Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Aubergine about Making Sure Your Blog Benefits Your Family, and I’m excited to welcome Martine from Dainty Mom to Life Your Way:
I’ve been working from home for a little under two years, and I love it. I suppose it’s because I’ve always been inspired by home, from the time I was still living in my mom’s well-appointed, thoughtfully-designed house, to the time I had a home of my own to appoint in the way that best fit my family.
As much as I enjoy being inspired by my home, I like being inspired by my work space. Being a mom, I need to be inspired as I work from home, five days a week. I’d like to share with you just four of these tips, which can help you get recharged and keep you motivated as you maintain that delicate balance of work, home management and family life.
1. Create an inspiring work space.
I’m a visual person. So, it’s important to me that my work space is beautiful and motivating. Earlier this year, I bought a simple yet pretty desk, hung an inspiring print above it, and prettified the tabletop with a vase of faux berries – happiness! Having a beautiful, inspired workspace is essential to staying productive when you’re working from home, especially since it’s proven that colors greatly influence mood, and even enhance productivity.
Quality light is also essential, so position your desk where there’s lots of natural light during the day, and, if you work at night, opt for warm-colored lighting. You’ll get work done faster and more efficiently when your space is visually stimulating and pleasant to your eyes.
2. Work elsewhere, occasionally.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you need to stay at home every day to work. For me, as a writer, sometimes a change of scenery is necessary, especially if I’m working on creatives like ads or scripts. During these times, I like to escape to the coffee shop and do my work alone. I ask my husband or sometimes the grandparents (who are always willing to oblige!) to watch my son while I get two hours of power writing done. Afterwards, it feels incredibly rewarding to have been able to accomplish a chunk of work, and I’m excited to be reunited with my son and husband again.
3. Create relaxed spaces in your home.
Jane Austen said, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” And I totally agree. That’s why, in our little home, I make sure that work and rest areas are clearly defined so that real relaxation can happen when it’s needed. Both my husband and I work from home, so we’ve made it a rule to not take our laptops into the bedroom, for example. Furthermore, we’ve decorated our bedroom to look like a haven for relaxation, investing in pretty linens, a nice paint job, subtle lighting and light-colored furnishings.
Our living room, too, is dedicated to family time, reading, lounging, even meditating. My work space is actually in a small space between our living area and dining area, and when I’m not working on it, it doubles as part of the living-dining room décor when I remove everything utilitarian from it at the end of the day. Maintaining these relaxing spaces helps create different vibes within our home, so that we can consciously separate work from pleasure.
4. Keep focused with a work-at-home mission statement.
This is core to my being a work-at-home mom! Working from home requires the same skill set as running a small corporation, and having a mission statement to support my intention to work from home helps keep me on track, both as a worker and a family woman. Try making one for yourself, creating key points for those areas in your home and work life. (Here’s a sample of my own mission statement.) Refer back to your mission statement when work levels get toxic, or when you find yourself spending less and less time with your family.
The best way to stay inspired as a work-at-home mom – more than all these tips – is simply to never forget why you’re working from home. It’s not an option that most people have or are afforded with, so be thankful every day that you can be one. Reflect on the independence you have and be grateful for it; this gratitude will actually help make you a better worker.
How do you find inspiration while you’re working from home?
Martine de Luna is a wife, mom, and freelance writer. She’s the owner and editor of Dainty Mom, a tips and inspiration blog for work-at-home moms, which recently won the 2011 Philippine Blog Awards for Best Home and Parenting Blog. When she’s not making words awesome for her clients, Martine loves to cook, decorate the house, and spend days out of the house with her husband and toddler son. She lives in Manila, the Philippines.