If you recall, I quit my awesome job two months ago.
Since then, I’ve been working from home, writing. I know what you’re probably thinking:
Is that really a job, Molly?
Kinda, yeah, it is. I’ve got plenty to do every day. And yes, I am making money. Not as much as before. Not even close! But I have been able to monetize Hey Eleanor (it’s not a lot, but it’s something). Between that, working a few hours for Andrew and freelance writing, I’m doing fine.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned in the last two months.
1. I Guess I Am A Morning Person!
When I first joined the workforce, I used to sleep in until the last possible second. Which was great until I realized going from sleeping to getting ready in a full-on panic didn’t set a nice tone for the day.
In the past few years, I’ve started getting up around 6:30, showering, then sipping on a cup of coffee while doing a crossword puzzle as I ate a proper breakfast. Much better.
However, since quitting my job, a few things have changed. I still get up at 6:30, but instead I roll right out of bed, make a cup of coffee and start writing immediately. Most mornings, I don’t take a break until 9:30 or 10am.
I know you know math, but that’s at least three hours of uninterrupted work time…. all complete before the time I even started working at my last job. ‘Cause let’s be honest, even if I showed up at 8:30am, I always spent the first hours of my day chatting around the water cooler.
My morning hours are so insanely productive! Who knew those hours would be so important to me!
2. Ground Rules Makes a Huge Difference.
I’ve heard from many a person, “I could never work from home.” Reasons? Too many distractions. Yes, I have those, too. Precisely why I have ground rules.
For example, unless I am sick, I never turn on my TV during the work day.
I also try not to schedule or do anything aside from work in the first three hours of my day. Dishes and laundry can wait. I usually don’t make appointments or even meet a friend for coffee. Workout? Nope, that happens later. In general, if I don’t get that work done right away, it’s hard to make it up after the fact. I’m protective of my mornings.
3. I’m Shockingly More Productive.
When I quit my job, my former boss and I decided I would do about 8-10 hours of work for him a week. I selected a few specific tasks that I thought would fit that timeframe. Within a week, I realized without office place distractions (which I really did love), and the incentive to finish up so I could work on my own stuff, I was often getting things accomplished in half the time.
What’s more, all of my writing is getting better (subjective) and faster (not subjective!). It’s completely amazed me.
4. I Never Stop Working.
Sure, I might go to the gym in the middle of the day or meet a friend for lunch. Yeah, I run errands while you secretly online shop in meetings. But when you work from home, you never really stop working.
I never fully understood this until I started doing it. First thing in the morning, I’m working. I’ll work a few hours in the afternoon, have dinner with my husband, then work from maybe 7-10pm many nights. I compulsively check my email or social media accounts. I’ve become that person.
I have a hard time turning off work Molly when I’m at home because home is my office. I don’t currently have a dedicated workspace. Thinking that might need to change.
5. I love Mid-day downtime.
Even though I’m working throughout the day and night, I love grocery shopping at noon. Sparsely-populated yoga or CrossFit classes. Shopping at those dumb stores that insist at closing at 5pm. Walking my dog. It’s the best!
6. I Crave Interaction… kinda.
When I first quit my job, I feared I’d be lonely. Well, I’m not. Or at least not in the ways I’d anticipated. I still get to see my former coworkers once a week, if not more. And working alone allows me to get tons accomplished everyday. That’s not what I expected.
However… I have realized that when I do get to interact with people, I’m talking A LOT. I’m naturally a talker, so it might be waaaay too much. For example, after a class at the gym, I talked to one of my coaches for about 30 minutes. We had a great conversation, but I’m wondering if people think I’m nuts or annoying. I don’t know!
7. I Sleep So Well.
If you remember, sleeping isn’t my strong suit. Sometimes I will literally lay in bed for hours trying to fall asleep. Since I quit my job and started working for myself, that situation vastly improved.
It wasn’t like my former job kept me awake.
Racing thoughts about my other writing projects (example: this blog)? Bingo.
Now that I spend most of my days tackling ALL of my work responsibilities, not just the ones at my day job while trying to squeeze everything else in before and after, my nights are notably sleepier.
If it weren’t for my husband’s encouragement, I never would’ve quit my job. Could I have done this on my own? Probably. But having health insurance and at least one steady income makes a whole heck of a difference.
As a token of my appreciation (and because I love doing it), I try to make dinner most nights. It’s usually nothing crazy, but I am at home all day, so a crockpot dinner or something simple, healthy and delicious is easy to assemble. And it makes him really happy. Plus, there’s always leftovers, which means great lunches, too.
It’s the least I could do, which is convenient because cooking during the day is so fun and awesome and I love it!
9. I need less.
I’m making less money, but I’ve noticed that I am wanting less things. Less lunches out. Less fancy coffees. Less clothing. Less stuff. I’m feeling more fulfilled and therefore, needing less. Plus, when I have to fight so much harder for every dollar I make, spending is less sexy.
10. I am So, So, So Happy
Last night, as Josh and I drove home from the new GORGEOUS Surly Brewery (where I didn’t even drink! Proud of myself!), I realized I quite literally have never been so happy in my entire life.
I’ve tapped into something magical that works for me. I’m sleeping better, eating better. I can’t stop smiling and laughing. I’m excited to get out of bed every morning. And it might be all in my head, but I think my attitude rubs off on everyone around me. I see a notable difference in people around me. I feel like a different person.
I don’t even know who I am!
Even when I got mugged at gunpoint last week, I was still remarkably happy. Whereas before I might have let that get me down (and to be clear, it was really effing scary!), I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face.
You don’t have to quit your job to feel this way. But I encourage you to really look at your life and figure out what’s working, and what’s not. Try to eliminate the things keeping you up at night. Figure out how you work best and make some changes. Find something you’re passionate about and do it.
‘Cause it’s really good over here.
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In case you are wondering, here’s what my tiny home office looks like.
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