My bed is just ten steps from my desk.
That’s right. Two steps to get out the shed, another four to cross the garden and then just four short steps and I’m at my desk in the Esc HQ.
The phrase ‘just rolled out of bed’ just took on a whole new (literal) meaning!
On contemplating my move to the shed this element of the set-up was initially something I thought I’d find a bit of nightmare. Not having any separation from work and home would mean that I’d end up living, breathing and sleeping my business. And going completely insane as a result.
When you go from having a 9-5 job, where your work stays at work. Where you have a regular daily routine. When your evenings are your evenings. Your weekends are your weekends. It can be quite a cultural shift. So to counter this and make sure I still have some structure to my life I’ve continued to implement this same routine now – which I have to admit sounds rather boring!
However, what I’ve noticed about having my own business, and therefore being the maker of my own schedule, is that work just doesn’t feel like work in the same way it did when I had my job. I don’t get any sense of dread on a Monday. There’s no drags in the day. And strangely even when plugging away at an excel spreadsheet it’s somehow still enjoyable and exciting (I know! It was a shock to me too!).
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not always dreamy. I still occasionally wake up at 3am with worry. And certainly feel pressure to get the business off the ground and launched. But it’s somehow bearable when you are working on something you are really passionate about.
So if, like me, you’ve just gone full-time on your business, here are my top 5 tips when making the transition from the 9-5 to full-time business woman extraordinaire:
- Try to continue to have a similar structure to your day – Work 9-5 rather than starting at 11am and going on till 11pm.
- Get dressed – Wearing pyjamas at your desk sounds good but in reality I’ve found it makes you less productive and getting dressed helps get you into ‘work mode’.
- Build in meetings into your day - most of the time I’m pretty busy, but occasionally when I’m waiting for suppliers to get back to me, I can hit quieter patches so building in meetings to your days to keep you in touch with others is good.
- Have another focus – Having something other than my business to focus on helps me avoid my business taking over everything. I’m training for the Amsterdam marathon at the moment which works well as it allows me to have something else to think about not just my business as well as gets me out the house and see the city.
- Eat well and stay healthy – sounds obvious but I’ve sometimes found that my health can be the first thing I neglect when I’m being pulled in all sorts of directions. So I try exercise and take time to eat well. I’d recommend some almond butter on an apple as a healthy snack if you need a pick-me-up (unashamed plug to Pip & Nut, sorry!)
News from outside the shed (and inside the Esc the City HQ)
Part of the team are across London up to their elbows in DIY as they prep their new space that will house the Esc School . I’ve been getting lots of ingredient samples in the post – although yet to unveil the nut butters – the team are starting to get suspicious it’s all a farce (samples are coming I promise!). We’ve all been eating copious amounts of ice cream to counter this hot weather*. And I’ve yet to make any progress on decorating the shed (on the to-do list for this weekend).
*and eating healthy the rest of the time, honest! – see tip 5
Until next time.
POST EDITED BY CELIA
(check out Celia’s blog “Dared, Determined, Done!” about making big career and life changes here)