Working from your home studio…it seems to be the dream. Reality check time, folks. It’s harder than the idealized image many have in their heads. You know, hanging out in your fleece pj’s and bunny slippers, sipping coffee or herbal tea on your porch between recording sessions as you prepare the scripts that are piling into your inbox. Or you could still be in bed.
There are a lot of story-book fantasies conjured up about working from your home studio, and yes, some are true. As a matter of fact, I am in my home studio office, and writing this while still in my pj’s. I was also up at 5AM, did a load of wash, folded it and put it away while listening to a motivational audiobook, read a business periodical for 45 minutes, ate breakfast, paid bills, fielded emails, spoke with my sister in California who is in pain after undergoing some surgery yesterday, and now writing this post. And this working arrangement is absolutely the best thing anybody could hope for as well as the fact that while you keep your own hours, it also means you’re never completely off.
Being Your Boss
For the voice actor working from your home studio, you must work long hours under your own self-direction. Many times, we are isolated. It requires relentless discipline and motivation. You’re not only managing your voiceover career and business, but maintaining a sense of balance while life happens. It’s exhilarating, liberating, exhausting at times, and definitely not for wimps! You are required to be doing everything it takes to be an entrepreneuer in a creative business!
We’re in Good Company
Even though there’s still a bit of a “laziness” stigma associated with telecommuting and working from home, more than 14 million people are doing it, and that amount is increasing each year. And companies offering at least some flex-time are seeing increased productivity and office space cost reduction. For instance, the company that runs WordPress, (and which hosts Bobbin’s Blog) maintains a workforce of almost entirely a work from home staff of 400 in 60 different countries.
Tips for Success
- Have a routine. Get out of bed, shower, and dress comfortably. Lose the sweats or you may not feel productive!
- Focus! Restrict TV, email and social media. Put down that devil phone for a while!
- Keep your workspace and studio clean and organized.
- Work in chunks of time. I learned this strategy from my mentor, Darren Hardy. They’re called, “sprints” of 54 minutes, with a 17 minute break in-between. It means you focus solely on the biggest, highest priority projects before you during the sprint. And you don’t check email, except during breaks. I try to do several sprints daily. I get a ton of stuff done on those days.
- Exercise, preferably outdoors, every day. It clears your head, gives your eyes a break, oxygenates your blood and gets you away from the computer screen you’ve been spending time with for hours on end.
- Hang out with others. Stand up groups, hang outs, webinars, online training are great. And taking time to be with friends and family , or talking with your neighbors in person is even better.
- Know when it’s time to “go home” for the day. Know it’s OK to relax and refresh, and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. The work will be there tomorrow.