When someone hears the word “long hours”, they typically cringe and think to themselves, “I’d never work a job that had really long hours.” You’d be surprised. If you’re doing something that you LOVE and are PASSIONATE about, you’d do just about anything to keep doing it. When I started working full time on my writing and Maiedae work from home, I had to slowly ease myself into the realization that in order to be successful, I was going to have to pull some crazy hours now and then. I’m not saying every day, but if you’re transitioning into working from home full-time on a job that you love, you will need to commit to working some 12+ hour days.
After such a long holiday break, I know that I will be pulling such hours this week until I can get caught up on everything. Because I don’t want to sacrifice progress on my novels just to complete other projects by 5 pm each afternoon, I’m reconciled to the fact that I’ll be working late tonight and probably several other nights this week.
And it’s okay. In fact, I really like working the long hours. I do, however, make time for breaks. For instance, today, I’ve got quite a lot on my plate, but I will definitely take time out to go to my taekwondo class and time to spend with my husband when he gets home from his job. When I’m not on break? You’ll find me working or going to sleep. I’m hoping that after a week of the super late nights, I’ll be all caught up and able to stick to a more “normal” schedule next week.
When you transition from a corporate work environment to working from home on your passions, you make a lot of time sacrifices, but you gain so much in self-confidence, self-care, self-actualization, and happiness (in my opinion). Working from home is not for everyone, though. It takes intense dedication, hard work, and commitment. You have to apply yourself every minute of every workday in order to keep enough progress going to put food on your table. But it is so, so worth it if you’re really trying to get what you love off the ground and into the air.
So what are some tips for keeping sanity when you have to work long hours?
>> BREAKS — As aforementioned, continue taking breaks or you’ll try to pull your hair out after a while. Take a mini-breakfast break and watch a funny YouTube video. Take a lunch break and read. Take an evening + dinner break (that’s a little longer) and rejuvenate before you head into the night shift. And, of course, take a SLEEPING break. Make sure you factor 7-8 hours in for yourself. 😉
>> MUSIC — I’m a huge music fiend when I’m working. I have several playlists and soundtracks that I use as my go-to productivity music. Not only can music help you to remain calm and peaceful at work, but it can also make the time seem as though it is passing more quickly.
>> STAY HYDRATED — This may seem like a weird tip, but I know plenty of people who barely manage to consume any water during the day and then guzzle it when they get home from work (or not, depending on how odd their “I’m thirsty” mechanisms are). Since you’ll be working more or less all day, in some cases, make sure to keep a giant water bottle or cup filled up at your desk at all times. If you notice it’s empty, go fill it up. You should become a “sipper” and try to drink a little bit all the time. This will keep your body hydrated and your mind active.
>> GET COMFORTABLE — We’re not talking “sleepy” here, but if you work from home and you’ve got to pull a 16 hour day, drag out that comfy bath robe or favorite pair of sweatpants and settle in. There’s no need to torture yourself in a suit and tie while you’re sitting at your computer or crafting all day. Long hours mean you’ll need as little distraction as possible, so don’t let uncomfortable clothes be one of them.
>> POSITIVE SELF-TALK — When you’ve got five projects that HAVE to be done by a certain deadline (and it’s coming up soon), it’s tempting to let your mind bog you down with I’ll never get this done‘s or This is impossible‘s. Stop that nonsense. Buck up your courage and start speaking life to yourself! When those thoughts creep in, cover them with truth: I’m going to work hard and get these tasks accomplished.
Do you ever have to pull some crazy hours in your own job? If so, how do you maintain your composure and keep up your productivity? Share your methods for conquering those long hours!
>> If you’ve read Night Bells and would like to read more Tales from Niflheim, check out the sequel, Silent Shades! It’s available for Kindle, Nook, and in print. Check out the first chapter for free here.
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