Working from Home has been my way of life for over five years and even before that I was already shifting to work more remotely. As a voice actor with my own studio I have managed to keep myself efficiently busy with a good work/life balance routine.
Working from home is a mindset and when I first starting to work remotely my biggest worry was how I would deal without interacting physically with people. As a person who identifies with physicality as a main language this was a real concern. However I overcame the challenge by identifying how I could work with that language barrier and thrive.
If you are starting to work from home then here are a few tips that have helped me.
- Primary Concerns - ask yourself what those concerns are and spell them out for you
- Work mode - do you prefer to get up early and work until lunch or lunch until dinner or late into the night. Figuring out what your work mode is will help.
- Self care time - what type of self care do you prefer? A cup of tea, a crossword break, a walk around the block, chatting to a friend. Have a few things in mind for variety.
- Structure - now you have a rough list of what work and self needs you have, plot them so you can go through them and figure out a working and life day that works for you.
- Change - remember it doesn’t have to work from day 1 so change as you need to. Maybe your work ends up being with clients in a different time zone so you can structure your day differently than when you started out. Be prepared to be flexible at first and try different things out.
Avoid thinking that if you work all the hours in one day you will be more productive. It rarely if ever works like that. A simple coffee break or magazine break allows you to breathe and gather your thoughts. The brain quite likes to mull over challenges but a distraction usually enables it to reach an answer.
In my week, I map out work tasks that I want to complete as well as life tasks that need to be included. I also slot in self care activities and I take care to do these because every time I think about skipping them in fact I feel worse and less creative than when I end up doing them. My dance family are really important to me and as a voice actor where you internalise all the physicality of the roles, it means I can release all that vitalness safely and into something also very creative and rewarding on many levels. I enjoy chatting with friends over a coffee even if its online. A read of a chapter of a book or a set time playing a video game also allows for some down time. Always get up, prepare for “going to work” and that mindset helps structure the day.
Whatever system you find that works for you when you work from home, go for it. Just remember, when the conference calls happen, remember to wear clothes!