One of my favorite things about being a Voice Actor is working from home. It’s a favorite for many of us.
Having the freedom and flexibility to set our schedules.
Not having a commute.
No annoying co-workers at the office.
The list goes on and on.
But working from home isn’t always easy.
Trying to stay productive. Avoid distractions. Get wrapped up in activities while other people are home.
You know what I’m talking about.
If you’re looking for ways to get better at working from home, here are a few tips from techniques I’ve implemented in my own day.
5 Tips for Working From Home
Change the Scene: Let’s be honest, as wonderful as working from home is, nobody wants to be in their home 24/7. I sure don’t! Which is why at least a few times a week I grab my laptop and head to a restaurant or coffee shop to work for a couple hours. Often, I can get more done in an hour or two out of the office than I can get done in four or five hours at home. No distractions, and the change of scene boosts my creativity.
Set Boundaries: I love my wife. I love my kids. But sometimes, I need to be left over to get stuff done. Fortunately they understand this. If you’re working from home when other people are in the house, you need to set boundaries. Make rules. When the door is closed, don’t knock. If the recording sign is on, don’t interrupt. When I’m in the groove, I need to stay in the groove. Set clear boundaries with your family so you can do the same.
Stay Accountable: This is essential to your success. Try keeping a planner/journal with your daily and weekly goals written in it. Revisit those goals every morning, and before you shut down every day. Remind yourself what your priorities are and focus your energy and efforts accordingly. (I’ve used Ink & Volt for two years and love it!)
Know Your Clock: Are you a morning person? Do you hit your peak in the afternoon? Can you crush it in the evening? You’ll read a thousand articles about the importance of starting early and having a morning routine. Let me tell you, if you’re not a morning person, it’ll likely never work. You’ve got to learn your body, rhythms and routines. If I sit down in the office from 9pm – 11p, I’ll crank out 10x’s the productivity than I could ever dream of between 9am and 11am.
EOD Alarm: When you hit flow state, that is, when you’re in the groove and getting stuff done, it can be easy to totally lose track of time. This happens to me a lot. I get in the office to work on a plan at 7pm and the next time I know, it’s 3am. Something I’ve done with success is setting an End of Day Alarm. When that alarm goes off, it’s time to get out of the office. To pack up and leave just the same as if I were working at a regular office. I put my stuff away. Power down my computer. Turn off the lights. Close the door. My day is done.
People often think that just because we’re home, we’re available. Or that because we work from home, we can do whatever we want when we want. Often, new talent will list that as one of the reasons they want to be in this business.
Freedom and flexibility can be one of the perks of the job. But only if you’re respecting your business when you need to be. Getting things done and holding yourself accountable to tasks and the work, just like if you answered to an employer.
The smarter you are with your home office routines, the more successful you’ll be.