Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Heart-to-heart: On working from home.

It's been quite some time I wrote in here. 

There have been so many social networking platforms to write on (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and it's just so much easier to post on the go with my phone that sadly, I've neglected my oldest networking site, here. By the way, I post DAILY on my Dayre (it's a new microblogging app, please go download and follow me there! I update constantly about what's going on in my life and AiClay work there) 

Currently, I'm waiting for my lunch to cook (a vegetable patty in the oven and eggs waiting to boil). So let me talk about something that I've been thinking about these few days. 

When I first quit my full time job (a 9-6 desk bound job) and started working on AiClay, I faced a constant turmoil of emotions. When I was working, I hated the daily shuttling from home to work, squeezing in the train filled with mobs of robotic and depressing faces, waking up to my annoying alarm and never having enough sleep. The list goes on. Constantly, I craved for the comfort of my warm bed, dreaming of snacking while watching telly dramas, or just being home. 

But this changed very quickly when I brought my office home. Or called my home, my office. Whichever way you want to see it. 

Admittedly, I had more than my fair share of slacking at home when I first quit my job. I didn't know how to schedule my work, or what I could work on if there were no commissions. I bathed in my newfound freedom to wake up anytime I wanted to, and to take breaks without seeking anybody's permission. There were even days I just slept till noon, went for mahjong dates, or lazed in bed playing Candy Crush (yup, that was the craze then) for hours. I probably squeezed in a bit of working in my tight schedule of being lazy. -dry laughter. 

You know how they say, too much of something is bad enough? (okay the Spice Girls said this) That was definitely true for me. I had too much freedom, and freedom means nothing when there was nothing to be free from. Taking breaks was meaningless because I wasn't working prior to that, going on holidays made me feel guilty, and weekends just meant that I was resting (again) with the rest of the working world. 

I felt a growing sense of unachievement (is there such a word?) as the days went by. 

Also, I was so occupied with having fun, that it bugged me when I couldn't find dates. I felt so trapped at home, ironic as home was where I so desperately hoped to be when I was working. 

I tried to fill up my schedule with meeting friends, anything that could allow me to leave home. But friends had colleagues to hang out with after work, or meetings to attend. My boyfriend suffered the brunt of my incessant need to leave the house. I was asking him out everyday, and unreasonably I was expecting him to accompany me constantly. Our relationship was strained as I grew clingy. 

And then, one day it hit me. Even though I was supposedly working from home, I hadn't actually been doing so. 90% of my time at home was NOT doing work, so how could I say I was working from home. 

The process of getting into a schedule, and gaining self-discipline is long and not easy. But 4 years into a home-based business, I can now say I REALLY spend at least 75% of my time at home working. Even if I'm shuttling between appointments (with friends or business), I'm replying emails and marketing on my social networks as well. There were a lot of factors that contributed to this as well. For example, I converted my room into a home studio where it's a lot more conducive to work from. My bed is now a makeshift one, so I no longer have the luxury to just laze on bed in between tasks. Or the fact that I've been blessed with having kind strangers and friends share their ideas and opportunities with me, and opening up my mind about the potential AiClay can blossom into. 

The most awesome change I see in myself, is that I no longer feel bored or unhappening even if I spend the entire week just working from home. How can I, when I'm busy working on exciting new projects for AiClay and discovering new potential challenges. Of course, I still love meeting my friends and family, and would fit in dates with them every once in a while. It's just healthy for my system. 

So that's my story. Sorry if I don't make sense some parts, or if this hasn't really been helpful for you. But if you work from home, please share your experience thus far with me. I'm always happy to hear your stories. :) 

Now let me go peel some eggs. :) 


  1. I like yr story. Thanks for sharing. Working for myself has always been my dream. I love crafts and all along I hv been making small things for sale. I understand what you say when you hv lots of time and did nothing. I can spend lots of time researching and later become overwhelming and nothing gets done. 2yrs ago, I quit my job to do a biz totally nothing to do with craft. I was bought into the idea of having to control my own time and earn what I wanna earn. But stress started piling as I couldn't bring enough bread home. And my son was distant away from me. I dropped that.. and return back to the workforce. I still have dreams that I hope to achieve. One day... maybe will try again.

    Go ahead to do whatever you want now that you are young! Good luck! Jiayou!!

  2. How wonderfully articulately and eloquently put! I must tell you that I have struggled with this same issue and am still in the throes of getting it all organized and scheduled. I have children and a husband to manage as well so it's a hard (but wonderful) journey. Thank you for sharing this, you've brought to the fore the fact that I still have a way to go - but I am not alone. :) Oh, and I know you hear this a lot but, I do love your work!

  3. Awesome story sharing! I'd love to hear even more! It's always amazing to me, people who can quit their day job and work from home.

  4. Thank you for sharing this, this was a really interesting read! I am the complete opposite: I love going to work; actually going outside, travel in trains, going into office etc I love the feeling of going somewhere and getting things done - and the luxury of coming home and being "home". I really enjoyed your story and will keep it in mind if it ever happens that I have to work from home :)

  5. Hello Jocelyn! I'm Isabelle. We haven't talked for a long time, and I have always wanted to post a comment on the blog, but somehow always couldn't. I really appreciated this post, and I really can relate to it. I don't work from home, in fact I'm a student, but I really hate waking up sooo early (5.30 am) to sometimes 6.30pm plus plus. :( But I'm really glad you became more self disciplined, you're really my inspiration when it comes to following my dreams!

  6. This makes absolute sense! It's my dream to be able to craft/sew/make stuff from home. I do think I'll have the discipline to work (after I laze around for some days first, of course) :p

  7. I love working from home, in the comfort of my home sweet home, but some people prefer to work outside where they can interact with outside parties

  8. I like what you say, freedom means nothing when there was nothing to be free from