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📚5 mistakes to avoid when you start working from home

The world has quickly changed its take on working from a home-based office. For me, it has been a way of life for the past 12 years.

You may have never dreamed you’d be working from home. It’s new and it’s strange but don’t stress, I’m going to spill on the top 5 mistakes I’ve made so you can avoid them like we are avoiding handshakes and high fives as of late.

1. Don’t try to be superwoman.

I think every woman I know has been conditioned to multitask. What I found in the first few months of working at home was that I figured I could do it all. I could work, clean the house, do the laundry in between meetings, make supper and do all the grocery shopping. No problem right? Wrong. I hit a point about 3 months in where I just realized I was running myself ragged. No one asked me to do it, I just figured that’s what I should do.

So, right now I’m giving to give you the permission slip you may need – you don’t need to do it all just because you are at home.

2. Don’t work non stop.

This one builds on the previous point I’ve made. After I realized I needed to just stop doing all the things I knew the only way to stay accountable to myself was to set those oh so precious boundaries. I’m just gonna say, this was one of THE hardest things to do for me. I’m a people pleaser. I would put everyone else’s schedule ahead of my own. I decided to set work hours(9-4) and home hours, everything else.

You can’t give from an empty cup. Take time to rest and restore every day so that you can come back to work each day with passion and purpose.

3. Don’t leave your schedule to chance.

This was one of the largest habits I’ve made and continue to develop…determine priorities for each week. I quickly learnt that some days can go completely sideways on you. If you have your schedule so jammed packed with daily to do’s that you can’t adjust you are going to get overwhelmed PDQ. I now plan out overall goals for the week. I know what projects have hard deliverables but which ones can shift if need be. Each Sunday I spend 20 minutes with my calendar and schedule it all in. Work, downtime, family commitments, volunteer time – everything.

If you don’t believe me, give it a try over the next 30 days and see how you feel.

4. Don’t do it alone.

Now, the one thing I didn’t think about when I started my business was the way I would feel being at home by myself most days. Isolated. Craving connection. Sound familiar? In a way, the past number of years have prepared me for what we are all in at the moment. What changed this for me was building networks of support. I got involved with organizations like Business and Professional Women of Saskatoon Inc, I cold-called women in the industry and asked to connect. Some of my closest friends we’re formed during these calls.

Especially today, reach out to women who you know or want to know and connect. Don’t let yourself feel isolated. Find ways to collaborate and learn from others.

5. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Besides being a people pleaser I’m also a perfectionist. I was, and still am, my own worst critic. When I started I expected to be in full drawing production while learning new software, efficient in systems that I was just setting up plus running the household spot on within mere weeks of starting. Unrealistic? I’d say so.

Give yourself some time to adjust to this new way of being. Set aside time each day to recognize and celebrate the daily wins, no matter how small. Build upon them over time. It’s not a race.

I think we can all agree that the world is changing at an alarming rate. You may be working at home for just a short time or like me, you may decide to make it a part of your life moving forward. Either way, know that there are women like me who are here to support you. 💕

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