josh and i both feel pretty fortunate to be working for ourselves and also from home together over the last several years. the line of work we are in is such an interesting and new industry that i think a lot of people still don’t really even know it can be a job, and i still struggle to put in a nutshell what we do when someone we don’t know asks us! each day is not like the next when it comes to blogging and taking photos and making videos and writing and planning. a large part of the work we do with all of it is behind the scenes and requires a lot of time and organization and care. editing, prepping for trips, working on our collaborations and partnerships, maintaining the site, managing legal and accounting stuff, and the never ending email machine, it’s something we try to stay on top of since it’s just the two of us and we’re tag teaming it all day long with the kids.
we are still figuring things out, but we have learned a lot of lessons working from home. i thought it’d be helpful to share a few of the major takeaways we have found when it comes to successfully working from home, in partnership with philips hue today, because josh and i both feel like having the right light is one of the biggest factors when it comes to getting stuff done at home!
5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY WORKING FROM HOME
1. get dressed.
it honestly sounds so easy and simple, but for ages i would work in my pj’s from bed and it would be hard to truly get into the proper mode. we both have found that getting all ready for the day goes a long way. and yes, it’s true. josh wears a tie quite often while working. it’s just the way he’s done life since his teenage years and i love him for it.
2. have dedicated working hours.
this one i am still working on daily, because it can be hard to separate work and life when i am at home and a lot of what we do is share bits and pieces of that life. i feel so lucky that “work” rarely feels like work, but i also have found that having hours set aside to work (after which i put it all away) makes a huge difference. it’s important to me to draw this line and stick to it since i don’t go to an office space, and don’t have an office in my home. i don’t want my kids to see me on my computer too frequently during the day but i also don’t want to be up until one or two in the morning on my computer either. it’s been really helpful for josh and me to tag team and trade off spending time with the kids or getting things done throughout the day to have designated hours for each thing. helps me feel a little more sane, for sure!
we have found it so helpful to have bright strong lights on during the day when we are working from home. you can try searching for a 5000K white light bulb which simulates natural daylight and can help you feel more alert and awake. we did that and then also had separate lamps with warmer softer light for early mornings and bedtimes so we could all wind down. but josh and i have switched the majority of our light bulbs out for energy-efficient philips hue smart lights which we can connect to our smart phones through the philips hue app and basically create a personalized wireless lighting system built into our tiny renter apartment! the biggest perk to this is that since we have a smaller space, we tend to use our front living room as a room for many things, from eating to relaxing to where i stretch and do yoga to spending time with the kids as well as turning it into our “office.” having control and being able to personalize the light in that room has been gold, since there are different preset light settings for waking up, relaxing, feeling energized, concentrating, with the ability to set any color and brightness. another tip for when it comes to lighting and working from home is for if you’re working before bed (which i often do) and you don’t necessarily want bright concentrating white lights on because you won’t sleep as well and you don’t want it too soft because then you fall asleep while working. with the philips hue lights, i can set them on a timer to gradually dim to a more relaxing softer light over an hour so by the time i am winding down with the last few things i’m working on, the light is also adjusting to help me prepare my body and mind for an easier transition to sleep!
4. elevate your equipment.
we mean this literally. since we are in a smaller space and don’t have a designated office, we have found a great way to stay organized is to still keep all of our work things in one place – about 6 feet off the ground to ensure the hard drives and cameras and anything else of great worth and value doesn’t accidentally get destroyed by our little ones! this also helps us save time in the end because we aren’t trying to find where we put the camera or a computer or battery charger, etc.
5. get out!
get out of the apartment to work occasionally, if you can! it truly is such a luxury to get to work from home but when the weather is beautiful or i want to break things up and have a change in scenery, grabbing my laptop and heading to a local coffee shop or a park bench in central park is so wonderful. if needed, you can get a hot spot on your phone so you can have a quick and reliable internet connection so you can work from anywhere! it’s always nice to change it up once in a while, especially if you’re doing a long stretch of work and haven’t really had any human interaction for quite some time (i’m always so guilty of this!)
let me know in the comments if you have any other useful tips to get the most out of working from home or from a tiny space! thank you to philips hue for sponsoring this blog post, and for helping us make the most of our space with our very own personalized lighting system!