This site contains affiliate links. Please see Policies for more information.

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.

5 Things I've Learned In My First Year Of Working From Home

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.

Similar Posts

Did you love this recipe?

Make sure to comment below so we can chat about it! Or follow on your favorite social network for even more family recipes.


  1. Great info and sense of humor? Somebody pinch me! Great post Becca. I was starting to wonder how I would structure my work day at home when it’s time. I’m sure I would feel guilty for not answering every notification, so it’s nice to know that there needs to be time to relax and just be. Love the point on exercise as well, I agree that working out greatly helps the mindset. And yoru butt! ha ha. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with you! #5 went into full effect this past week for me!! Keep having fun and enjoy your family!

    Peas Out!

  3. Love this list! I am so excited to see how you do with the evenings and weekends…I am trying to do the same thing here!

    Oh – and thanks for making me think I need a stand up desk. :)

  4. I hope I am a part of #4!!! And…I had no idea that you started this a year ago! I thought it was a few more than that! I thought you were amazing before, now you’re triple amazing with what you’ve done and are doing. Congrats!

  5. Love this list and so true! I too am struggling with this, and taking off weekends is my goal for the new year. Thanks for reminding me what is important!

  6. Ruthy @ Omeletta says:

    Love this. I started working from home in August and it’s been quite the adjustment! I 100% agree that I’m beginning to realize my enormous to-do list will NEVER be done – but that sometimes, I can be (switching off is difficult!)

  7. Loved reading this, Becca! I often get so engrossed in my work/writing that I forget to eat too. ;)

    Tell us more about your stand-up desk. Where did you buy it? How long have you been using it? Etc. I’d love to see pictures of your office space.

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Isn’t it funny how we kind of act like kids when we are engrossed in something?

      I love my desk – it’s a craft desk that I purchased at… ready? Fry’s! I bought it when we first moved to this house, about 7 years ago. It was in Michael’s room for years but when it “clicked” that I could use it as a stand up desk, I took it back! You can see pictures of my office here: I do need to take some new ones now that I have rearranged a little!

  8. UGH… loved this post so much! Thank you for sharing these lessons learned. I am new to working for myself as well and find it soooo helpful to read others experiences, especially when in the form of short, bulleted lists. Closing up shop at the end of the day is, I think, my biggest challenge. I really love what I do, and so I tend to work wonky hours, but that is only sustainable (mood wise) for so long. Hope you have a fantastic year 2!

  9. What an excellent post. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned! I need to learn how to walk away from my work as well, I always feel like I have to respond to everything and it is very tiring but I love what I do…I also love having energy lol. I am going into year 2 now so I will definitely take this advice! All the best to you and your family!

  10. “But I love my sanity and family more” Truer words have never been spoken about working from home! I caught myself working 15-hour days (no joke) until I came across this blog post! Thank you so much for helping me realize that I can be way more productive with my business by not going crazy in my office corner everyday. Oh, and also feeling like I’m leaving my family high and dry because, “I just don’t have the time.” Thank you so much! Now I’ve changed the direction of my business to incorporate balance in health and lifestyle, and it’s been fabulous! Keep up these awesome posts! :)

    1. Thank you, Maryann. Your comment made me go back and reread my post and it’s a great reminder for me :)

  11. Caitlin Memmott says:

    Thank you so much for writing this list! I’m about to embark on this “Work From Home” cruise, and at the same time go to school part time and have a baby in June. I could use all the advice I can get!

  12. kat curling says:

    These are great tips! I’ve really had to teach myself to unplug and relax in the evenings and on weekends. I definitely need a stand up desk! And I also need use the “3 most important to do’s” in my every day. Doing favors and freebies for people is something I had to stop as well, unless its a trade off somehow. People will suck the life out of you if you let them!

  13. Lindy van Zyl says:

    Could i Please ask what exactly do you do from home? I am a teacher and I am thinking of home tutoring but not sure if it is thr tight thing for me, so was just wondering what other options there are out there?! Thank-you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *