Working from Home. The Dream and the Nightmare.

Back in 2011, when I became a freelancer full time. That very first day was exciting. I rolled out of bed at 9:00 am (still on corporate time), slapped on some fresh undies and decided to ignore the daily ritual of brushing my teeth and freshening my breath. B-lined straight to the kitchen, in my apartment, to grab the biggest bowl in the cabinet. Popped open a fresh box of Captain Crunch and proceeded to my desk to start the morning. The work day proceeded as usual and felt normal.  For the next three months, my work days continued in this same fashion. Around the 4th month, the corporate structure of starting my day at 9:00 am faded further and further away.

I started my mornings later and later, first at 10:00 am then 11:00 am. Staying up late at odd hours of the night and sleeping in the next day became habitual. Friends frequently dropped by my apartment on days off. Family members would always think I was available at the drop of a hat. Having a television next to my work space was also grounds for immediate distraction. Things were nuts. I started turning in projects with the attitude, “I will get to it when I get to it”. I was completely unhinged and now, structureless.

Freedom made me completely lazy. I realized, if I was to succeed at this, I will need to make drastic changes. First and foremost, I needed to treat this as a legitimate 9 to 5. Why? Well, I still needed that discipline of a corporate mindset.   Although I was out of the matrix; business was still conducting itself within it. I started hunkering down and set some fundamentals to abide by. Having the freedom and the discipline not too abuse it was a new lesson in my life that I was slowly learning. By the 7th month, I regained control of the ship by abiding to the guidelines I set out for myself. I stopped hanging out at odd hours of the night, woke up on time (most of the time) for work, minimized any distractions that may surface during the work day and gave myself “me time”. This is why I have lasted a relatively good amount of time as a freelancer and established strong connections with clients. Working for home can be very blissful but at the same time very challenging.

Some of my work distractions:

A thoughtful gift from my clients

C’mon now of course I’m going to have a drink or two every once and while. Hey I’m my own boss! I gave myself permission to kick back on some Kentucky bourbon on my work hours. What could happen?

Bandit trying to get my attention
If you have “needy” pets… guess what!? They are now your mortal enemy. My rescue cat, Bandit, likes to squeeze her fat noggin under my computer monitor until I get up to give her treats. 99% of the time it works and it happens 3-4 times throughout the day. But it gets worse because she has encouraged her older sister to do the same thing, so now its 6-8 times within a work day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The main reason why I got this condo was because of the view and it’s the same reason why it’s my Achilles heel. Given any situation sunny, rainy, cloudy or snowy (Miami? Yeah right…) I can’t help but be mesmerized and spend a majority of my time eye-gazing on the balcony drinking a beer.

Want more tips download my top 7 tips for maintaining a proper work from home environment.

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