Friday, June 18, 2010

Dispelling self employment myths

I'm consistently amazed at the things people think that people working from home do all day. (Mind you, I'm sure at any given time, any self employed person does any number of these things.) I wanted to share the things that I never do, as well as a semi-typical day.

I never turn on the TV until after 6pm.   (I confess to really hating daytime TV - you can't pay me to watch talk shows!)

I never (okay, very rarely) go to the mall.  I end up wasting too much time as it is on weekday errands - going to the big mall would be such a time vortex!

I wish I could tell you that I go for a walk every day ... but not with my toes, which still won't allow me to wear close toed shoes.

Here's a semi typical day:

8:30 to 9:15 am is typical wake up for me and the girls, followed by an hour of kitty feeding/watering/etc., opening windows for morning breezes, breakfast (high fiber cereal/soy milk), watering garden etc.

Check email, websites, blogs, etc. while eating breakfast and use Entourage to check/update/add tasks and projects (if you use a PC, Outlook does much of the same, but even more)

If I need to run errands, this is the usually the time I do so

If I have orders to ship, I package/etc. for 1pm mail pick up

Knit while reading blogs via reader and/or listening to podcasts/audiobooks or just music

OR work on buttons while listening to podcasts/audiobooks or just music

Lunch!  Usually bean or grain salad that I made the evening before over arugula or mixed greens (SO yum) while writing/scheduling blog posts (guess what I'm doing as I type right now?)

Back to work - more knitting, more reading about knitting technique, more swatching new stitches, more design on paper (working on some exciting things for later summer/fall!), with breaks to go add another layer of glaze to buttons, switch out laundry between washer/dryer (what's the use of working from if you can't do your laundry?), kitty play breaks (usually dragging them from the depths of very deep sleep), etc.

(I try to break up huge chunks of design and/or knitting work with little mini things to refocus my eyes and stretch muscles, which may be business/work related or may be emptying the dishwasher, taking out recycling, doing a load of laundry, etc.)

Also interspersed is taking and editing photos of new products, listing new products, business related email/phone calls/video calls/etc,

I start thinking dinner around 5 and start making it around 6, which is when I start to "close shop" in the living room (where I work) and move operations to the bed room (where I read, do more production knitting while watching TV/movies, unwind, etc.).  But before doing all of that, I spend some time in my backyard, eat my dinner, feed/water/tend to kitties, do some more planning for the next day.  I usually actually make it out of the living room around 7:30, treat myself to a long hot shower (so wonderful for aching lupus joints), and then it's bedroom relaxing.

I loooove to get to sleep before midnight, but it seems to rarely happen.  A true night owl, my brain always clicks back on around 9 with all sorts of new ideas - this is best time for me to experiment with new knitting designs/stitches, so I go with the flow!

I rarely work less than eight hours a day and if I do, I make up for it on other days.  When Fall and the holidays hit, I know I'll be working well in excess of 12 hours a day, so I don't beat myself up too much for taking it easy in May and June.  :)  

I can waste time with the best of them, but am making a concerted effort not to!  I'm not spending oodles of time on Facebook and avoid Twitter, both of which are huge productivity killers for me.

Speaking of which, I'd better get back to work!  I'm finishing up a new design that I'm very excited about!

Hope you all have wonderful Father's Day weekends.  xo


RedMarionette said...

I agree completely that working from home people do not take as serious as it really is. I do have full time job but also work very nearly a full time job at home after it. People dont understand why I dont have "evenings off" after work. Good Luck to you and I cant wait to see your fall/winter stuff!

Brenda said...

I'm going to talk to you about an On Top of Your Day Job interview! I don't know how I ever did this on top of a fulltime job - don't know how anyone does it at all. :)


Sharon said...

As one of those day job/evening entrepreneurs, I am always amazed by people who have the time to go out dancing four nights a week, or spend a day at the mall, or actually read 1000-page novels, and then wonder why I can't do the same.

(I hope some day I can laugh all the way to the bank. if not, at least I'll have had fun.)

monkeys always look said...

What you don't go the mall everyday to have a leisurely lunch with friends followed by a few hours of shopping, then a mani/pedi, home by 4 to do a couple hours of work and be in bed by 9pm? That's my typical day, expect for Monday, Wednesday, Fridays. Those days I meet friends for brunch before meeting my other friends for lunch.

Brenda said...

Hehe, Allison, I'm obviously doing something wrong! :P

Sharon, you have the hardest gig of all - working just to come home and go back to work!!! Here's to laughing all the way to the bank!!! :D