I’ve been working with a brand agency remotely for roughly two years. It really bothers me that I must explain this and then break down my responsibilities so that I can drive my point across. One thing that I have become very selfish with is MY TIME! My digital calendar is my planner of my day, week and month. I schedule EVERYTHING! I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, if it’s NOT scheduled on my calendar it may NOT happen. I’m usually juggling tasks and am super forgetful when I’m in the multi-tasking zone.
My mobile phone alarms are also set to remind me of things like, pick your son from school. It’s time to hit the carpool line! Sad to say without that alarm, I’d probably work right through it. When I get laser focused and I’m in a zone, it’s hard to break away from what I’m doing until it’s complete. I love the flexibility of being able to work from wherever I want. I’ve worked in doctor’s offices, coffee shops, on the beach, at a rest stop, in the airport, on the plane, worked from home and at my sons’ school etc.
I worked in corporate America for years and had to leave my home and go into an office from 9-5. That’s one thing I don’t miss at all! I do however realize that people respected my time more and my duties when I was working in an office setting. In recent months I’ve had arguments with loved ones that expect me to just drop what I’m doing to help them or not respect the fact that I get tired after working for a full day and I also run a few businesses and have clients that have contracted me to handle their social media marketing.
I should also mention that I have a PT job that I do 1-2 days a week (5-10 hours) to get out the house and have some social interaction with other people. There are days when I work from 7:00 am-3:00 pm on my FT job and then go into my PT job from 5:00 pm-9:30 pm. It can be very exhausted on those days and I get burned out from time to time. I’m not going to work a twelve-hour day and be ready to jump and add more tasks to my list when I’m already exhausted. BUT, to some I shouldn’t be exhausted!
BECAUSE… I don’t really WORK! Can you believe this has been said to my face?!?! Just because I don’t leave my home on a regular basis or have a manual labor position where I am exerting physical strength to get the job done doesn’t make what I do less work or less important than what the next person does. I am a social media manager/monitor and I am on the computer on EVERY social media platform from 7:00 am-3:00 pm daily creating content, sending reports, engaging, monitoring and blocking when necessary for multiple accounts.
I get mentally drained, build in breaks and even nap during lunch sometimes, so I can feel refreshed. There are days that I must drop everything and do absolutely nothing until I’m fully recharged. It’s disappointing that I’m not supported by some of the people closest to me. I shouldn’t have to argue that I’m too tired to do that favor after I’ve worked 12 hours but, I’m told that I didn’t really work because “I don’t really do anything!” Then I get offended and “They didn’t mean it like that!” Well… How did you mean it?
Working remotely has allowed me to be more present for my youngest son as well as travel frequently whether for business or pleasure. I haven’t taken any PTO (paid time off) when I travel but, that’s going to change because I realize that I don’t get to have a full experience when I am working. When I travel, I can’t do anything for ME until I’m off the clock! I always must have WIFI or use my hotspot to stay connected to the internet, so I can do my work. I’m learning to make all my moments count.
One of my favorite quotes is… “collect moments not things.” I’m learning the importance of that daily. The one takeaway I want you to have is this… If someone you know works from home or remotely, it isn’t your place to judge them and belittle their duties because it doesn’t fit into your stereotype. I work hard, my job is happy with my performance and I get a paycheck bi-weekly with benefits and a 401K. I don’t think I’d be privy to any of that if I wasn’t doing my job! Did I mention my bills are paid!