Secrets on how to be a happy remote worker
Just a few short months ago, I quit the corporate 9-5 of working. I was working for a big well-known corporation as a designer to which I will not name drop. (sorry, not sorry)
I was losing my mind driving an hour to and from work in Atlanta traffic
I was losing my mind driving an hour to and from work in Atlanta traffic, which if you don’t know can be crazy! It takes you double the time to get anywhere in Atlanta. The corporation I worked for had a lot of great perks, I loved the people I worked with and the culture was amazing, but the actual work was very mundane.
For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me because it always felt like i wanted more and something was missing. I was working a super comfortable job, with great pay and I could have easily of worked my way up the corporate ladder. As a woman you know you need to prove to your male counterparts that you are just as worthy to have that beautiful job title.
Actually, there was something wrong with me, but it’s my super power, I was a woman who has been walking through life for 31 years with undiagnosed ADHD. I have a mix of the two types of ADHD inattentive and hyperactivity. There is so much more that goes along with ADHD for adults and women. That is why corporate was keeping me in a brain fog because I was not challenged with the work, it was very repetitive. And as everyone knows boredom and ADHD do not go together.
After three and half years I finally made the jump, head first, right into remote working as a designer. Now I am not going to tell you it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of… Actually, yes, yes, I am. You have more freedom to move around and for an adult ADHD’er that’s great! You are less interrupted by co-workers and bosses asking you “when are you going to be finished with that project”, you can listen to your music as loud as you want, and you’re not distracted by the conversation going on a few cubes over.
With every positive there is a negative though.
When I first started working remotely, I was getting a little sad and the feeling of guilt randomly for the first week. I quickly realized it was because I was not getting out of the house much and interacting with other human beings. So, I made a decision that starting that next week I would start going to yoga to get my butt out of the house. Yoga has helped me not only get out of the house, but it has helped me mentally too.
As for the guilt, I was feeling guilty for being happy about my now calm and relaxing lifestyle, but I realized that society is why I was feeling guilty, because I was not out there working in the corporate world and running myself dry until there was nothing left to give when I got home to my husband. Society has our thinking so twisted that we have to live a certain lifestyle to prove to the world that we are successful, when what really mattes is that you are happy!
Love what you do
It does not matter where you work in the world, whether it be at a corporate office or in the comfort of your own home, if you do not love what you do, and it does not spark joy in your life, you will not thrive and do your best at your job. You must find your passion. I know some people say not to choose your passion for your career, but I disagree! I think you should seek out something you love and have a passion for.
Do not overwork yourself
I cannot stress this one enough, do not overwork yourself. Be sure to set a starting time and a quitting time. Sure there will be days when you have a project that needs to be finished that night and thats okay. Just dont make it a habit.
Make sure you have a dedicated work space. My dedicated work space is in my basement in a small room that I remodeled for comfort. I love comfy carpet, so I installed carpet, added some plants and painted the walls grey. I also chose this room because it has a window, Vitamin D is very important when you’re working remotely. Another reason you want a dedicated work space is because your work life and home life are going to blur together. I noticed this happening the second week I started working from home. I would see unpaid bills on my kitchen counter that I would keep dismissing and forget to pay because I would see them everyday on my lunch break. But after I got into a routine and I knew that upstairs was home life and the basement was work-life it made it much easier. (ps those bills finally got paid, right on time, haha)
Get out of the house
Get out of the house at-least once a day. Sign up for classes or go walk around a Kroger Just as long as you get out of the house. I know how easy it is to just stay inside all day, and most of the time I want to, but I do not. I go to yoga three days a week, then Tuesday is for me, I either go out or stay home and finish up a home project or do some crafts and then on Friday I usually go do errands.
Yep I said it! Get up and get dressed, like you would if you were going into the office. (you’re all like, but Amanda I work from home! we should stay in our Pjs!) I know that sounds crazy. But I was staying in my pajamas all day everyday for about 2 weeks and I noticed a shift in my mood, I was depressed from not leaving the house and staying in my pajamas so I started getting dressed, Yep, I even put a bra on! haha. Getting dressed has helped me and my body know that it is work time and not lazy time.
As a remote worker I have learned the key to success is loving what you do, do not overwork yourself just because you do work from home. Have a dedicated place to work that is away from your home life. Set timers to keep you on track and have a set starting and quitting time. Be sure to get out of the house at least once a day, for me that is yoga, I go to yoga 3 times a week and I find other errands to do on the days I do not go to yoga. Last but not least keep a routine, and get dressed, your body will thank you.