This year, I decided to do it.
I decided to stop talking about it, to stop thinking about it, to stop obsessing about it and to just do it.
I left my job, my security and my salary-fueled life, and I started my own holistic wellness business. In case you missed the memo, working from home is the new black.
More and more people are leaving their jobs, writing articles on choosing happiness over a certain 401k security, and home offices are seriously the new cool kids on the interior design block.
It’s no longer a thing to hate life, complain about our jobs and live to work. Conduct a simple Google search on 2016 goals and intentions, scroll through Facebook and Instagram or take a glance at the best-selling books on the New York Times, and you’ll see that happiness and balanced living is in style.
So now that we get that working from home at a job that we love is in—great! The thing is, this gradual shift in routine does have its setbacks. For instance, it’s difficult to maintain motivation and structure when your office is steps away from a warm and inviting bed. How does today’s entrepreneur stay out of bed and get all the required work done, when the lures of the kitchen, the TV and beloved Netflix are only seconds away from reach, at all times of the day (and night)?
There is no perfect way to leave a safe and secure job and fend for oneself from the comforts of home. Some people manage to carve out and follow a beautifully structured plan, which involves enough money to start slow while also taking some time off. Others, who are less practiced in the planning paradigm of life, leave on a whim and truly don’t have the cushioning to take it slow and easy. Literally speaking, a certain fire is lit from beneath their undercarriage, and they have no choice but to rapidly and fearlessly forge ahead.
As with any new job, there may be a certain learning curve to climb. The key is to recognize that this is normal, and avoid following the destructive path of judgment and frustration. Not everyone is built to be an entrepreneur or one-man business. As with anything in life, everyone is different and we all have comparable strengths. Some may have to work harder than others to be a successful home-CEO. Chances are that there will be a learning curve, and some of us are better at adjusting to change and challenge than others.
For me, it’s been all about finding my new normal, practicing self-compassion and creating a bulletproof plan that truly works for me. It’s taken some time, and sometimes the climb is so difficult that I contemplate the idea of quitting.
However, when I think about the alternative—sitting at a desk, staring at my phone and praying for hours to pass by—I know that this is where I want to be and what I want to do. Are you feeling called to do something with your career? Go do it! There will never be the perfect time.
Oh, and follow these 5 foundational steps:
1. Get out of bed.
It may seem tempting to stay in bed, pull out the laptop work in your pajamas everyday. Don’t do this. Just because we’re at home, doesn’t mean that all professionalism should fly out the window. Create a structured routine. Wake up at the same time everyday. Get out of bed. Shower. Get dressed. Be comfortable and presentable. Start the day and remember that it doesn’t always have to be perfect.
2. It’s important to keep the bedroom and office separate (no phones, laptops, handhelds, tablets or any other digital gadgets allowed in the boudoir).
The bedroom is a place for rest, recovery and intimacy. Not only is it damaging to keep gadgets near you as you sleep (electromagnetic radiation), it’s also not great for relationships. I’ve found it instrumental to my success to make it a point to leave my technology outside of the bedroom, and to wake up in the morning and snuggle. Wake up in the morning and show your partner some love, not your phone. It’s much more nourishing to start the day in love and peace, rather than stress and anxiety. Leave the emails, messages and Instagram post for at least 30 minutes to an hour after waking up.
3. Start the day with a routine that includes some sort of cleansing (meditation, yoga, running, work out, morning pages, writing, singing, stretching).
I have found it helpful to create a boundary between my bedroom space and my daytime routine. I don’t do work in my bedroom and once I’m up, the bed is made and I’m in my office, photo studio, kitchen or gym. Whether this means waking up and showering, brushing your teeth and making your bed or getting outside for some exercise, have a sequence to follow that allows your mind to understand that there is separation.
4. Address the temptation to watch movies or TV shows during the day and choose more creative and stimulating or peaceful activities such as coloring, exercise, reading, writing, or meditation.
We are creatures of habit; once we begin to create a habit, such as taking breaks with movies or television, this will be a difficult habit to cut. It’s important for productivity and efficiency to take breaks throughout the day, rather than to sit at your laptop for nine hours at once. Choose a more constructive and inspiring way to take breaks and be efficient with your time.
5. Take realistic breaks and schedule meetings outside of the house so that the environment changes to avoid going stir crazy.
Even if I’m not going to an office, it is helpful to schedule meetings throughout the week that are outside of my home space. It is so important to change our surroundings and immerse ourselves in new and different environments. If anything, this helps to meet and interact with other real people and gets us away from our computer screen. Humans thrive off of physical interaction; don’t abolish it.
Author: Chloe Elgar
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Photo: Author’s own