Many people talk about how the dream is to work for yourself, but no one really talks about the reality of working for yourself and living and working from home as a small business owner.
My prior career was as a teacher and non-profit director. My days were super structured and had a rhythm that made it easy to keep up with my workout routine. I was up and out of the house by 6:45, at school until 4:00, workout at 5:00, dinner at 6:30.
Then after six years of photographing weddings as a side hustle, I took the leap to full-time photographer. Cue the confetti and praise hands! I was living the dream!
But a week into my new dream career I realized I was in pajamas at my desk for the third day straight and hadn’t showered, never mind worked out. Ugh.
Working for myself definitely presented challenges in setting up a new routine for me to stay active and fit with a schedule that’s different every day and an office I can stroll into in my pjs.
I had to figure out what my natural rhythm actually was now that my job wasn’t dictating one for me.
So I ended up spending about a month giving myself some grace to not always fit my workouts in. Instead I focused on really paying attention to my energy level throughout the day, my focus and attention, and my natural times for being most productive and least productive in my work. And from paying attention to my body and my mind throughout the day I was able to hone in on the times when I'm least productive at my desk and therefore, are my perfect times to work out and get an energy boost for the rest of the day. For me, that time is mid-to-late afternoon - usually between 3 and 5pm.
Now that I know my sweet spot for fitting in my workout I schedule my days as best I can around it.
I book meetings, client calls, and emailing in the morning. This way I’m out of the house giving my clients my most productive time. I then chunk my time to edit and work on blog posts, etc. in the afternoons. This allows me to be at home and ready to plan a break in those longer and repetitive tasks in the afternoon when I’m ready to work out. Then I can return to editing or blogging post-workout when I’m re-energized.
I'm a runner and also lift weights and do yoga at home. I like the flexibility that these activities offer so I can fit in my workout quickly by cutting out travel to and from a gym. I’ll even change into workout clothes at lunch so that I can literally walk from my office out the front door to get my run in without skipping a beat. Making sure I’m at home in the afternoons on the days I plan to work out helps me transition into my workout seamlessly.
So to recap, the 3 strategies that helped me transition to working from home and keeping up my workout routine:
1) Give yourself grace to try out new routines and closely monitor your natural rhythm to find the best times for you to get work done and to fit your workout in
2) Plan work tasks that are repetitive or longer at-home projects where you’ll want to take a break anyway to coincide with your preferred workout time – making your break from work a productive workout opportunity
3) Wear your workout clothes when working from home for an easy transition from work to working out
Lynne is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer who
captures weddings across New England and beyond. Lynne launched her business in 2011 in Hartford, CT and relocated to Boston in 2013. Bringing a mixture of professionalism and creativity to each client, Lynne enjoys working closely with couples who are deeply in love to capture their love stories in authentic, joyful, and classic imagery. She is the co-founder of Everyday Creative, a space for resources, tools, mentorship, and workshops to help creative business owners build their dream brands. Lynne’s work can be seen in the pages of Southern New England Weddings Magazine, as well as on Glamour & Grace, Borrowed & Blue, Wed Loft, Equally Wed Equally Family, and more. When not working with clients, Lynne trains for road races, indulges in a donut or two, drinks lots of coffee, and cuddles with her husband, Scott. She's a city girl through and through who lives in Boston and loves exploring all that the city has to offer.