People think the life of a freelancer or someone who works remotely to be full of glamour and free time – lingering lunches, mid-day pedicures, relaxing naps. Such is not the case. If a freelancer wants to stay competitive, they need to be working 24/7, and probably have a lot less free time than their friends who work in offices.
However, they do find some ways to save time – such as forgetting to eat. Or shower. Or get dressed. It's not pretty out there. Some of our self-employed friends share their honest truths about working from home…
Bryce Gruber-Hermon, freelance writer
Even if you write about makeup, it's pretty standard to go days without wearing any.
Dara Avenius, publicist
Oh god...all the delivery guys know my froggy robe.
Wendy Rose Gould, freelance writer
My cats always think phone interviews are an invitation to have a full-fledged conversation with me and will sit outside my closed door meowing profusely as if the world is about to end. Also, my boyfriend (who I live with) also works from home and I love having him as a "co-worker." We get to hang out during the day (hello 3pm hugs and shared lunches) and keep each other motivated!
Megan Zander, freelance writer
Lunch is never the same meal or at the same time. Some days I'm so busy I forget to eat, other days I make a super healthy salad and declare myself a real adult, sometimes I'm stress eating frosting with a spoon as I try to make deadline.
Kate Winick, writer
My biggest occupational hazard is sitting cross-legged on my couch so long that my foot falls asleep without me realizing, and then when I stand up I nearly fall over my coffee table. It's happened...more than once.
Sue Campbell, freelance travel writer
I've been working from home for 30 years. I forget what it's like to dress up to go to an office or commute. I'm happy that the only time I dress well is when I have to go on a press trip.
I've biked to the corner store and realized I was still wearing my slippers when I got there!
Also, looking up at the clock at 5 pm and not remembering whether I had a shower or not, that happens a lot.
Gloria Yang, publicist
I don't always work from home, but when I do, I follow the same schedule. I sit my butt down in front of the computer at 9. If I feel unmotivated, I put makeup on—red lipstick to be exact.
Michele Herrmann, freelance writer
Sometimes my lunch break involves taking a 30-minute nap at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It's been a big help.
Patricia Dixon, journalist
My sins cannot be revealed here- alas, there are many. I'm still gainfully and sinfully self-employed.
Rachelle Pachtman, publicist
Your dog barks while you are on important conference call because FedEx is at door. Used to be more of an issue. Not quite as much any more.
Julia Dellitt, marketing expert
I have to really watch the urge to do things around the house instead of work. I'm not a clean freak, but when I work from home, all of sudden it feels like I have *so much free time* to do the dishes, throw in some laundry, organize a drawer.. all those "little" chores end up stealing work time slowly but surely and I always regret it later.
Joanna Fantozzi, food writer
You have no one to blame on getting distracted but yourself, sadly (if you live alone).
Jane Daly, beauty writer
Defiantly 2-3 pm in my robe. I feel a sense of shame every time. Also, my UPS guy added me on FB and I've run into other couriers out and about who usually yell “sorry don't have anything for you today!"
Emily Farris, writer
On the days I don't go out for coffee and make it at home, sometimes I forget to brush my teeth until 4 pm. Because it's so much a part of my getting-ready routine. And yes, I realize how disgusting this is.
Stacey Rene Russell, publicist
Sometimes I get dressed just to feel "normal." But getting dressed is PJs to LuLu Lemon.
Jayne Morehouse, publicist
I get dressed and do hair and makeup before I even come downstairs. But...the cats have been known to jump into a Skype call every now and then. They want to see who else is talking.
Kaitlin Menza, writer
Sometimes my iPhone pedometer app shows under 100 steps because, well, you know. If someone cancels evening plans, like drinks or dinner, it's actually an immense bummer because that means I'm not going outside today (or showering) after all. Those memes about it being such a relief when someone cancels plans no longer apply to me!
Esti Berkowitz, blogger
I get all dressed for motivation purposes and get to work (my laptop on the dining room table) as soon as kids get to school. I barely leave my desk and often forget to make lunch and drink enough water.
Bradley Tuck, publicist
I actually have a rule. I don't do any work until I've showered, had coffee, and then dressed properly in a button down shirt, so that I feel that I'm 'at work'. At weekends, lord, I look like a hot mess , but Monday to Friday I dress as if I work at an agency. In my office with dog hair all over the floor. Go figure.
Amber Browning-Coyle , Executive Producer and Host of Spotlight on Giving and Spotlight on TV
I have been working on my computer in my underwear and when Amazon comes to deliver I'll throw on my big wool coat that hangs next to the door. They totally know I'm almost naked, but thankfully don't say much.
Maureen Pollack, inventor of the Water Slyde
I've done video podcasts with no pants on. I'm so not saying which ones.
Harper Spero, business coach and consultant
Having a Skype call with a client where my hair is done, makeup is on, nice shirt and no pants.
When I worked from home my lunch hour was the gym and I can't tell you how many conference calls I have been on and went to the loo and put the phone on mute. Sometimes I would forget it was on mute and be asked to weigh in on a strategy and heard, Oh, I guess she dropped the call. Yikes. The worst is having to video con when you are lazy. Having to brush hair and put on lipstick whilst still in sweats or nighty.
Candice Kilpatrick Brathwaite, social media expert
The highlight of my workday is when my coworkers in Finland are awake to chat on slack. Also I'm usually both pantless and under an electric blanket. I have done a call in the bathtub.
Traci Coulter, publicist
There are days when I get home from a run or a Soul Cycle class only to realize eight hours later I forgot to shower. And there have been days when the building manager would knock on my door for something and say “sorry, didn't think you'd still be in bed" because I'm wearing pjs, at 1 pm. The whole thing about being more productive with office clothes on is a theory I definitely don't believe anymore.
Debra Locker Griffin, publicist
Both of my huge dogs - because one polar bear is not enough - appeared on a group Skype last week.
Sarah Haynes Heath, beauty expert
Things I often do on conference calls: pluck eye brows, cut toenails, inspect for nose hairs, clean kitty litter, make faces in the mirror, get distracted by dirty dishes in the sink, roll my eyes, thank God I can run to Target at any time for things I don't need.
Bonnie Winston, matchmaker
I eat like no one's watching because no one is. A lot of time I eat standing up and sometimes over the sink. I drink straight out of the water bottles and put them back in.
Kaeli Conforti, travel writer
Most of the time, my lunch hours were really shower time followed by a power nap. The hardest part for me was (and still is) having an end time when I work from home. It's always so easy to just say, oh, let me finish this up, and before I know it, it's 10pm!
Samantha Slaven-Bick, publicist
Sometimes I work from the bed in the afternoons while simultaneously binge watching Netflix or Amazon shows. I've been known to pick my son up from assorted classes and extracurricular in pajamas. And then I just do errands like that before heading home.
Beate Chelette, author
Sometimes I only look good up to the waist and what's under the desk is yoga pants and dirty feet
Jason Jepson, publicist
My feet are in my pool and a beer is in my hand at noon almost everyday.
Vicki Winters, blogger and content creator
Sometimes I think about showering and try to remember “when was the last time?"
Personally, I am over the top excited that we are on the cusp of turning the page on not only a new year but also on a new 10-year window of opportunities and possibilities!
You may be thinking, whoa…I am just embracing the fall season…yikes… it is tough to think about a new decade!
Yet it is this groundwork, this forward thought that you put in place TODAY that will propel you and lead you into greatness in 2020 and beyond. Designing a new decade rests in your ability to vision, in your willingness to be curious, in your awareness of where you are now and what you most want to curate. Essentially, curating what's next is about tapping into today with confidence, conviction, and decision. Leading YOU starts now. This is your new next. It is your choice.
Sometimes to get to that 'next', you need to take a step back to reflect. Please pardon my asking you to spend time in yesterday. Those who know me personally, know that I created and continue to grow my business based on enabling the present moment as a springboard for living your legacy. So, indulge me here! True, I am asking you to peek into the past, yet it is only in order for you to bring the essence of that past forward into this moment called NOW.
One of the best ways to tap into what's next is to clarify what drives you. To design a new decade, ask yourself this question about the past ten years:
What worked? What were my successes?
Make a list of your achievements big and small. Don't type them, but rather use ink and paper and sit with and savor them. Move your thoughts and your successes from your head, to your heart, to your pen, to the paper. Remember that on the flip side of goals not attained and New Year's resolutions abandoned, there was more than likely some traction and action that moved you forward, even if the end result was not what you expected. Once you have a full list of a decade's worth of personal and professional accomplishments, think about how this makes you feel. Do you remember celebrating all of them? My guess is no. So, celebrate them now. Give them new life by validating them. Circle the successes that resonate with you most right now. Where can you lean into those accomplishments as you power into the decade ahead?
Now comes a tougher question, one that I used myself in my own mid-life reinvention and a question I adore because in a moment's time it provides you with a quick reconnect to your unique inner voice.
If it were 10 years ago and nothing were standing in your way, no fear or excuses to contend with…what would you do?
Don't overthink it. The brilliance of this question is that it refocuses purpose. Whatever first came to mind when you answered this for yourself is at its core a powerful insight into defining and redefining the FUTURE decade. Bring your answer into the light of today and what small piece of it is actionable NOW? Where is this resonating and aligning with a 2019 version of yourself?
Then, based on your success list and your answer to the above question, what is your 2020 vision for your business and for the business of YOU?
Designing a new decade begins as a collection of 3,650 opportunities. 3,650 blank slates of new days ahead in which to pivot and propel yourself forward. Every single one of those days is a window into your legacy. An invitation to be, create, explore, and chip away at this thing we call life. One 24-hour segment at a time.
While you have a decade ahead to work on design improvements, you have the ability to begin manifesting this project of YOU Version 2020 right NOW. Based on exploring the exercises in this post, begin executing your vision. Ask questions. Be present. Let go of 2019 and the past 10 years so that you can embrace the next 10. Position acceptance and self-trust at the forefront of how you lead you. One choice at a time.
Don't get bogged down in the concept of the next 10 years. Instead position clarity and intention into each new day, starting today. Then chase every one of those intentions with an in-the-moment commitment and solution toward living a legendary life!