Last year I wrote a post detailing the early stage of my transition from working in an office to working for myself at home. After not really thinking about a need to properly plan a transition process, I found myself needing to more seriously look at the change in my working life once I was at home and facing my new reality.
The plan I developed at the time focused on: setting tasks for each day; establishing realistic goals; and adopting a positive and confident attitude. It was a good plan and I recommend that everyone making a similar leap do the same thing. In fact I will be writing more on this topic and providing more pointers in future posts.
However, despite having all the best laid plans and strategies in place, I found myself struggling late last year and in need of more support. You can have all the plans in the world but you need to be in a place to believe in them, follow them and implement them. For a few months there, I couldn’t do that.
I felt lost and alone. After working at the same workplace for nearly 20 years I found it very difficult to accept I was no longer going back there. I struggled with setting my own goals and following through on tasks. I was paralysed by a lack of confidence and was hamstrung by a deep feeling that I would not succeed and would need to eventually find another job anyway.
That there is a huge case of self-sabotage. A classic text-book style way to ensure you will NEVER succeed.
So what changed my thinking?
A combination of factors have changed my thought processes. Nathan has been fantastic, taking on the role of motivator and keeping me honest. Our shared desire to both work from home has also renewed my commitment and belief. And having a few unsettled weeks with the kids returning to school has also underscored why it’s important I make this work so I can be here at home for them when they need me.
But above all, it was my father’s cancer diagnosis and hospitalisation which threw me for a loop and acted as the circuit breaker that I needed to get away from my damaging self-talk and take stock of my life.
During those weeks with my parents in Sydney and later travelling to and from home, I was able to view my position with new eyes and really appreciate how lucky I was to be able to drop everything to be with them. No need to seek leave from work or worry that tasks weren’t being done. It was one less stressor to deal with in an incredibly stressful situation.
The other side of a health crisis? In the face of medical emergency you always come out of it better appreciating your own health and all the opportunities laid out in front of you. I knew I could not continue the way I had been into this new year. It was time to be brave and take the hard steps to make working from home really work.
So, after a very challenging few months I am now ready to re-commit to making this transition work. And in the interests of accountability, here are my updated tasks, goals and the attitude I wish to achieve below:
- I have a new diary – a leaving work gift from Nathan last year and I love it. I use it to put my tasks in for each day – there is no better feeling than crossing each of the suckers off my list!
- Nathan and I have worked together to develop a daily schedule to set out my tasks and timetable them so I can keep on track. It’s day 1 of this approach today and I’ve already turned things around (I’m blogging in the AM instead of the PM) but it needs to be flexible to accommodate the realities of life. So far, so good.
- We have also worked together to map out how our week will look like. We are making a promise to watch less TV so we can be more productive in the evenings and leave the afternoons free for the kids so we have set out a rough draft of how our week will look like. It’s a work in progress but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
- We have also set up an old school (i.e. non-electronic) blog editorial calendar. This will eventually be placed into an electronic format but again it’s been a great way to give us both direction and allow us to better plan and manage our blogs.
- We have a new addition to our study – a whiteboard. On the other side lies details of our vision and where we want to be in 2017. This side deals with he more immediate goals to help us on the road to achieving that vision.
- We have set goals up until the start of April – this is when we will embark on our trip of a lifetime with the kids to the USA. These goals closely resemble the ones I originally shared last year but have a lot more detail included and are therefore a lot more specific and achievable now. As you can see, we have broken the goals up into streams:
- My Home Truths – goals are to continue drafting my book which is aimed at supporting parents of kids with special needs and to finally set up a proper email list
- Smarter Happier – goals are to find a regular blogging rhythm (at least 3 posts a week), become more active and purposeful on social media and establish an email list
- Niche site – goal is to identify a niche site, set it up and get it monetised so we can generate passive income. Learn more about niche sites here.
- The only goal that I have not recommitted to is to set up Double Scoop Consulting – well, not yet, anyway. I want to continue focussing on getting the blogs in shape and setting up some passive income streams before looking at the business. This is something we will continue to review as the year progresses.
- I am committed to working from home. This is a real job and I can do this.
- I believe that I can make this work and make a difference.
- I want to help people and the goals I have set will allow me to do that.
- I am prepared to work hard to get things off the ground.
- I am happy to be at home and to have the freedom to choose what I do and when I do it.
- I am lucky I have the chance to better balance my working and home lives and be there more for my children.
I will continue to keep you updated with my transition from the workplace as the year wears on.
How do you organise your work? Do you set tasks and goals? Do you re-evaluate your attitude too?