Tag Archives: work from home

Monster Productivity Hacks For People Stuck In Home Offices

Having a home office can be a lot of fun. You no longer have to deal with office politics or chat idly around the coffee machine with co-workers you only barely tolerate. 

But there’s a problem – home offices aren’t always ideal for productivity. Compared to working in a regular office, in can be harder to get stuff done. 

In this post, let’s look at some monster productivity hacks for people stuck at home.

Find Something That Makes You Happy

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Did you know that our brains work best when we are happy? Well, it’s true. So when working from home, find a setup that fills you with joy. 

Naturally, what this entails depends on you. Perhaps it’s always having your favorite mug of tea next to you while you work, or maybe it’s putting up photos of your pets. Whatever it is, make sure that you do it. Over the course of weeks and months, it can dramatically improve your work. 

Focus On Ergonomics

Don’t just sit on the couch or at the kitchen table. Over time, that’s going to ruin your posture, cause pain, and make you less productive. 

Instead, really drill down into ergonomics. Find out what works best for your body and then perfect it. Make sure that your mouse and keyboard are at the right height, relative to your chair. Move your chair up and down. And even experiment with standing desks if you feel that they might help. 

Changing your ergonomics could be the best thing you ever do. 

Achieve The Perfect Temperature

Productivity goes down when office temperatures go above 73.4 or fall below 64.4 degrees F. So you’ll want to find a way to keep yours within that range if at all possible.

Don’t delay getting AC repair if you need it. You’ll often make back your investment in the form of higher productivity and more comfort while at work. 

Put Plants Next To Your Screen

Sometimes you don’t have a choice of whether or not to stare at a screen all day. But you can improve the experience by adding potted plants to either side. Plants increase oxygen levels in your office while also having positive effects on your mood. It’s also fun typing at a computer that looks as though it is emerging from the jungle. 

Block Your Time

Generally, you can place your work times into two distinct categories: tasks and communication (phone calls, emails, virtual meetings, etc.). Completing tasks is what earns you money and makes you valuable to the company you work for. Your correspondences and meetings can add value, but they are also an enormous time sink. For this reason, the most productive home office workers always block their time. For instance, they might block their calendar from 8 am to 9 am to respond to emails, schedule a project team huddle at 1:30 pm and then perform tasks for the rest of the day. If they have several meetings to get through, they might block them one after the other at the end of the day so that they can use the morning to do tasks when they are at their most productive. Play around with what time blocking works best for you!

Do you work from home? What productivity hacks would you add?

Keeping Yourself Fit And Healthy At Home

The current pandemic has meant many folks have had to move their office into their homes. But working from home can harbor risks that must be consciously countered. With these helpful tips, you can strengthen your health from home and prevent permanent complaints.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

1. Sitting properly

“Back pain is one of the most common ailments for workers. You can effectively prevent them by adopting a healthy sitting posture. An ergonomic chair provides the basis for this,” says Dr. Ursula Marschall. The sitting posture should be as upright as possible, with arms and legs at right angles to the body and both feet firmly on the floor.

2. Align the laptop at the correct height

Anyone who works with a laptop should point it at the right angle. Between the eyes and the screen, around 50 to 70 centimeters is ideal. To protect the neck, the viewing angle should be around 20 degrees. The more you are looking down at the screen, the more tension you are holding in your neck and shoulders which can cause pain and health trouble in the future. 

3. Regular breaks with exercise

Many people end up exercising less when working from home. Regular breaks are important for productivity in the home office. This can best be combined with some exercise. Every hour you should get up and move around at least once, for example to get a glass of water or for a short yoga session. In addition, during the lunch break or after work, a walk of at least half an hour or some other moderate exercise is recommended in order to get a balance. You could look to Fitness 19 for further inspiration.

4. Don’t forget a healthy diet

Food cravings or casual snacks are more common in the home office. Determining fixed times for lunch and having healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts on hand can help. The daily structure with a lunch break that a working day in the office offers can also be created in the home office. Try shared virtual lunches! And don’t forget hydration either. Screen time can cause dry eye and headaches so you must remember to drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby.

4. Strengthen mental health

In the home office, the line between professional and private life is often blurred, you can be reached permanently or work longer. Those who actively manage their limits in the home office experience up to 14 percent less stress. According to a recent study, a conscious separation of professional and private life is helpful for many people in the home office. Fixed working hours and a non-working evening make sense here. A spatial separation such as a separate workplace also ensures that work and leisure do not mix. It is not always easy to do this at home but do your best.

How do you keep yourself fit and healthy at home? 

P.S. Fingers crossed we can travel again soon. I’ve got my Tom Bihn ready!

Working From Home? Here is How to Find Balance

Depending on your job title and employer, you may have found yourself working from home for the last 18 months. And while we would like to take this moment to salute our frontline workers for keeping the world going while the rest of us were forced indoors, it has been tough on us too. 

While we may have settled into a routine of working from home, there can still be the issue of finding balance. From the looks of things, we will not be returning to the office anytime soon. If you are still struggling, here are some suggestions on how to keep your home and work life separate when they are occupying the same space.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Spare Room? How about an office?

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, this could potentially be a great home office. Not only will this be a great excuse to decorate or tidy the space to give it purpose, but it will also create a boundary within your home for work. You may have noticed in the early days of the pandemic, you found it difficult to switch off from work mode at the end of the day. This is likely because you were working in your home, not your office. This new boundary can have a massive positive impact on your mental health and work productivity. Plus, it is better to hide your paperwork behind a closed-door than the kitchen table. That way you won’t be thinking about it when you don’t need to be.

Turn off notifications

If you find yourself checking emails and messages after hours because they keep pinging your phone, you need to turn those notifications off. If you can’t dedicate a space for your home office, you can at least dedicate time. And turn things off after your dedicated working hours have passed. The simple fact is, you are only supposed to work so many hours and calculating part time work hours while you are at home might add up to the equivalent of a full time job. If you are struggling to turn them off, you might need to invest in a separate work phone to keep things separate.

Cultivate an inner sense of work

When we had to commute to work, there was a period during the travelling to your workplace when you had time to process and transition into work mode. When you start working from home, this doesn’t happen. Instead, you must learn to make that switch to work mode before you sit down to your daily tasks. 

What you might want to do is set up a routine that helps get you into the mindset of starting your workday. One of my favorite ways is to pretend that it is still a workday and I have to leave the house. So, get up, have a quick workout and shower, pop on some clean clothes and grab a cup of coffee as you head to your workstation.

Leave work at work

This might seem a bit impossible as your workstation will be in your home, but it is still possible. When you are finished with your workday, pack all of your work stuff together, turn off those notifications, and shut the door to your office. After you are done for the day, there is no reason why you need to have your work things around you. If you are tempted to work, that’s fine. Some people find themselves in a flow and don’t want to break. But once you are finished with your tasks, it is time to put work away for the day.

Do not let your family in your office

If you are having to balance working at home with homeschooling your children, this can be tricky. If you have space, set up little workstations for them in your office, such as a kids play table and chairs. This will signal to them that this is where schoolwork is completed. But once they are finished with their work, they have to leave the office and do playtime somewhere else. It is important that they do not play in your office because it can become a distraction for you. Also, there is a good chance that you have important work documents that you don’t want to be ruined.

These are some of the ways you can create a better balance of work and home life while we are still working from home. Try these out and see if they help you to create a space of productivity and relaxation.

P.S. Check out this DIY desk decor! 😉

5 Ways to Diversify Your Income Streams and Make Money from Home

* This post may contain affiliate links.

If you consider yourself even the slightest bit interested in personal finance, you’ve heard it before — diversify your income streams. Whether you have a traditional 9-5 or work for yourself/freelance, new sources of income that can be made from home are often the goal. Especially if you don’t wanna tack on extra commutes (*raises hand*). ESPECIALLY if you’re introverted (*raises both hands*). In our super online world, there are all kinds of ways to make money without leaving your house, but finding the options that bring you joy can sometimes be tricky. 

Read on for some ideas that could help you boost  your income without feeling like too much work…

Turn a Hobby Into a Side Hustle 

If you have a hobby that you love and want to hone, consider how you might make money by turning this hobby into a side hustle, or even a full time gig. This is a great way to pull in a bit of extra cash along side a full time job. After-all, you’re already taking part in whatever this hobby is in your free time, right? Like to make cakes? Start a baking blog. Into scouting for vintage jewelry? Start an Etsy store. Painting savant? Start teaching an art class once a week. Even if you’re brand new to a hobby there are so many resources online to help you grow a side hustle. For instance, here’s how to become a microgreens farmer, a certified pet sitter, and an extra in tv and movies. Pay close attention to what makes you happy — whether that’s growing plants or hanging out with kittens or standing in front of a camera — and do more of it. Then, consider whether this could be a lucrative business option for you.

Use Your Expert Knowledge To Help Others

If you have substantial knowledge in a subject, you could use this knowledge to help others. How? Become an online consultant or even a tutor. There are lots of sites out there for you to market your expertise and look for clients. If you’re willing to do a bit more work upfront, consider creating online courses on your favorite subject matter. If you already have an online following or email list, you can easily send out info about your new class. Without an embedded audience, there are great websites like Teachable and CreativeLive to consider. Sharing your knowledge and expertise can feel great when you’re talking to people who really want to learn!

Create Content Others Can Enjoy

Many of us enjoy creating content for ourselves. You have full control over the message and you’re able to feel involved with the larger community of whatever your niche may be.  Some people enjoy writing Ebooks, others like writing blogs, some enjoy making videos, the list goes on. It’s now easier than ever with sites like Upwork and Fiverr, to put yourself out there and use the skills you’ve acquired making content for yourself and do it for others. This could be as simple as writing a blog post or two for a website you love or designing cool slides for an influencer’s Instagram stories. If there’s an aspect of content creation you love, there’s definitely a way to monetize that! 

Take Pictures

If you love taking pictures and consider yourself skilled with a camera, you could sell your photography to stock image sites. It can be a little bit trial and error to figure out what sort of images are accepted and do well on these sites. However, I’ve seen lots of folks make a killing once they hit a nice little rhythm. Even if you’re waiting to get accepted by the bigger sites, smaller, free stock image sites often offer incentives to photographers, like being able to link to a PayPal or Ko-fi account. That way, if someone really loves your image they can thank you for letting them use it. If you’re already walking around with a camera all day practicing photography, keep these stock image sites in mind. 

Clear Out and Sell Your Unwanted Stuff

There’s no feeling quite like clearing out all of your unwanted stuff and then enjoying the free space of a decluttered home. Once you have everything that you no longer want, you can use online platforms to list and sell these items. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! 

What am I missing Do you have any ideas for making money from home that you think could spark joy?

Office Design Tricks to Up Your Productivity Levels

*This post contains affiliate links.*

The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…

Light the Way

Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp // Globe String Lights // Petite Perla Chandelier

Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk

If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.

Mesh Desk Chair // Gaiam Balance Ball Chair // Adjustable Foot Rest

Sights, Smells and Sounds

Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.

Interior Paint in Blue Bayou // Calming Art Print // Ayo Mirror

You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.

Hawaiian Flowers // Stress Relief Candle // Stone Essential Oil Holder

The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.

Sound Proof Panels // Noise Cancelling Headphones // Wireless Speaker

Clutter Clearing

While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!

Poppin 3-Drawer File Cabinet // Paper Organizers // Wire Wall Grid

Bring in Nature

There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!

5 x 7 Frame // Gradient Cement Planter // Mid-Century Turquoise Planters 

Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance

Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.

Nest Thermostat // Urbanjet Desk Fan // Portable Radiator

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!

Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity? 

Nine Activities to Break Up the Day When Working from Home

After I’ve worked from home for a few hours, I tend to get fed up with my surroundings, and need a change of scenery. You too? There are definitely benefits of having a place in your home that allows you to get shiz done. Whether you work for yourself, remotely, or hustle on the side. At the same time — when you wake up, punch the clock, and fall asleep ALL within a few steps of each other? It can get a little monotonous! So let’s talk about how to break up the day when you’re hard at work in your humble abode…

Stand Up Every Hour

To protect your lower back and improve circulation, stand up and stretch every hour. I use the Pomodoro app to set timers for work and when I need to peel myself out of my office chair. (I love a good power hour followed by a 15 minute break!) Oh, and if you’re feeling uninspired, use the time to get some fresh air (outside or open a window). The fresh oxygen is great for your body and brain! 

Coffee Break Around the Corner

Instead of having coffee at my desk, I like to take a walk to the ventanita up the street for a freshly brewed treat. Breaks like these give you something to look forward to when you are hitting a wall. Plus, motivating yourself with a coffee…or a healthy smoothie or a cupcake(!) or whatever treat might be close by is a great way to incentivize the big push you need to meet a looming deadline.

Check the News

Instead of checking the news on my computer or phone, getting a newspaper to flick through or flipping on the TV for a few minutes allows me stay tuned in to current events throughout the day. WITHOUT getting sucked into the inevitable internet rabbit holes.

Five Minute Yoga Routines

No matter how small your home office is, you can always find a spot to unroll a yoga mat! Look on YouTube for a few yoga stretching routines you can complete in five minutes or less. Bookmark your favorites so you can return to them whenever you need to stretch, restore your breathing, and energize. Your attention span will thank you!

Call Your Friend or Colleagues

For a complete break, return that phone call to your mom or give your friend a ring to hammer out weekend plans. Want to stay on task but still have an excuse to pace away from your desk? If you generally collaborate with your colleagues through email or Gchat, switch it up and call them instead. You can talk about the project you are working on, ask about the next steps, or simply clarify issues. 

Water the Flowers

One thing I really want to start getting more into is houseplants! And I’d like to keep up with their maintenance by choosing a set day and time to go around the house and tend to them. This would give me a short break, a reason to unchain myself from the desk/computer, and a sense of accomplishment. You can create your own schedule based on the watering and care needs of your plants. For example, Hawaiian flowers (my current obsession) need less water less often to stay healthy and bloom, while some houseplants need attention every day.  

Plan Your Office Redecoration

Feeling like your home office needs a reboot? Take some time to brainstorm how to improve your home office to suit your needs better. Think about the colors you want to use, the carpet, look for inspirational images and quotes, and think about ways of improving your lighting. You might even download an online app that allows you to design the perfect space online. Get ideas from blogs and magazines, and use your imagination. My current set-up is fine for now but I love daydreaming and planning for a future office overhaul! 

Complete a Mandala

While you might think that coloring is for kids, it is actually a super relaxing activity. You can print a mandala (for free!) and get your crayons or colored pencils out to complete and design it. Sometimes when my work is feeling more monotonous than creative (think: spreadsheets and analytics), I like to bust out the art supplies for a little bit to break up the monotony. 

Watch Funny Videos

For some fun and energizing entertainment, save your favorite YouTube videos for when you need a pick-me-up. Get a collection saved on your desktop or bookmark bar, so you can access them when you need them.  A bit of laughter goes a long way. It will help you release stress  so you can carry on with your daily work more focused and motivated. I’m starting a new playlist for this very purpose! So far I’m feeling this one and this one.
LEAVE ME LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE FUNNY VIDEOS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! 

Thanks so much for reading, friends! Happy working (and breaking!!) ❤

P.S. Want to spend your break time working with an experienced counselor? Check out BetterHelp.

Collaborations Can Take the Loneliness Out of Working from Home

*This post is brought to you by BetterHelp.com. If you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness, working with one of their experienced counselors is an awesome option!*

If there is one thing I hear most freelancers complain about, it is working from home. Sure, not needing to leave the house for work might sound fantastic at first. After all, you can create your own schedule and even stay in pajamas all day if you want! (Plus, you don’t have to deal with a horrendous commute twice a day.) Sounds like the dream, right? Well, not always. In fact, you may find working from home lonely and isolating – longing for someone to chat to throughout the day. Even as an introvert, I’m right there with ya! And no, chatting with my clients via email or on Slack doesn’t count! 

So, how to cope with the loneliness of working from home? One simple solution is to collaborate with other people who are self-employed. That way, you can work with others on some cool and exciting new projects.

Not too sure how to collaborate with others or how to find people who might be willing to team up with you? Here are some great ways to do it!

Side Hustle in Reverse

Lots of people choose to work for themselves, either freelancing or starting a small business, as a side hustle. Since you’re already working for yourself (or at least working remotely), consider taking up this idea in reverse. If you’re interested in a specific industry, why not pursue a part-time job outside the home? This is a great way to meet new people while also learning new skills and broadening your networking scope. After writing for a client in the wine industry a couple years ago, I decided I’d love to learn more about wine. I looked into some classes near me but settled on applying for a job instead. A couple nights and weekends spent in a wine store is a small price to pay for tons of on-the-job training and a chance to spend time with actual people…instead of just my computer screen. (Oh, and I get a paycheck, too!)

Find Tools To Help You Collaborate Remotely

In some cases, you won’t be collaborating face-to-face. Depending on the project you want to work on, you might have to work with people remotely. There are lots of tools that can help you with this. Set a time to check in via Skype or FaceTime so that you can have some proper conversations about your work. This will be a lot more effective than messaging via gchat or email. To ensure you can schedule in these calls, you might want to find out more about scheduling tools and platforms. These can help you arrange meetings and also schedule your work. Sticking to schedules and sharing those schedules with others I’m working with (clients AND collaborators) has gone a long way in helping me feel like my home-job is a REAL job. 

Work In A Coworking Space

Even if you don’t fancy collaborating with another freelancer, working from a co-working space a few days a week can feel like a breath of fresh air for most extroverted work-from-home folks. These spaces are just like offices, only usually a lot more casual, and give freelancers the chance to work around others. Most of them require you to pay a monthly fee, though there are some free ones out there. (Some even have office kitchens so that you can enjoy coffee and snacks! And you know what you miss most about an office is the snacks, lol!) 

Attend Networking Events

Most cities and towns have regular events that are aimed at small business owners and freelancers. You will find that there are a lot of casual events to help freelancers connect with others in the area. These are great for meeting new friends and collaborators. But there will also be a lot of professional networking events as well, which will be the best bet for you if you’re looking for a serious collaboration that could blossom into a new professional venture. It’s worth getting in touch with your local business network to see if there are any events coming up. You can also have a look on the Meetup website for what’s popping off in your area.

Use Social Media

If you want lots of chances to connect and collaborate, you could consider joining social media groups designed to bring together folks in your industry. Think: A Facebook group for yoga instructors or a message board for copywriters. Looking to branch outside your field on a collab? Instagram and Twitter are great platforms to link up with like-minded people in your area. Either way, social media is a great place to gain feedback from others, ask questions/for help, and share online resources. There are so many ways to connect online if you open yourself up to the possibilities. My very first work-from-home position came about through interacting in the comments section of a blog! 

Consider Becoming A Mentor

If you would prefer to work with someone on a one-on-one basis, you might like the idea of becoming a mentor to another freelancer. You can take a newbie under your wing and help them on the road of self-employment. I’m sure that there will be lots of things that you can teach them about. For instance, you might want to give them some tips and pointers on budgeting or time management. Not only will this give you some human contact through the week, but it will also feel rewarding!

How do you guys take the loneliness out of working from home? Any paths to meaningful collaboration I’m missing?

P.S. Want an inside look into someone else’s “hustle”? I have a whole series dedicated to just that!

P.P.S. Have an idea about how you and I could collaborate? Let’s chat! Drop me an email – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – don’t be shy!!

Found: My Perfect Planner

I’ve finally found a planner that I’m totally obsessed with and can foresee using for months (maybe years!) to come. It’s the Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days-A-Week Planner Journal.  Here’s what I love about it:

  • Features 52 week at-a-glance spreads.
  • Each week runs Monday-Sunday and includes a “Someday” column for other tasks you want to complete during the week that aren’t specific to a certain day.
  • Includes 30 minute interval time slots so you can map out your day super precisely.
  • Spiral-bounding allows it to lie flat and stay tucked in a drawer with the current day facing up.

This may sound a bit neurotic, but when I was contemplating the reasons why past planners just hadn’t cut it, it was the inability to create a detailed timeline for my day.

You see, my work schedule can be a bit of a puzzle. I do freelance work for a number of different clients, I work on this blog, and I side-hustle at a local wine store. The great thing about this set up is that I can create my own schedule by piecing together the three. The not so great thing? Doing so can be a little difficult to conceptualize. A traditional planner with a big empty box for each day almost felt over-whelming. Jotting down “work at 3pm” or “phone call w/ client at 10am” didn’t do my brain any favors when visualizing how I should schedule the rest of my To-do’s.

Then I had a *lightbulb* moment. What if I could find a planner that was more appointment book than daily calendar? I stumbled upon this 8 day-a-week version while searching on Amazon and the rest is history. It’s honestly one of the best things to happen to my productivity levels in YEARS.

 

Above you’ll see a little peek at my planner in action! Nothing too fancy. I throw in a few stickers here and there when I feel like it (like the devil emoji for a 7am meeting, LOL!) and use a few colors of highlighters to indicate different things. Sometimes I’ll mark off a certain time-frame for client work and then bullet point more specific to-do’s off to the side. And that’s about it. I love it!

What type of planner do YOU use? Tell me below! 

Don’t Hide Your Hustle: Lucy, Graphic Designer

Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a new series on Finding Delight that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).

Today, I present you with Lucy’s story. She runs Salt Design Co. with her best friend and together they guide small businesses through a multitude of design and branding conundrums. Her passion for connection and communication shine through, even though most days she’s working from home! Let’s check out her hustle…

Lucy, Salt Design Co.

Hey! I’m Lucy, a brand designer and strategist. I’m a British-Canadian, with the accent to boot. Just over 18 months ago, straight out of school, I founded my business with one of my best friends. Since then I’ve gone from freelance graphic designer and part time nanny, to a fully fledged business owner. I spend most of my days in my pyjamas or gym kit (because I’m going to work out at some point today…. right!?) and am just getting used to the weird routine that comes from working at home. Today I’m sharing a random Thursday with you, complete with 6am emails and 6pm cocktails! This is a pretty typical day in the life for me, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

6 am – Woke up to my alarm with a jump. Didn’t sleep too well last night, and even though I normally have to wake myself up with multiple alarms (1 set every 5 minutes kinda thing) I woke up instantly today. Honestly, not a good sign for me! That’s a true indicator that I wasn’t sleeping deeply, and I know I hadn’t been all night.

6.30 am – Breakfast! Time for some eggs and avo with toast. One of my fave parts of the day, because I set my laptop on the kitchen counter and have 45 minutes to myself to watch tv and eat yummy food.

7.43 am – Got distracted, looked at the clock, and realized it was most definitely time to move my butt! I casually switched from kitchen counter to couch, and started replying to emails at 7am. Maybe not such a good move….

8.56 am – Continued to work, and that’s ok. I don’t mind getting things done if I’m up early. I feel more productive and accomplished that way. Now, though I’m going to have a little workout, maybe do a 10 minute meditation (a new habit I’m trying to create) and glug down lots of water.

9.04 am – Ok, I’m actually putting the computer down now! LOL

10.18 am – Back to work! I don’t like to waste too much time after I workout, so I tend to jump in the shower, put some comfy clothes on, and get back to it (even with wet hair). First up, checking in on my newsletter for the week and scheduling some Facebook and Twitter posts. Then I need to get on with some strategy documents for a brand project I’m working on! I promised to send them over tomorrow, which means I’ve got today and today only to get them done!

12.12 pm – Despite a few Facebook messages with some other designer friends, I managed to get 2 straight hours of work done on a strategy document and mood board.

12.35 pm – Finished eating and decided that NOW is the time to get out and enjoy the sunshine! I’ve got lots of work left to do, but a latte and some Vitamin D are only going to help. Plus, it’s about time I got dressed and dried my hair…

12.59 pm – Back at my desk and thinking of ALL THE THINGS that have to be done. Contemplating the fact that I could work on Saturday as I’m at a photoshoot tomorrow… but a workout and lunch with friends sounds way more fun, so I’ll just have to get as much done today as possible.

13.15 pm – Stopped working briefly to do a little Instagram stories sesh. Wanted to share with our followers what a brand strategy document is, and what we use them for! Took me a while, mainly because I get fussy about how I look (story of our lives right!) and I also always think my voice sounds weird.

13.48 pm – I’m browsing Pinterest to find the perfect peach colour for my mood board. Pinterest is life!

14.32 pm – Still sat at my desk – I’m sorry to say design days aren’t all that interesting! But in about an hour I’ll be off downtown for cocktails with a friend! Yay!

16.30 pm – Popped into my old office to drop off some flyers – I’m hosting a workshop next month and we’re marketing our butts off!

17.00 pm – Drink time! Gin and Tonic for me, please.

20.00 pm – 2 drinks, and 3 appies later, we’re heading home. I walked part of the way with my friend to make the most of the exercise, and also this sunshine that is only just gracing us here in the Pacific Northwest!

20.30 pm – Home! Yay! Watching the last episode of Season 5, House of Cards with my boyfriend, and then getting an early night. Anyone else as addicted to that show as us!? It’s both horrifying and gripping.

21.45 pm – Bed time. Hopefully I’ll sleep better than I did last night….

Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Lucy! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you work from home or run your own business?  

P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — ebeth.berger@gmail.com. Thanks!