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Ep. 5 Tips for Working from Home
How to be SMART AF while working remotely
Are you new to working from home? After over a decade of working from home, Torie and Sean share key factors to staying productive and motivated even with kids from home. There’s a SMART AF way to work from home.
Get SMART AF resources and tools to grow your business at besmartaf.com
Listen or watch the full episode below:
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –
(transcription is auto-generated)
[00:00:00] Sean: You want to go swimming? You like the roof over your head? Yeah, mama’s got to work.
[00:00:12] Torie: Hey, Hey. Welcome to Smart AF I’m your host Torie Mathis. We have got a great show for you today. So let’s get started. You know what I really like. I love, and everybody’s getting like a little taste of this right now. I love working from home.
[00:00:29] Sean: That’s pretty nice. That’s nice.
[00:00:31] Torie: I started working home from how, when in 2007, 2006, 2007.
Yeah, 2007, when the real estate market was starting to go down the crapper because I worked for a publishing company that we did magazines for realtors and all of our clients were realtors. And when realtors started falling from the sky all of our clients fell from the sky too. And as we were kind of scaling down, one of the ways was to get rid of our office and for me to work from home. And I have never, ever lived. You’ve been working from home for years now, too. Like, could you ever imagine, like going to an office. Okay. Could you ever imagine paying for an office? Like
[00:01:20] Sean: I, for the last four years I’ve had to leave. I got like less than, I think it was less than a year of actual. It was less than a year for sure. Working with you full time.
[00:01:35] Torie: So sean quit his corporate job and came and worked at the marketing agency. And so like, we were like laptop warriors for a little while and Sean had a really great opportunity to start a museum. And unfortunately for a while, that meant that Sean had to be at the museum, but that wasn’t every day.
[00:01:52] Sean: In the winter.
[00:01:54] Torie: Yeah. So, I mean, you re you have work from home though. Like a lot of people are getting a taste from it right now, and I’ve even heard a couple of people say, like, I can’t do it. It’s not for me. Like, it is the greatest.
[00:02:06] Sean: Going to create some sort of schedule, but we both like to like, have a list of things that need to be, get, they need to get done and just get them done. I, even, when I was corporate, it was always about like, can I get it done?
[00:02:23] Torie: That’s that’s the best thing about not like having to go to work. Like you don’t have to feel those eight hours. You don’t have to take a lunch at this time. Like if you get your eight hours of work done in four hours, work four hours or then start working on something else that that’s maybe something more interesting or something that you like better go leave and work out in the middle of the day.
Cause that’s what we do.
[00:02:44] Sean: One day we might work later and it was a Monday sucked, which normally is not the case for us. We’re not like Monday blues or anything like that. This last month. It just happened to be a Monday.
[00:02:58] Torie: It could have been any day. It was just like a everything that, that was gonna happen wrong, just happened wrong with a lot of things.
[00:03:04] Sean: And then how much did we work today? A couple of hours, we did.
[00:03:08] Torie: I got a lot done. And I think that, that, that’s the key of working from home is that you have to kind of know you and you kind of have to get your group down. I think one of the biggest things that have helped me work from home for a really long time is when I work, I work.
I don’t do the dishes. I don’t clean the house. I don’t try to take care of anything else when I’m working, I’m working. Cause did you remember, like, I could tell you how busy my day was, was how many dishes were in the sink? Like, because I wouldn’t even rent them. Like I it’s, I’m not in, in like clean anything mode I am working.
Right. That’s right. That’s right. So I try not to get all those things, but I think, I think maybe motivation is like a big thing with people. I don’t know, maybe you guys are trying to do too much. Like literally I write down three things that like, I super have to get done. And I have an ongoing kind of to-do list of projects that I have that I have to do.
But knowing that, like, I have to get those couple of things done, like always keeps my day on track for the most part. And when I’m working, I’m trying to work as hard as I can so that I can take that eight hour day. Yeah. Condense it as much as I can, like, I don’t want to work. Yeah. That’s like the beauty of being at home.
I guess. So if you have kids at home, like we did the whole kids at home for the end of last school year, and that I know I kind of took the lead on that. And so that definitely was hard because I didn’t have my, my batch time that often teacher. And it was like every 20 minutes I had to help with something.
So I never felt like I really got my head down to get as much done as I could. Luckily we we’ve built our business that we can be a little bit more flexible. And put in the time when we need to. And unfortunately I think the kids played too many video games. They can go anywhere, you can travel.
[00:05:02] Sean: And then when it gets 95 degrees outside, you can only ask them to play outside for so long.
[00:05:09] Torie: But you know, you do what you need to do. And you got to get stuff done. And I think that letting the kids always know, like I never tried to hide work from the kids. It was always like, I have to work and this is what I’m doing. And this is so that I can be here when you get home from school. This is so I can be here to do all these things with you or drive you here or drive you there. Like you, you probably don’t want me to leave in the morning and not carrying around.
[00:05:34] Sean: You want to go swimming? You like the roof over your head. Yeah. Mom has got to work.
[00:05:38] Torie: Yeah. And I had never, I always let them know, like, it’s, it’s not more important than you, but it is important. And I love my work. Like it’s not something that I like am like this sucks. I have to work. I generally have a pretty good attitude towards work.
[00:05:55] Sean: That’s creation. You’re always creating when you.
[00:05:58] Torie: I am, which is good. I’m lucky. But I’m lucky because I made myself lucky. Not because I’m born.
[00:06:08] Sean: Well, you did make like a couple thousand dollars a year when you first started.
[00:06:12] Torie: I did. I, yeah, it was rough. It definitely took a long time to build up and to figure things out. But. It’s possible. And working from home, working from home, I think it’s possible for anybody. I think you just have to test out different things and see what works for you and have some type of structure for me, my lists and stuff like that.
Like how I work my day and how I plan my day is very different than how you do. Like I said, I have my running list of everything that I have to do. And then I always pull out my three things. I have things scheduled. I always schedule out I’m going to the gym first and foremost. Like that’s a non-negotiable I try to be done when the kids get home for the most part, like that’s always really important.
So I try to do those important things first. Then I put in my three things that I need to do and try not to let email run my day because.
[00:07:07] Sean: The amount of emails you get. And I can only, like, I couldn’t do what you do with the amount of emails that you get. I keep my emails pretty tight. And I almost base my day off of what my emails are. Whether they’re coming from clients are coming from you. It pretty much keeps me occupied. I
[00:07:27] Torie: do I to do you to do this to you, honeydew with emails, like this is what I need done.
This is what I need done,
[00:07:34] Sean: but that’s what I like is like, get your business. Not mine. Right. I do what you need to have done. And it just works well for us that way.
[00:07:44] Torie: Well, I think part of the way that I’ve been able to condense our days or be able to have these days that aren’t like super crazy is being able to know what things you could.
And being able to delegate those things to you. And then we have an assistant that I delegate a whole lot to, and it’s stuff that just, it’s not hard stuff, but it like stuff that has to be done every single day to get some of that stuff off my plate is probably one of the things that has made things easier.
And I think not tying ourselves down to the idea of an office or having to have things a certain way, or I used to always be really big on having my own space, but even when I have my own space, I moved to the kitchen table.
[00:08:28] Sean: But when we started to, I mean, filing cabinets and all that crap was still super relevant.
[00:08:33] Torie: Like we had a fax machine, we had the whole thing and we’ve moved from California with all this office staff to Idaho, to North Carolina, twice in Georgia. I mean, we’ve.
[00:08:47] Sean: Three times in Georgia.
[00:08:49] Torie: We have leaned it all out. And I think that keeping things leaner and more online and more digital definitely has helped the process. Whereas we’re not digging for things like everything is just kind of there for us when we need it.
[00:09:04] Sean: Everything’s been streamlined quite a bit to make it a lot easier than what it used to be.
[00:09:09] Torie: But keeping like office hours as office hours. Really helps that, like, we do have like office hours from, you know, nine to four or whatnot with like the things that we’re going to go do, like work out.
And then we work, we vacation and work like it’s, it’s still, I know people say don’t do that, but that’s just always how it’s been. And I feel so like fortunate that that’s how we can, we keep everything running. Lean, we keep everything running smooth, delegate a lot, and able to work from home work from a cruise ship, or
[00:09:42] Sean: like it D the work that you’re doing is not going to be the same as, you know, when we’re on a cruise ship, as it is. If we’re back at home. We’re not building websites and doing all that kind of crap. You know, there’s, there’s simple things that we can address that is email come in. Like when I worked in corporate, like one of my jobs, I used to be a service tech for Pepsi, and there’s just calls all day long as service calls come in.
You’ve got to answer those calls. And what would happen was I’d have to take vacation. Vacations. Like even when I worked corporate, like kind of, I, you know, that’s fine. I’ll just keep working because what happens is I think of all the damn calls that are coming in while I’m not working, that nobody else is getting that I still have to go back after vacation and address all those, which is absolutely sucks. at least now.
[00:10:42] Torie: Yours is yours. And you can plan for it.
[00:10:44] Sean: When we do those simple things that are as literally takes a couple minutes to take care of, like they’re done still. And there isn’t that. Well, don’t want to go on vacation because of the backlog. Screw that man. We can, we can plan ahead and not have that gigantic project it’s due, right. When we’re leaving. And then if something comes up, like plan it for, to start when we get back. And so then it’s just tiny frivolous things that really aren’t that big of a deal that we can take care of no matter where we are, as long as there’s internet. And that’s what makes it really neat. I mean, how many times have we been to Mexico?
And we were just working on the beach. It was awesome. None of it was. Crazy gnarly work or anything that took a whole lot of internet, but,
[00:11:32] Torie: Well it’s like, okay, kids, we’re going to work really fast for an hour, chill out for a little bit. And then, you know, we can do every, everything we want. Okay. So what would be your top three tips for people that are new to this whole working, remote, working from home?
What do you think top three? Tips. Yeah. Like this is new for a lot of people, like just got this shit going, like.
[00:12:00] Sean: Invest in your internet. Don’t go cheap. Don’t do that three may bull crap. Cause it’s just gonna make everything an absolute nightmare. Now, if you live in a rural area, like we’ve done in the past, you don’t have much of a choice. Like. Tell the money for like 25 Meg, the paid for 25. I think we got average, like 10. It was for rules.
[00:12:27] Torie: You need to have,
[00:12:30] Sean: we like working from laptops. Like you, all you have as a desktop, like kind of prisons yourself to wherever that desktop is, which can get difficult to be motivated. Like some people like they’re motivated motivation level can vary.
So that might take them a little bit of time where you can pour yourself a cup of coffee, still be in your robe and pop your laptop on your lap while you’re on the couch, drinking your coffee, just, you know, starting real slow to get into the groove of doing whatever you need to do. And then you can progress later on the day.
It’s asked what you need to do to, I mean, we start our day drinking a couple cups of coffee before we transition off the coffee.
[00:13:12] Torie: And I think that’s a good point because we did, for years, I was stuck in one room with a desktop. And once I went like total laptop, which has been a really long time, It doesn’t really change kind of the mood, because even me, I won’t always like I’ll work mostly at the kitchen table, but every once in a while I’m like, you know what, I’m just not feeling it here. And I moved to our library and I worked from in there, or we go outside.
[00:13:38] Sean: It’s a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cold work outside soaking those UV rays. Cause you
[00:13:44] Torie: can. Okay, so you got one more or what’s your third one? Yeah. You just think about it. I don’t know for me, like schedule work around a couple of things like that. That really mean a lot to you, whether that’s taking your kids out or when your kids get home from school or for us working out like work is scheduled around those important. So that we have a condensed amount of time so that we have to work really hard and fast during the time that it is. So it gives you like a constraint.
There’s some rule. I don’t remember which it is that you, if you have a project and you give yourself eight hours, you will take eight hours. If you give yourself six hours, you will take six hours. So I think giving yourself some constraints on your Workday, don’t just let things take way too long. And I think doing only work things during work time, like if you have those breaks in there, then take those breaks, but don’t be like, oh, I should probably rearrange my office or I should do the dishes or, you know what laundry needs to be.
No laundry can be done after work as if you were at work, not trying to do all those things at once, because when you’re in work mode, you need to be in work mode. So you get work done. Third thing would be. Yeah, don’t get sucked in a black hole, email phone calls that don’t matter. People wasting your time or social media.
Like if you have you have that social media time, like schedule it or do a timer because even every once in a while I start, you know, getting on Facebook or something and getting in groups and, you know, trying to be social, but it’s a time warp. It’s a time trap. And if you want to be consistently getting things done and be productive every day and not have to work 12 hours, like work is.
[00:15:34] Sean: I guess mine would be project-based.
And like, depending on what it is you do at home, like for me, like it’s, it’s always for the most part email-based so. Once I get done through all those emails I got to do and I accomplished whatever else it is that I wanted or needed to do for that day. I’m done. Like there’s no reason to, to stress out and do anything else, like my day is done.
So, I mean, if you’ve got a set project that needs to be done, just get it done and then be done.
[00:16:10] Torie: So there you go work, working from home can be awesome, but you have to make it awesome.
[00:16:15] Sean: It’s better than driving and going, being stuck in traffic and dealing with all that crap and then having to stay there for the full day.
Even though you’ve done everything before lunch and then having to take a lunch in, but not get paid for the lunch and stay home if you can. Can we do as efficiently
[00:16:35] Torie: as possible. Commuting is the worst. How going to get in the car? I want to travel. I don’t want to drive to box and sit there with my good internet.
[00:16:50] Sean: Awesome internet.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
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