Working online is an absolute gift, it truly is: it offers a flexible, empowering way to work but it can equally be exhausting and overwhelming at times (the juggle is real)…So, it’s vital check yourself before your wreck yourself… because the internet never sleeps, and if you’re not careful, neither will you.

Below I share my top 5 tips to help you handle working online. I hope you find them useful:

1. Divide your space

I work from my kitchen table but when the kids get home, my ‘office desk’ returns to the heart of the home so documents, laptop, phone and admin gets put away so I can go from boss to mum mode with ease. Consider creating your own dedicated office space at home be it a corner of a room or even in a heated shed in your garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one). I sometimes like to head to the library or a coffee shop, close by to switch things up. It also helps to re-inspire me if I feel a writer’s block coming on. Change your scenery, change your mindset!

2. Grow a thick skin

Working online, particularly as a personal brand/blogger means people who don’t know you from Adam, might well have an opinion about you. Get used to it and focus on the people who know and love you, who can always be honest with you when it comes to editorial feedback. You can’t trust everyone, so realise that from the get-go. In the 7 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve experienced trolls, libellous drivel, and naysayers. Nice. Forgive them all as I have, so it doesn’t eat you up, hold your head up high, and keeping cracking on.

I recently wrote about forgiveness here so if you need some inspo, check it out. Don’t forget that your brain is malleable, so the more you practise and advocate forgiveness as well as feeling confident and empowered, whatever the adversity you need to overcome, the quicker and easier it is to recover from online bullying. The tough times will build your resilience too.

3. Be kind to yourself

Be prepared for the roller-coaster. There will incredibly productive days which will see you high-fiving yourself and others where you’ll struggle to send a tweet: know that is normal. You can’t be ‘ON’ 24/7.  As with confidence, however, the more you create, the more you’ll create. You don’t have to publish or broadcast everything you write or make either. I’ve been painting again recently and I’m not sure I’ll share all of my work but that’s not why I’m doing it. First and foremost I paint and write for myself, for the joy in the creative act. Find the pleasure and passion and sharing becomes easy. Working around kids is never plain-sailing either. The good news is, you can work early in the morning or once the kids are asleep…Just don’t forget to eventually…

4. Switch off

Manage your social media consumption and productivity. There was a time that social media seemed to control me, and truth be told, I felt a little bit addicted to my phone. Thankfully, this last year has seen me regain complete control again. I don’t endlessly scroll through social media and when I do use it, I try and ensure it’s meaningful time well spent: I catch up with friends and followers, I schedule posts and I tend to only visit each platform a few times a day for short bursts. I rely on Social Oomph and scheduled tweets to keep traffic coming to my blog posts and I often schedule FB posts in advance too. With tools like that, you can be online even when you’re not. Plus, that pesky blue light blocks melanin production so give yourself an hour of screen-free time before slumber and read a book. I can recommend one that’s out on May 3rd!  I’ve also written about the secret to a good night’s sleep on the blog if you need some tips.

5. Find your tribe

I need my sisters (and brothers) to keep me sane and give me all the lols. My close tribe are a bunch of amazing friends made up of mates I’ve known since I was a kid to blogger pals I met years back, and friends from the film industry. I trust them all implicitly and reach out to them whenever issues arise so we can problem solve or simply cry on one another’s shoulders, as well as rejoicing when the good times roll. It’s never too late to make new friends either. Reach out to like-minded people on and offline, as working online/for yourself can feel quite solitary, but it doesn’t have to be. Twitter was a lifeline to me when I started and I’ve made some of my closest friends thanks to my online life.


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How to Handle Working Online - Honest Mum


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35 Responses

  1. Ranch Office

    As for me, it’s essential to remember about clocking in and clocking out. Otherwise, you might end up answering your business partners while eating and talking over the phone with your boss while playing with the kids.

  2. Schilly Construction Inc

    Love this advice. New workspace means new mindset? Yes. I’m going to have to agree with that one. I’ll have to keep this in mind this upcoming month and change my workspace by going to a co-working space to get out of the house and be around new people. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

  3. Emerald

    Catching up on some reading here. Great post Vicki, and I do hope you show us some of your artwork sometime if you choose to. ☺

  4. Jacqui

    I’m lucky to have found my tribe in the #sabloggerscafe that a few of us bloggers have started. They have helped me integrate into the South African blogging market. They truly are an amazing and inspiring bunch of ladies. However, I don’t have a space AT ALL! I often think I will be more productive but I just haven’t found the time. Bad excuse I know 🙂

  5. Lewis Brown

    great post, and i can totally relate to having space to shut yourself away to work. I had to give up my office space in my first house when my first was born, then again in my new house when my second was born, no my desk and computer is in my bedroom and it never gets turned on, i use my laptop wherever I can and its not the same, im usually at the breakfast bar or on the settee writing whilst my kids are jumping on my back or hitting me balloons. Sometimes I even take it to work and attempt to write on my lunch break.

  6. Emma Peach

    Great advice! I’m very guilty of being addicted to my phone, but I’m going to make a real effort to have time away from it over Christmas. Even though I know the blue light disrupts sleep I can’t help myself sometimes. I try to get as much done as possible when Isobel’s at school because when she comes home I get very little done!

    Emma xxx

  7. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    Really good advice! I do have my little office space in our converted garage which doubles up as a playroom for the kids. As I usually work when they are not there or in the evenings it works pretty well plus kids are well trained and aware that mummy’s desk is off limits or there will be consequences (in case they disturb the artistic chaos) lol.
    Productivity on social media and getting distracted seems to be my biggest struggle, getting better though so fingers crossed will get there in the end! x

  8. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    This post is very timely and exactly what I needed to read. I am taking all of them to heart. I’ve already made progress on the “switching off” front: both the hubster and I put the phones away during date night, and no electronics are allowed at the dinner table. You really do have to unplug.

  9. Ali Duke

    Scheduling posts has really helped me to ahve time away from the computer and phone. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Berni

    great advice Vicki. I think I’ve become addicted to checking my phone. I do have separate space for my computer, its in my art/glass studio, which means i get distracted when i’m supposed to be making beautiful things, to ‘just quickly checking in to social media’ … I also sit with my phone when i’m watching TV but I blame TV for not being interesting enough!

  11. Susan Mann

    Great tips, I love the office space one and the be kind to you. I know it’s hard when people don’t say very nice things, but you handle it so well. Hugs and thanks for sharing

  12. Emma

    Great advice Vicki. Leaving my phone downstairs at night so I don’t scroll through Instagram in bed has definitely helped with switching off from social media! I also removed the Facebook app from my phone and blocked the Facebook newsfeed on my computer! Sanity restored!

  13. Paola

    These advice are so important, it’s so easy to get caught up or allow some things to start eating our self-confidence. I like that you mentioned keeping your work space separated from family life.
    Thanks for sharing your expert’s view!

  14. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    Great post! I really really want number 1! I currently work on the ktchen table too – and it drives me mad having to clear it all away every day and get it all out again – often several times a day. We do actually have one of the rooms in the loft conversion set up as an office and I could work there…but for some reason I absolutely hate working up there – I think it’s just too far from the coffee pot 😉 It’s also ugly and makes me feel very uncreative…but I think in 2018 we are going to have a jiggle round and move the kids up into the loft conversion so they have bigger rooms…and turn the littlest bedroom into my office – literally cannot wait!! I am going to have so much fun making it pretty (and figuring out where to put the coffee machine!!). Eb x

  15. Annabel

    Really useful suggestions, thank you. I must adhere to the one about a good nights’s sleep and not look at my phone before bed! #brilliantblogpost

  16. Chloe

    Hi, theses are great and helpful tips. I now make sure I have a dedicated space for blogging, try to set times for blog going and being part of a gang for support is indeed very important #BrillBlogPosts

  17. Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb

    Oh my, so much sound advice here Vicki… I just need to find time to implement it!!!! ?

    The worst one for me is not switching off from social media/my phone before bed. That blue light kills and I really need to get myself more downtime. It’s happening at Christmas, I’ve made a promise to myself!

    Great post, thank you. C x

  18. Rebecca Smith

    Love this post…I certainly have my tribe, the most gorgeous gaggle of free from ladies you could imagine (we’re the Free From Gang!) I love them all to bits and we’ve get each others back 24hrs a day if needed. I need thicker skin…and I need to stop listening to the little doubting Rebecca on my shoulder. I also need more escape time…these four walls feel quite overbearing at times

    • Honest Mum

      Oh that’s so wonderful to read, it’s vital to have amazing friends who have your back. We all have that niggly voice, but the more you practise confidence, the easier it becomes. I force myself on walks every day and feel much for productive for it x

  19. Pen

    I’d love to see some of your paintings Vicki. I used to paint, but I find with a toddler that I don’t really have either the time or a corner of the flat that is safe from the risk of a toddler knocking all of my paints over my new carpet. Maybe I shouldn’t be so precious about my carpet. Pen x

    • Honest Mum

      I’ve just bought an easel as mine is back at my folks-will share some work in the ny. I think you should start up again too x


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