3 colours!
  • Fancy “slops” – beaded, embellished, whatever works for you. Holster are my brand of choice and also keep me comfy in the house and see me out the house just fine too! Also check out Sweet P sandals.
  • Fitbit Flex or any other step counter – when your work at home involves sitting in front of a computer or at a desk for hours on end, this will remind you to move that ass! Or at the very least show you just how in-active you are, hopefully one day this will inspire me to get more active!
  • Water – keep a jug around all the time – flavour it is you must with scented teas, lemon slices, etc. Next time you yawn or are hungry, try a big glass of water first, 8 out of 10 times you were actually dehydrated!
  • Weimaraner puppy – or any other puppy or needy animal of choice – when you’re too much in that focus-mode, having a puppy that jumps on you periodically and demands your attention will keep you laughing, silly and will remind you not to take yourself and your business too seriously!

Stop and smell the roses periodically and remind yourself why you’re working from home!

My best working from home tip?

Remember to work smarter, not harder!  Of course, with my business being websites, I have to ask you the question, how much more work could your website be doing for you?  I have a web-based invoicing system, my lead generation comes from word of mouth and web only, and my website is a 24/7 sales person for my business – showcasing recent projects, client testimonials, relevant articles and even allowing clients to book time in my calendar!

What is your website doing for your business?

If your answer is “Not enough”, then contact us to find out how to make your website work more for you, so you can work less!

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