I quit my job about a year ago.
It was a nice job. One with a classroom of my own and a schedule I made for myself. I talked with (and played with) middle school kids all day. I ate lunch in a break room and chatted with other adults.
A year ago I started a new job. I put up a fancy website and pitched for clients and spent a lot of time learning an almost-new trade.
I still make my own schedule, which is nice. I get to attend school functions and work from the couch when someone is home sick.
I spend my day alone, unless you count my online friends. They’re pretty amazing, especially Karen. She is my daily (sometimes hourly) sounding board. Kind of like my co-worker.
I eat alone. Actually, I should add “when I remember to eat.” I’ve been surviving on Spark and fruit most days. *note to self: set a reminder to eat lunch
My first clients were (and still are) amazing. I learned so much from them when I was starting, and can’t thank them enough for allowing me to learn with them. Some other clients have not been so amazing, and I’ve forgotten about them already.
I sat down last week and evaluated. I looked at the time I was putting in, the money I was being paid and how I felt.
I decided some changes were needed. For having a dream job, I was more stressed than I should have been. I’ll admit to being a high-stress person, though.
Starting next week, there will be no more rush jobs.
No working weekends. Or nights.
No answering every email within an hour, and no commenting on every Facebook notification. I wake up to 75 or so, usually, and I can’t try to keep up anymore.
I love my job. And I love my blog.
But I love my sanity and my family more.
After a year, I’ve learned some important things about working from home and running your own business.
5 Things I’ve Learned In My First Year Of Working From Home
1. Exercise every morning–before you sit down at your computer. No job is more important than a good workout and when you sit at a desk all day, a workout makes a huge difference–in your attitude and the size of your butt.
2. Stand up. I learned the secret of a stand up desk and started using one last week. I can sit for an hour and stand for an hour, relying on the app Pauses (found through Nicole’s list!) to give me a nudge.
3. Don’t bend over backwards for anyone, unless they’ve done the same for you. Those clients you really want to get? The ones who have big accounts and complain that you’re overcharging and want you to “apply” for the job in the form of two free articles or a month of social media work? You don’t want to work with them. Trust me. Your time is valuable, and there are a lot of people who know that. Wait for those people.
4. Those amazing clients you have that are good to you? The ones who thank you for the extra effort and make you smile when you get off the phone? Keep them forever and go the extra mile to show your appreciation. They are few and far between.
5. This is the most important thing I’ve learned.
Are you ready?
Your to-do list will never be done.
Every night, circle the three most important things on your to-do list for the next day.
Get them done.
If you have time, do more. And at the end of your day, turn your computer all the way off and close the door to your office.
There’s always tomorrow.