Things that have been better since I've been working from home
I have been working with my husband for our joint agency for several years and have a new, completely different everyday life in the home office. An everyday life that has become routine so quickly that I asked myself: What things that have been better since I've been working from home? What has actually improved for me?
In my case, working independently from home was a relief, I knew that just a month after my resignation. There was really no such thing as a settling-in period.
I knew straight away: “That's it!” I no longer exchange the feeling of freedom and personal responsibility. But which areas of my life did this decision affect?
What follows is a little résumé for me personally, but also a bit of advertising for working from home, which many unfortunately still see as a mystery. After all, that takes a lot of discipline. Spoiler: you learn quickly! At the latest when you really run after a deadline and don't make friends with it: More tips on discipline and productivity.
By the way, a home office is not necessarily a facility for the self-employed, on the contrary. Some employers now allow their employees to work from home for a few days and I hope that this type of work will become more and more popular.
Working from home is a model that would finally enable many people to better balance work and family.
A model like the one in the Netherlands would also be desirable here in the US: Dutch employees have had the right to work from home for more than two years. Cool or cool? Spending less time in traffic jams, more time with the family. This is easy on the nerves and the work is still done.
But enough of digression. Here is my declaration of love for the home office:
1. My health has improved massively.
I used to take every cold with me and in particular, often suffered from sinus infections and headaches. I was rarely really fit and accordingly, I didn't have a strong immune system.
This condition seemed normal to me because it is the same for many people who have little exercise, spend the whole day in the office and eat "normal" (read: unhealthy because ready meals and snacks are constantly being used during lunch breaks).
I only notice the difference now because I know how healthy and balanced you can feel if you exercise a lot and eat well. I am sick very seldom (maybe once a year?)
And then only for a short time. Um ... I have more sports injuries for that. I have heard that you no longer take frustration with management or the lack of recognition home with you every day and eat into yourself, is also said to have a very healing effect. ;)
2. I am relaxed after getting up in the morning.
Not always, but at least most of the time. I used to make sure to get enough sleep - at least 7-8 hours - that wasn't the reason. But sleep was seldom restful.
Getting up at 6:30 a.m. wasn't the problem, it becomes a routine at some point. But the performance was still not there, no matter what I tried. It only came slowly out of her hole after lunch.
Since I've been able to follow my natural biorhythm, I've been feeling much better. I don't have to be productive in the morning. I get up later and then work later (it is 01:07 at night while I am writing this article).
And in the mornings I only do things that I don't need my head for, e.g. B. Doing sports or washing clothes.
3. I now cook with fresh ingredients every day.
Sometimes even twice a day when I feel like it. The times when I had to buy my lunch within 30 minutes, warm it up and then gobble it down quickly are definitely over. The great thing about the home office is that the kitchen is always close to the study.
Instead of ready-made products, there are now a lot of fruit and vegetables every day and I now like foods that I would never have discovered before (avocado! Buckwheat! Sweet potatoes!).
Efficiency when working is great, but absolutely out of place when eating. You just have to savor it and enjoy it! The fact that I take this time every day means less stress and I also have a significantly better body feeling.
In the home office in particular, one tends to sit at the computer even longer, because work and leisure merge "so nicely". Since then I have been paying more attention to my fluid balance and the snacks I need in between.
Here I have already written about my eating habits and better concentration: "Better food = better performance?"
4. I don't live for the next vacation.
The next upcoming trip used to be the only engine for me to persevere and look forward to something. Planning great things to do at the weekend wasn't really possible, I was often too tired for that.
And then the weekend was over before I could even go down. To be honest, I didn't know how to really relax back then. In my world, the magic formula: relaxation = vacation trip made total sense.
I still love planning trips, of course. I would even say that I travel more than before. But that's not the linchpin of my life. I am more balanced and have found enough little things in my new everyday life that I can look forward to every day.
And I know how important it is to create small islands every day that offer energy and balance for the stressful everyday life. No trip can offset the stress of months of tension.
5. Now I know what it means to take responsibility for yourself.
If something doesn't go as expected, I can't blame anyone but myself. And everything that is supposed to happen only happens when I trigger it. It's an exciting experience when you're on your own.
More things go wrong, but you also achieve much greater success and much faster! I once paid too much for my health insurance for months because I thought I was smarter than the tax advisor.
When you're employed, such expensive mistakes are rare. And if so, the employer is liable. It's not that comfortable as a self-employed person. But that's not a bad thing. I learned more about myself and life in a very short time than in the 5 years before.
I have already described how to cope with failures faster and defeat the inner perfectionist, have a look.
6. I'm less afraid.
... fear of the future to be precise. There are many things that cannot be influenced. But how you are set yourself.
The truth is: you keep having bad experiences - but you also miss the good ones if you live in constant fear. Of course, I don't know when the next big order will come. Or whether our work with Vanilla Mind will be in constant demand at all.
But we plan for the long term, put reserves and in return enjoy our independence.
7. Lots of new people.
If I hadn't started to work in the home office, I probably wouldn't have dared to think outside the box and reach out to other people who are similar.
Even if I'm shy and introverted - of course, I need colleagues with whom I can exchange ideas. (If you are interested in how I manage to come into contact with new people as a shy person, then I recommend our podcast Still & Stark and the online course Intuitive Networking.)
Especially when you are at home a lot, it is important to surround yourself with people who share your values and encourage you.
Because of course the ceiling can fall on your head in the home office and you feel cut off from the rest of the world.
After all, I'm very fortunate to work with my husband and we motivate each other. Otherwise, I also like facetime or skype with other self-employed people from anywhere or try to meet for tea when the opportunity presents itself.