It only took a few months before I realized how incredibly stressed out I was by trying to work a full-time day job, which ended up taking 50 - 60 hours a week, and run this business with the remaining time. Plus, here's the thing - I really hate rigid work schedules. Having to be in one place day after day for a predetermined amount of time makes me want to scratch my eyes out. So I bailed on that job, took two months in the summer to run Found Beauty Studio full time again, and then was offered what seemed like an incredible opportunity at another organization. Again, the siren song of a steady paycheck won out. It turned out not to be a good fit for me (see above for my hatred of rigid work schedules) and at the beginning of last month I went free range again. Seeing a pattern here? Yeah, me too.
So what do I expect to be different this time around? Thankfully, quite a bit. I know what my downfalls have been and I have a pretty good idea how to avoid them. They include:
- Leaving the house every day. Sounds funny, right? But I'm dead serious. It's so easy to get caught up in the strange and all-consuming world in my house and I need to be reminded of the outside. Plus, it makes me feel better to talk to other people and not just my cats (and myself)...
- Socializing. For real. I have friends and we're all busy, so I make a concerted effort to schedule coffee dates, mini road trips, and impromptu social gatherings. This was the hardest part of my first work from home experience. I went from supervising 30 people and being constantly surrounded by coworkers to seeing maybe one or two people a week, one of whom was my husband. It was so isolating.
- Having a work plan. I'm like a magpie around a bunch of shiny objects. It doesn't take much to distract me, so in order to get things done, I need to have goals set out for each week. I don't give myself time of the day deadlines as that would violate my no rigid work schedule rule and I'd hate life, but I do know what I want to have done by the time Saturday rolls around.
- Giving myself a break This one is by far the hardest for me. I'm a workaholic and a perfectionist and I have a tendency to set completely unrealistic goals and then beat myself up for not reaching them. So I'm trying to be kinder and gentler to my psyche. It's a one day at a time approach, but it's working. If I'm my own worst enemy, working for myself by myself is a bad idea.