I was working a more “normal” job during the week and moonlighting as a Freelance Designer on nights and weekends. I pulled lots of long nights fueled by coffee and punk rock until I had enough work coming in to jump into freelance full-time.
This lead to starting a small agency with a Developer friend which was a great opportunity for me to learn the business side of things including sales.
While freelance life was great in many ways, I also missed the steady paychecks and predictability of a normal job, so after 3 years of freelancing and running a business, I decided to start looking for a full-time remote job.
While attending an industry conference WordCamp Raleigh I met someone who worked for my current employer WebDevStudios. In a few weeks, I had applied for a remote position with them and been offered a job which I excitedly accepted! I've been working remotely with them for 3 years now.
My current position means I focus on both the internal design for Sales and Marketing as well as leading design efforts for clients around User Experience and User Interface Design.
During client projects, I also act as a bridge between the engineering team and the client, helping convey the business needs and technical requirements through several Discovery sessions.
I start my workday at 9:00 AM and sometimes attend a pre-work call with some colleagues where we discuss the topic of Growth both in our personal lives as well as professional.
My actual to-do list for any given day is pretty dynamic; one day I may be heads-down in Sketch designing website components for projects or interviewing clients and the next day partnering with our Sales and Marketing teams to create graphics or marketing initiatives for our company. I also help fill-in as a Frontend Engineer on projects as needed.
All of this helps keep things fresh for me and prevents me from getting burned out filling like I'm stuck in a single routine.
I have a dedicated office space in my home but also try to change things up by working from different locations such as a local coffee shop or my outdoor patio which overlooks a wooded area.
I think changing your scenery from time to time can help fuel your creative juices and improve your overall well-being by getting some fresh air.
This is actually a topic I love to nerd-out about! I've probably tried every to-do list app and strategy you can think of. My current approach (and the one that works best for me) includes a mix of software and good old fashioned pen and paper.
Being a remote worker, it can sometimes feel lonely and cause us to spend too much time on social media.
I find the need to block these social media sites during most of the work day which is why I use an app called FocusMe which lets me set a time period to block distracting websites.
I also use a Pomodoro timer called Be Focused Pro which lets you break your workday into 25-minute blocks with a 5-minute break after each block. I use these 5-minute blocks for things like getting coffee, stretching or walking my dog.
This prevents me from sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours straight which can cause some long-term physical and mental problems.
In terms of to-do lists, I've found the best method for me is pen and paper because I'm such an “out of sight, out of mind” type of person.
The way I stay on task is to write out the 3 most important things I need to do that day on a note card and place it in front of my monitor.
As long as I do those 3 things I know I'll have had a productive day and can always circle around to less important things before the day is over. My company uses Basecamp for tracking tasks and goals so there is always a big list of items to pull from.
Without a doubt, I love not having to commute an hour back and forth every day.
I live in a semi-rural town so if I were to continue doing my job I would either have to move away from family and friends or drive at least an hour to a bigger city.
This means that as soon as 5:00 PM hits, I can go spend time with my wife and son.
The only downside is that I sometimes miss the person to person interactions of working in an office space.
To make sure I don't turn into a hermit, I make sure to schedule time with friends at least once per week to hang out or play sports.
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Cameron has been working remotely for 6 years as a Designer and Frontend Developer in the WordPress space.
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