Dear Janine,

My side hustle on Etsy was finally generating enough income for me to quit my boring office job. I’m so excited because I’ve always dreamt of being an entrepreneur! My problem is now that I’m working from home, it feels like my motivation and productivity has dropped even though I have so much more time. Please help, I really want to make this work!

Kind regards, Girlboss

Dear Girlboss

Congratulations! I still remember the day I quit my corporate job, it’s an amazing feeling being self-employed. My entrepreneur clients have often asked me about exactly this as it comes up at some point for almost everyone.

My first tip is to get dressed every day. I know working in your pjs or yoga pants is seen as the ‘holy grail’ online, but I’ve tested this out and here is why I believe it’s better to get dressed:

1) You’re prepared for anything. Whether it’s an unexpected visitor, a family emergency or a delivery, you can open your door at any moment.

2) When you work from home your days tend to melt into each other and changing from work clothes into lounge wear is a signal to yourself and your brain that you are now not working and in relaxation mode. You’ll find that that distinction will help you enjoy your down time more as well as increasing your productivity whilst in work mode. In my opinion, it’s better to work intensively and super focused for 3 hours than at 60% for 8 hours. The whole point of entrepreneurship is to be in charge of your time and have the flexibility to enjoy hobbies etc.

My next tip is to have a morning routine. I know it’s nice to be able to hit the snooze button because you don’t have to rush to the office, but a lot of time gets wasted if you don’t start your day with purpose. Whether you exercise, read, keep a journal, meditate, listen to a podcast etc, this prepares you for the day ahead and you’ll find that it’s easier to get started if you have a tried and trusted routine. You could even give yourself a deadline that at a certain time you need to done and ready at your desk to start doing whatever needs your attention that day.

My last tip is to schedule self-care. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of dedication and it’s so easy to forget about our own needs. Scheduling it in your calendar will remind you that this is an essential appointment with yourself. Self-care can take on many different forms from manicures and massages, to getting out the house and having coffee with a friend, reading a book that nourishes your soul or just getting out in nature to recalibrate. In my opinion, it’s an absolute non-negotiable!

I hope this helps you structure your work, increase your productivity as well as make the most of your free time!