My New Work From Home Schedule [Life]

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Working from home is no easy task. I’ve always been used to it though. When I got into college I always preferred taking online classes. There were many reasons for this, of course, but one reason was that I preferred to do everything at my own pace. I preferred to do the work on my own and tell myself what to do.

In some ways I miss being in college because I found great joy in looking up the homework for the entire semester, making a large to-do list, setting aside time each day for school specifically, and just getting it all done on my own terms. Half of the time I’d have my homework completed a couple weeks in advance.

People have always awed at me saying I had a lot of “discipline.” I can certainly agree with that, especially since I took a leap to quick my job and work from home.

There are ups and downs to working from home though. It’s harder to stay healthy and while you have more time to socialize with friends and family, it’s harder to get out there and meet new people. Not to mention the whole money-making thing.

But if there’s one thing that’s super hard about working from home, it’s balancing between work and real life.

My New Work from Home Schedule | Creative Writing | Blogging | Entrepreneur | Freelance | Business | RachelPoli.com

People find it hard to believe that I follow a “schedule” because I’m home. I’m my own boss so I can do my work whenever I want to, right?

No, that’s not the case. There’s a lot of things I have to do and I set deadlines for myself. I have to get X, Y, and Z done before I can get things A, B, and C done. This is easy for me to do when I’m home alone, no distractions other than the dog and cat, and I have my priorities straight.

Yet, I do get the occasional phone call from a friend or family member. Someone needs to be picked up from school or someone is having drama in their life and just needs to vent. Normally this isn’t a big deal. I’m here if anyone needs to me.

However, because I’m here, people tend to think I’m available 24/7. I don’t have a boss looming over my head making sure I get my work done. I can text while I get my blogging done. I can talk on the phone while I do the dishes. Even though I can multitask with these things, I don’t get my work done to the best of my ability. Sometimes I’ll stop, give the person my undivided attention, and then I blink and a few hours have gone by.

Before I know it, the morning is gone. I need to go babysit for a few hours. When I get home, it’s dinner and the rest of my family is home from work and it’s harder to get things done then. Doable, but harder.

I’m an entrepreneur. I’m finally saying to everyone, “Here are my work hours.”

I always thought working from home would be easy.

I had assumed my “work hours” were the same as everyone else’s. In the morning, they go off to work and I’m home to get my own stuff done. By the time the afternoon rolls around, I’ll go babysit and then come home and chill for the night. Except, the phrase “work from home” is used differently to others than what it means for me.

So, with a new year comes new responsibilities. I want to accomplish a lot in 2019 and I have a lot of big plans. This requires my undivided attention. I want to make a living doing what I love and this is what I need to do.

I posted new hours on my Contact Me page, which is a general guideline of hours I’m on the computer, checking my emails, and whatnot.

My weekly hours.

As of right now, I’m working Monday through Thursday from nine in the morning to six at night. I get up early, get my writing done, get my workout in, shower, and then begin work at nine. I’ll work either on more writing or blogging or some other projects. I stop for lunch around one in the afternoon and then I need to go babysit. So, it’s kind of like an extended break, but when I get home I’ll do some last minute things for about an hour or two and then be done for the night.

I decided to add hours for Sunday because, even though we have a lot of family events on Sundays, I collab with my sister a lot on things. Sundays are the main days we can work together. I have church in the morning and then, when I get home, I’ll be working on blogging and things I need to do for my church.

I chose to give myself Friday and Saturday off. I do sometimes work on these two days, but I want it known that I won’t be checking emails or anything like that. I’ve been pretty good about keeping Friday clear. I get some chores done around the house, read a book, play video games, and just chill generally.

I still technically work on Saturdays. Kris and I still go to Barnes & Noble to get some writing done or even brainstorm for our blogging. Sometimes we’ll come home and get some more work done together or we’ll chill for the afternoon or hang out with some friends.

I have to be honest, getting work done over the weekend is easier than during the week. You’d think that, since everyone else is at work, I’d be able to get my stuff done no problem. For some reason, that’s not the case.

How I get my work done during the week now.

The number one thing I’ve been doing during the mornings has been blocking time. I’ll work for about two hours or so and then take a quick break. I’ll check on the animals, make myself a snack, do the dishes or something.

This is also the only time I’ll check my phone. I still keep it on and next to me in case there’s a true emergency, but if I get a text or a phone call from certain people, I’ll make them wait.

My phone has been the biggest distraction lately because I am able to text while I’m working and because I’m home, people know they can call me all the time. I honestly have never gotten so many phone calls in the my life, it’s crazy.

I know work isn’t the number one most important thing. There are times where I’ll give in and answer a phone call from a friend or browse the Internet a bit. We all need little distractions from time to time. However, it’s been getting a bit out of hand with people telling me, “You’re home all day. Just get it done later.”

If I got things done later, then my book would never be published. My new projects for this blog would never get done.

So, we’ll see how this new schedule works out. I have designated working times now and have put myself in a distraction-free environment with my to do list prioritized. I think 2019 is going to be the best year yet… for my work, anyway.

Do you give yourself set hours to work on your writing? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Successful Self-Publishing By Joanna Penn [Book Review]

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Book Review: Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn | Nonfiction | Business | Reading | Writing | RachelPoli.com

I bought it through Amazon.

Summary:

Do you want to successfully self-publish?

There are thousands of new books being published every day, but many self-published books quickly sink to the bottom of the pile.

Many authors are frustrated because there are so many options for self-publishing, and they don’t know which one to choose or what will be best for their book.

Others spend thousands of dollars to publish and end up broken-hearted with the result.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’ve spent the last seven years self-publishing bestselling fiction and non-fiction books and in 2011, I left my day job to become a full-time author entrepreneur. I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, but through the process of self-publishing 17 books, I’ve learned the most effective way to publish and market your books. In this book, I’ll share everything with you.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I like the cover. I think it’s simple and conveys the message of the book pretty well. I don’t know about you, but when I open a book, amazing things come out.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, I’m sure you know I’m preparing myself for self-publishing. Joanna Penn is highly recommended by a lot of people all over the internet. I thought I’d give her books a try.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

When it comes to business and writing, especially self-publishing and indie publishing, there’s a lot to learn. The pressure is on and researching this can be overwhelming. This book breaks all that down for you.

It lays everything out from before publishing, during publishing, after publishing, and more. There’s a lot of helpful links to editors and book cover designers. It defines a lot of business-type vocabulary as well as touch upon the financial side of publishing – before and after.

The end of the book also dabbles in marketing your book as well, though there’s a separate book written by Penn all about marketing.

This is a great, quick read at just under 100 pages and it’s jam-packed with information. This is written in her point of view and this is all information she learned using trial and error with her own books, but it’s great to get ideas when jumping on the publishing wagon yourself.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I’m happy I picked this book up. I’ll most likely read it a couple more times to let it all sink in. I’ll definitely reference to it when I finally decide to hit that publish button. If you’re thinking of self-publishing, this is a good place to start.

Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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American Dream: Interviews with Industry Leading Professionals by Jason Navallo

Via Goodreads
Title: American Dream: Interviews with Industry Leading Professionals
Author: 
Jason Navallo
Genre: Business/Biography
How I got the book: I got a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (modified from Goodreads):

Let’s face it: Nobody becomes successful on his or her own. If you want to maximize your career potential, you have to find ways to stay inspired and motivated.

This book includes six in-depth interviews with leading professionals, Peter Mallouk, Ben Caballero, B.J. Armstrong, Shelly Sun, Scott Gerber, and Liz Elting, from a variety of industries to provide you with the advice, inspiration, and motivation you need to achieve your goals.

Whether you are looking to climb the corporate ladder, become a record-breaking professional athlete, or grow your own business from the ground up, you will find the inspiration you need within the pages of this book.

My Review:

American Dream is a book filled with six interviews of successful leading professionals. Take this review with a grain of salt as this isn’t something I typically read. However, the author came to me with a request and I thought this book sounded like a wonderful idea so I decided to give it a shot.

The book is a quick read at 79 pages so I was able to get through it in one sitting.

The book was filled with great information. However, if you have no business background and don’t understand it (like me), most of the information will go right over your head. So there were definitely some parts that I didn’t get, but there were certain questions like “What does success mean to you?” and “What does it take to be a good leader?” were easy enough to understand.

The questions for each professional were varied so the interviews didn’t get monotonous after a while. Certain questions, such as the one I just stated, were great seeing for every interview. It was interesting to see the varied answers.

Each interview was inspirational as they each started from a different point in their lives and became who they are today.

One of my problems with the book was that there was no conclusion. There was an introduction at the beginning of the interviews, and there was a quick biography of each professional before their interview, which was good. But after the sixth interview was over, that was it. The book just ended abruptly.

Overall, the interviews were informative and interesting to read. Though some of the information was missed as I didn’t understand it and I thought that I, as a reader and a learner of this book, should have gotten some sort of conclusion.

American Dream: Interviews with Industry Leading Professionals by Jason Navallo gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“You have to enjoy life along the way. You can’t just be focused on the destination.” –Jason Navallo, American Dream

Author’s Bio (from Goodreads):

Jason Navallo is a career advisor, executive recruiter, and author. He has a B.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business and lives in New York City.

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Smashwords

I Need A Bigger Foot….

I’m trying to buckle down and actually get my teeny tiny foot in the door of the publishing world. And when I say tiny, I mean tiny. I used to be a size 4 in kids, but when I bought shoes and sneakers a couple weeks ago, my feet shrunk to a size 2 in kids. Yeah.

Anyway, I was thinking of finally publishing something just to get my foot in the door. I think I’m going to publish just a short story or two (if the first one turns out well) instead of a full novel. I know you can set the price for something or free. Whenever I do this, I’m thinking of posting my first short story on there for free. Just so I can get the hang of things. I know nothing about business or marketing or advertising or money or…science, does that category count? See, I know nothing. Accounting! Accounting counts, right? Or would that count as money…? I’m getting off topic…

The whole point of this post is to ask for your help. I’ve looked at the Smashwords website. I’ve Googled it. The thing is, I’m not sure if half of the things I hear on Google are worthy enough to take in.

I’ve seen some blogs around WordPress talking about Smashwords and some people have some things published on there. If anyone has any information on it, any advice, please mention something on the Contact Me page of my blog. Or you could just post a comment on here if that’s easier.

Let me know your honest opinion: do you think Smashwords is good or bad? Do you have any advice for me? Do you have anything published on there? I’ve also looked into CreateSpace…if you know anything about that, that would be great, too. Which would you prefer?

I trust you guys more than Google, so any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Yay, Updates!

I’m Productive…Sort Of….

 

Yesterday, June 19, I actually got a good amount of writing done. Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble to be productive! She wrote a story that she started a while ago and I edited some more of Hunter. I got two and half chapters done…then our friend coincidentally ran into us again. Last time it was no coincidence, but this time it was. So the last hour or so of us being there was spent mingling with an old friend…and drinking half of his Starbucks java chip. 🙂 He wasn’t too happy about that, but I was.

So I got some editing done. Because I have three stories that need to be edited, I don’t want to start anything new. The only exception I’ll make to that Camp NaNo, which is next month. In which case I will have four novels to be edited. I decided that I am not going to start anything new until all (or at least two) of the novels are completely edited and ready to be published! Only while I’m looking for publishers I’ll start something new to pass the time. While I edit, if I get an itch to write, I’ll write FanFiction.

Speaking of FanFiction, that’s the other thing I wrote yesterday. Last night I hand-wrote the prologue and first chapter to my Pokemon parody Yellow. Then I typed it up because I was curious how long it was going to be. I hand-wrote 2,019 words. I was impressed with myself. The reason I’m hand-writing it is because when I go on vacation in July, I’m not going to be able to bring my laptop. I’ll be editing, but I also want to be able to write somethings, too.

As I stated, I edited some more of Hunter yesterday. I always write when I start the novel, when I finish, when I start editing, and when I finish editing. Then I record the number of pages, chapters, and words. Sadly enough, I haven’t kept up with that with all of my novels. I’m going to start keeping up with it again though when I start Camp NaNo next month. Anyway, I started that novel back in August 2011. Old, right? Unfortunately, I never recorded when I finished it. I’m sure it was at least six months later that I finished it or something.

My point is that it was almost two years ago that I started the novel. I was 17 at the time, but turned 18 less than a month later. I started the novel August 2 and my birthday is September 1. I don’t know if it was the age or I didn’t have my cup of coffee that day, or maybe I had just written a lot that day and was getting tired. But when I edited yesterday, I was on page 129 in the middle of chapter eleven, and I read this line:

“I know that that would James pleased.”

I have to say that I completely died laughing when I read that. I have no idea what I was thinking–well, I clearly wasn’t thinking at all. That line is 100% messed up! I’m pretty sure I meant:

“I know that James would be pleased.”

So I changed it to that. I just thought I would share. Hopefully this gave you all a good belly laugh as it did for me.

Back to business: Anyone who is doing Camp NaNo next month, the cabins are being assigned starting today! I just checked and I am already in a cabin. I have to admit that I am pretty shocked with my cabin. I have always been in a cabin with four other people. So, including myself, the total amount of writers in a cabin was five. Sometimes there were only four of us all together. Four or five total, never three or anything like that. Guess how many people now? Including me, there are eight of us. How crazy is that? I wonder why they assigned so many people to one cabin…I’m not complaining, but I just think that it’s a little weird. I didn’t know they put that many people in one cabin together.

I think I said everything I wanted to say. I’m focusing on editing, only to write FanFiction when I get bit by the writing bug. The only exception is Camp NaNo. I can’t wait for Camp! 🙂