Career, Lifestyle, Other

How to Work-From-Home When You Live in an Apartment

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In kind of a strange turn in events this year, my husband and I are now both working from home half of the time.

Wait, what does that mean?

My husband, A, works from home a couple of days a week. While I work from home most mornings and on Friday.

So sometimes, we are both home working at the same time. Oh yeah, and we live in a tiny 1000 square foot apartment.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy! Working from home by yourself can be an adjustment, but working with your significant other there at the same time can be downright distracting. Our mornings at work go something like this:

A starts working at 7:00 or so while I workout. I shower, get ready, and get to work. A asks me what I want for dinner. I say I don’t know. I check emails. I ask A if he has paid the water bill. He says he is working. He is then on a conference call conveniently the second I get a phone call from a client. I hang up with my client and stub my toe on the couch and scream *@^!($ out loud while he is on the conference call.

For the record, all of those situations have actually happened.

We struggled hardcore to figure out a system that might work for us. We do have two bedrooms with one of those bedrooms being A’s office space/man cave.

But then…enter our dog.

Our dog is a special kind of dog. He is the kind of dog who cannot be left without a pet for more than 30 seconds. While we certainly love him and spoil the heck out of him, he is also extremely distracting. He does not like A’s office door to be closed because he likes to see both of us at once. And he likes to climb into our laps while we are working.

We have a cat too but she is much more independent 🙂

We both feel truly blessed to be working from home. It saves money and time versus commuting, we can work in our pajamas, and we can take small breaks to get tasks done around the house. We definitely wouldn’t turn over our ability to work from home, but we also would be lying if we said it was easy right off the bat!

So, if any of you are in a similar situation of working from home with limited space, I thought I would share my tips.

Get a Desk

The perks of working remotely are being able to work from a laptop from anywhere. And while that is super convenient sometimes, it definitely helps to have your “space” to where you report to work every day.

Some days, I do just want to put my laptop by my bed so I can wake up, rollover, and get to work. But my work when I do so is so much less quality.

Plus, if you’re working for several hours a day, you will want to spare yourself the long term back pain that you are sure to get from slumping over in bed or on a couch all day.

Get Somewhat Ready for the Day

I “get dressed” for exactly 0% of the days I work from home. Because I do not believe in real pants.

But I do try to shower and change into my “fancy” sweatpants (aka leggings). You truly can focus better when you’re not a complete scuzzball. Trust me.

Get Your Playlist Ready

One of the joys of working from home is that you can truly work in your element. You can bet that for me that means leggings, blasting Chris Stapleton (with headphones if A is home too), and wearing my Snuggie.

I really do have a Snuggie that I 100% recommend.

If you work better with music, take advantage by getting your Spotify playlist ready. Working at home can come with a separate set of distractions, so you really need to prioritize anything that will help you focus.

Stop Doing Chores

This took a really long time for me to come to terms with. When you work from home, it’s so easy to tell yourself that you’ll take a 5 minute break to do whatever. That can easily turn into several hours if you aren’t careful.

I try to take 10-15 minutes every morning to get the chores done. Since I don’t have to commute, I take that time to organize the house for the day.

Set Your Start and Stop Time

It may be tempting (especially if you work for yourself) to give yourself plenty of breaks during the day. Or to start work when you’re ready. Or to stop when you’re bored.

Just like a normal job, it’s important to set your working hours. This not only helps to ensure you get stuff done while working, but it helps moderate work/life balance.

Organize Yourself

Since your working space may be limited, it’s important to keep the area around you organized and systemized.

Just like at work, be sure to file all of your documents. Keeping your house clean can also help you focus.

Stay Mobile

One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is your mobility. Maybe you need to work from home a majority of the time, but you can also make sure you have your “mobile office” ready to go.

For most people, this means having a laptop and a portable filing system of sorts.

Communicate With Your Significant Other

If your significant other works at home too, this could mean setting boundaries.

If your significant other works in an office away from home, this also means setting boundaries.

It can be challenging to fully understand the idea of “working from home.” Without having experience working remotely, we tend to all put emphasis of the “from home” part instead of the “working” part. It’s important for a spouse or significant other to understand that even though you are home, you are working.

Working from home can be an enormous blessing. The key is to officify your space to create a space where you can work, create, and grow.

How do you work from home? What tips do you have?

2 thoughts on “How to Work-From-Home When You Live in an Apartment

  1. Interesting point of view I’m working in a office but when I am at home and I’m working for side hustle I tend to take time listening music alone in my room, ok I’m not alone I have always one or 2 cats with me…I set time and break to take a coffe in another room…this help me to reax and recharge batteries…

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