5 Keys for Working from Home – And Making It Work!

Let’s be honest here. Even though I’m a photographer, my work days don’t usually look like this: Daytona Beach FL photographer On ordinary days, they look like this — complete with a couple chai lattes and a more-often-than-not untidy desk: Daytona photographer
That’s the view I have most days when I’m working at home. Over the years, lots of people have told me how lucky I am to be able to work from home, and I agree . . . but sometimes it is just as relaxing and easy as it sounds, which can be a problem.

Since I was homeschooled all the way from kindergarten until the end of high school, I’d always been used to “working” at home — I thought. So when Danny and I launched our photography business, I was confident that running it out of our home office was going to be a breeze.

Well. Some days it was more of a gale-force wind, and some days were so still not even a leaf would flutter.

What I found out was that working from home could actually be pretty hard — as in, hard to get stuff done, and hard to stop working, and hard to not get distracted with other things. But over time, I also found ways to combat these problems. I love-love-love working from home, and I wanted to be successful at it instead of packing up my computer and moving into an empty office in Danny”s office building. Here are five keys that absolutely changed my approach to working from home:

1.) Work Withing Defined Hours In a Defined Space
When you’re working at home, it’s easy to not set work hours. After all, you never really leave work. It’s pretty crucial though, not only for getting your work accomplished, but for not becoming so chained to work that you never shut down your computer and live your real life! So choose work hours that suit your personal needs. Maybe you’re a night owl and like to do most of your work when the rest of the world is asleep. Maybe you like to have a big break in the middle of the work day. Find what works for you, and stick to it.

Similarly, don’t let your work spill throughout your entire house. If you have a home office to dedicate to your work, as much as possible, keep your work within those walls. If you can’t devote an entire room to your work, set up a work station in an unused corner — maybe inside a secretary desk that you can close up when you’re finished working for the day so you won’t be tempted to run back to check your email one more time.

2.) Start With Something Energizing
In the last year and a half, this has been such a help for Danny and me. I used to just roll out of bed and into my office chair, and I would still be groggy (and quite possibly in my pajamas . . . but more on that later!) come 11:00 a.m. These days, we start our mornings with a routine. We do our morning devotionals and pray together; he makes his coffee, I make my tea. We have a few minutes to talk about the day ahead and prepare for it together, so then when we start working, we’re really ready to work.

3.) Dress the Part
The days of working in my pajamas are over. When I was a kid, my mom never let me do my school work in my pajamas, so I’m not sure where I got the idea that pajamas were a good idea for work. They’re not. Neither are yoga pants or workout clothes or anything that contributes to making you feel sloppy or lazy or less than ready to turn your brain on. I’m not suggesting that everyone has to wear formal business attire in their own homes — I don’t — but what I absolutely advocate is wearing clothes that make you feel confident, capable, and successful before you even begin tackling your to-do list. For me, that means looking polished and put together, as if I were about to walk out the door for lunch at a stylish cafe. And for me it always, always means wearing makeup and shoes. This has dramatically changed how I feel as I work, and it has increased my productivity!

4.) Reduce or Eliminate Distractions
No matter where you are, you’ll never be able to completely eliminate distractions. Not even if you’re inside a giant hall filled with students taking SATs, because there will always be some construction workers with jackhammers hard at work outside the window, ambivalent to the fact that they may just be chipping away at your college prospects. But I digress.

What I’ve done to reduce distractions is to set healthy parameters for myself so I don’t get sucked into tasks (or diversions) that pull me away from my goals. I don’t check my email repeatedly throughout the day; I typically check it in the morning and near the end of the work day, unless I’m expecting a specific email. I stay off news website and social media during work hours, other than if there’s something I need to share on my business page — and then I immediately get off. I try to avoid taking personal phone calls or responding to non-urgent text messages, but I’m still working on that one! It has really and truly helped though, and I find myself wasting far less time online than in the past.

5.) Take Advantage of Working at Home
There really are advantages to working from home, beyond saving on rent and not having to commute. What am I talking about? Well, one thing I’ve recently realized is that, if I’m suddenly tired in the afternoon, I can take a ten-minute power nap (in my own bed!) to recharge, and then when I get back to work I have enough energy to do my work well instead of dragging through the rest of the day. When I need a little break from work, especially if I’m not particularly pleased with my progress, I’ll do something else productive for a few minutes — put on a load of laundry, unload the dish washer, water the plants, etc. I not only get a needed task done, but I can notch a little win that gives me added momentum as I head back to work.

For anyone who works from home, I feel confident that these steps will help you cultivate more productive, rewarding workdays, too!

~ Laura

Spring In Bloom

For months (years, if I’m being honest), I’ve been saying I wanted to do something to make our front door more welcoming and inviting. A couple months ago we finally kicked off that project by painting the doors a wonderful, rich colonial blue, and then last weekend – voila.
Potted Floral Entryway Decor Pink Flowers I don’t have a particularly good track record with potted plants, but I have some serious motivation to keep these pretty little flowers alive! We spent a good part of Saturday sourcing pots, selecting flowers, transplanting and arranging, and I couldn’t love the results any more. Flower Cart Flower Pot Spring Flowers Flower Home Decor Spring Flower Box Pink Flower Arrangement Flower Cart Doorway Decoration And then a friend told me that my front door looks like Pinterest. After years of plain gray doors and an unadorned entryway, we finally have something pretty to welcome guests — and to come home to!

~ Laura

Our New Portraits!

For the second year in a row when we did a photo swap with Eileen and Phillip of Blume Photography while we were at the CONNECT Retreat, we walked away absolutely in love with the portraits they captured of us.

And as photographers, it is so valuable to get in front of the camera sometimes instead of only being behind it. Not only is it important for us to have photographs of ourselves (!!!), but it’s always a learning experience when other photographers are directing a session and posing us as their subjects. It’s a great opportunity to see how a session feels for a client, and pick up some new tips for how to make things run smoothly — or how to keep people laughing so hard they can hardly breathe! Daytona photographer Forget that dreamy first picture (which I love). It’s beautiful and romantic and all — but these next two are us. Absolutely, undeniably us. We don’t ugly-cry, we weird-laugh, and we do a lot of it. Daytona lifestyle photographer Ormond Beach photographers Ormond Beach Florida photographers Daytona Beach photographer loooove the one below on the right! Ormond Beach photographer Ormond Beach Florida photographer Thank you, Eileen and Phillip, so much and once again, for the beautiful photographs from our wonderful trip! We are so excited to get some of these into frames!

~ Laura + Danny

Lorri + Daisy

Lorri wanted to celebrate their first Mother’s Day — just sweet little Daisy and her, just the two girls making Daisy’s first trip to the beach and enjoying the sunshine during their portraits at Ponce Inlet.

It was glorious. Daytona Beach portrait photographer Lifestyle photographer Daytona Beach Florida Daytona Beach photographer Family lifestyle photographer Daytona Beach Daytona Beach lifestyle family photography Family beach portraits Daytona Beach How adorable is this?! As it turned out, even at only seven months old, Daisy is an absolute camera ham! Daytona Beach lifestyle portraits Beach portraits Daytona Beach Florida Daytona Beach portraits Daytona Beach Florida photographer Family photographer Daytona Beach Florida Daytona family photography Family photography Daytona Beach Family photographer Daytona Beach When Daisy dipped her toes into the ocean for the first time, she made it clear she was actually more interested in her fingers. Daytona family lifestyle photographer Ponce Inlet family photography Daytona Florida lifestyle family photography Daytona Beach family photographer Love this! Family beach photography Daytona Beach Thanks to you both for the wonderful evening at Ponce! ~ Laura

Irene McKechnie - May 15, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Absolutely beautiful picture.

Shona – Class of 2015

It’s been a long time since I blogged any Daytona Beach senior portraits, but today Shona is making the blog beautiful!

I absolutely loved her bright, playful, beachy, Lilly Pulitzer-centric style, her ready laugh and her sparkling eyes.
Daytona Beach senior portrait photography Ormond Beach Florida senior portraits Senior portraits Ormond Beach Florida Daytona senior portraits Ormond Beach senior portrait photographer After shooting at a nearby park and then a quick outfit change (LOVE that Lilly dress!), we headed over to the beach to catch the best light of the day. And the receding tide and cool breeze. And a few pelicans enjoying the evening.
Daytona Beach Florida senior portraits Daytona Beach senior portraits at the beach Daytona senior portrait photography Lifestyle senior portraits Daytona Beach Senior portraits Daytona Beach Florida Florida senior portraits Ormond Beach Senior portraits Daytona Beach Senior beach portraits Daytona Beach Florida Senior photos Daytona Beach A favorite! Ormond Beach senior portrait photography Shona, you absolutely rocked your shoot, and you looked amazing doing it! Beach senior portraits Daytona Beach Ormond Beach Beach senior portraits Daytona Ormond Beach senior portrait photographers Daytona Beach photographer Senior portrait photography Daytona Beach Another favorite! Ormond Beach senior portraits Beach senior portrait photography Daytona Beach And we wrapped up the evening with a quick stop on top of Highbridge for the watercolor sunset.
Senior portraits Ormond Beach Shona, congratulations on finishing up high school — and on an incredible senior portrait session!

~ Laura

Vicki Mckendrick - May 15, 2015 - 3:16 pm

You’re photos look great Shona!x

Selena Bundy - May 15, 2015 - 3:21 pm

Your photo’s are beautiful Shona. I remember you as just a little girl at Grandfather Mountain. Please tell your Mum and Dad that i’m asking for them :) x

Jane - May 15, 2015 - 3:23 pm

Beautiful!

carla - May 15, 2015 - 3:24 pm

My wee Shona, has blossomed into a beautiful young woman!!Beautiful pictures!

Julie Eads - May 15, 2015 - 4:54 pm

You are such a natural beauty Shona! Stunning!! (:

Jeanette Larsen - May 15, 2015 - 5:50 pm

Beautiful pictures of a gorgeous girl! Good luck Shona!

Danielle Clymer - May 15, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Beautiful!!!

Megan Cloudman - May 15, 2015 - 7:27 pm

Beautiful Shona!!

Sophie Kazamias Paspalakis - May 15, 2015 - 7:33 pm

These photos are absolutely Beautful!! We love Shona

Allanah Armstrong - May 15, 2015 - 8:02 pm

Stunning Shona!! Love the black and whites!

Linda Thomson - May 15, 2015 - 9:31 pm

Shona looks amazing beautiful photos of a beautiful young lady xxx

Jeanette Larsen - May 15, 2015 - 9:49 pm

Beautiful pictures of a gorgeous girl!! Good luck Shona!

Deborah Kane - May 15, 2015 - 11:14 pm

Shona you have grown into a woman.

Dana Leadmon - May 15, 2015 - 11:22 pm

Beautiful <3

Courtney James - May 16, 2015 - 1:46 am

Shona looks gorgeous !!!

Marycarol Joyce Stout - May 16, 2015 - 3:53 am

Absolutely stunning. Shona’s inner beauty is aging right through.

Virginia Cox - May 16, 2015 - 9:05 am

She’s a beautiful young woman!

Ange Dudley - May 16, 2015 - 10:10 am

Absolutely stunning Shona. Xx

Val Thomson - May 16, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Always been beautiful Shona

Tomas - May 17, 2015 - 1:55 pm

Hey I know her

Margi Marklow - May 17, 2015 - 2:47 pm

Such a beautiful person.

Bambi Hudak - May 17, 2015 - 6:33 pm

Love you Shona! You look gorgeous!

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