Usually, when people find out I work from home (like, legitimately work from home) I either hear:
No one can really work from home and make money (says someone who couldn’t do it).
Oh my gawwddd that is so greeaattt….how did you do it?
Motherfuckin’ Time Management, That’s How
That is seriously the answer. Granted, it’s not as detailed as some would like.
Obsessed with Time Management Since Childhood
One of my first memories is staring at a clock. Next to that clock was a calendar hanging on the wall. I was four years old. It was summer. I was hot. I was tired of listening to my parents fight. I was staring at the clock and the calendar trying to determine exactly how long it would be until I turned 18. When you’re four, that’s a long long lonnnggg way off. (Of course, when you’re almost 39, 25 doesn’t seem that long ago…) Pro parenting tip: little children should not be so miserable.
I recognized that was essentially forever. And a forever filled with constant fighting and childhood abuse didn’t seem like a good time. I recognized early on that the more I knew about people, life, and things, the better off I would be. I started tagging along with my grandma on her paper route (we lived in a small town). I walked to my great grandmother’s (across town) while my parents were high. I went to the library. I played in a rock quarry (another pro parenting tip: know where your fucking kid is – rock quarries aren’t safe). I followed around my older brother and older cousins. I read books (yes, at four).
Once I started school, I did anything I could to not be home. In elementary school, this meant taking on extra projects. We lived in the ghetto (yes, really) and I started collecting broken electronics. I learned quickly how to disassemble and fix circuit boards. I sold the parts. I started babysitting at eight (the other kid was a year old – his mom was a manager at Mazzio’s and I had him alone for 12 hours a day. Who’s bright idea was that?!)
In junior high, I joined Odyssey of the Mind. I joined the Scholastic Bowl. I joined the Great American Smoke Out. I was in orchestra. Again, anything to fill my time, learn, and not be at home.
In high school I was in JROTC, rifle team, and the color guard (the one from JROTC). I started working full time. I was always reading something.
I wanted to get as much done in as little time as possible…but the things I did all had to be done to my own personal standard of excellence.
Of course, I was in high school in the mid 90s…we didn’t have waste time on social media. The Internet wasn’t a big thing. It was expensive. We had dial up modems and BBSs. That was pretty much the extent of it.
Freelancing and Time Management
Now I freelance full time. By full time I mean whatever hours I have to put in to get the job done. Could be 4 hours. Could be 16 hours. When I started freelancing, I taught college part time and I worked in a law firm part time. Don’t forget to throw the kids and husband into that mix.
If you want to work from home, you simply must learn how to get control of your time. It’s really that simple. It means setting a schedule and working that schedule. It means doing whatever it takes to be successful. It means that you spend far less time on social media fucking around (and most of you reading this are gonna say, “But I’m advertising!” No you’re not. Stop lying to yourself. You’re fucking around).
You have to get your tendency to procrastinate under control. Or you will not succeed. There is no boss standing over your shoulder making sure you’re working and not surfing Facebook. By the way, if you’re fucking around on social media when you should be working, it’s theft. You’re robbing yourself and you are robbing your employer. If you can’t be trusted to do your job when someone is there standing over you, you damn sure can’t do it at home.
If you have time to sit around on social media, you have time to find potential gigs. You have time to write proposals. You have time to start and build a business. You make time for whatever you want to get out of life. And what I wanted to get out of life was to have a peaceful life. Freelancing helps me do that…but it wouldn’t be possible without time management.
By the way, I started work early this morning. I was done by noon. I’ve even made crazy bread. Yet, the only crazy thing is how much people would get done if they would force themselves (don’t give me the ADHD excuse if you’re an adult – learn to focus…I did…without medication). To not chase your dreams? That’s crazy. To put social media nonsense over accomplishing your goals? That’s crazy. Not learning to manage your time and instead just flitting around? That’s crazy because you won’t get where you want to be in life…and that’s all on you.