Ten Top Tips For…Working From Home

Ten Top Tips for…Working from Home at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.
Hello there lovely Buttoneers! How are you? It’s currently a scary, noisy and uncertain world out there at the moment isn’t it and everything feels a bit topsy-turvey, a smidge wobbly at times and a lot different to what we are all used to. I for one, have felt a range of all the emotions lately and even a trip to the supermarket for my weekly essentials shop became an anxious and exhausting task. These times are sent to try us and as the good old Hagrid says “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does” – he’s a wise fella, that Hagrid. 
Working from home is a new experience for lots of people at the moment. People that are used to getting up, jumping in the shower, grabbing breakfast and heading out of the door to sit down in their office at their desk/study area/classroom etc [Insert your workspace here] surrounded by noise and people. Thanks to COVID-19 Coronavirus, a government lock down and a lot of people either self-distancing or self-isolating, a lot of us are having to adapt the way we work, to be able to continue working, but from home. It’s certainly an adjustment! 
A few of you lovely Buttoneers have messaged me asking for advice about working from home because it’s what I do full time and you are struggling to settle into your new routines – Don’t panic! I have got your back lovelies!

I jumped into action with a million ideas running around in my creative imagination and set to work to hash out all of my tips and tactics to help you get your head down, get stuff done and most importantly, keep hold of that work/life balance.

If you have followed me on this little creative corner of the internet for some time, you may remember my Ten Top Tips for…Moving House blog post. I really loved the style of that post and wanted to write this post in much the same way. 
Disclaimer: I am not amazing at this at all, I too, still struggle from time to time to find a balance or keep my motivation – these are just Ten Top Tips for Working From Home that I have gathered together that work for me!
So, without further ado, here is my Ten Top Tips For…Working From Home…
A Comfortable Workspace - Eliston Button Headquarters, Colourful Craft Studio - Ten Top Tips for…Working from Home at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

1. Create a comfortable workspace

☀ Working in a new environment can be overwhelming at the best of times, let alone if you are working in the same place you are living, cooking, relaxing, watching telly, sleeping etc etc. Having a designated workspace is definitely the key! Now, I’m not saying you all need to re-mortgage and build an extension or a home office in the bottom of the garden (the dream!) I am saying you need to find a quiet corner of your home, whether it be a cleared off dining room table, a desk set up in your spare room or even your laptop set up on your dressing table. This will not only promote good work ethic, help with an ‘office mindset’ and give you better posture sat in a proper chair, but it will help with leaving your work behind at the end of the day (more on that later)
☀ Having a dedicated workspace will give you a clear-cut working space that allows your mind to know you are all business. Set up your laptop, connect to the internet, lay out your planner, grab your pens and notepads and get to work! It will, in time, cut out all the distractions around you like the TV, the pile of laundry that needs folding, the washing up that needs popping in the dishwasher and all the other tiny jobs that will amount to half of your working day if you let your brain procrastinate enough! You will be more focused, better organised, more motivated, and with fewer distractions! Hooray! 
☀ Don’t sit in front of the television! As much as you think working from home means that you get to binge watch your way through your Netflix watch list, you simply won’t be as productive if you are distracted. Just think, if you get your work done early, grab the popcorn! You’ve earned it, just prioritise your work first and your brain (and your boss!) will thank you later. 

☀ TOP TIP: Create a little mood board or cut and stick some inspiration messages to yourself. Grab some photos of happy times with the people you love and pin them up around your workspace or add some cushions or a snugly blanket to your chair. This will make you instantly feel at home, inspired and like you have a comfortable little sanctuary and dedicated personal space to get to work, rather than just a spot at the dining table or the corner of your bedroom! Hooray!☀

Maintaining a Routine and Schedule Working From Home by Eliston Button - Ten Top Tips for…Working from Home at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

2. Keep to a routine/schedule

☀ As much as lying in bed with your phone in one hand and your coffee in another seems like the dream work life, trust me, it gets tiring pretty fast. Your brain will be in relaxation mode rather than go get ’em mode, so where you might think you are emailing your boss with the latest stats and statistics in a professional manner, you are probably not using your brain to the maximum of its clever, well worded self. 

☀ You wouldn’t shack up to the office half dressed, hair everywhere and with your toothbrush still in hand now would you!? You wouldn’t turn up to your workplace two hours late and tell your boss it was because you slept in and needed to put a wash on first would you? So why would your working day be any different just because you are at home? 

☀ Get up for work just like you would do if you were leaving for the office. Jump in the shower, get dressed (even if it’s just in to a clean pair of pyjamas!) eat some breakfast (It’s brain food yanno!) and sit at your desk to get to work for the time you would usually start work. It will keep your brain sharp and ready to go. 

☀ A really great way of ensuring you manage your time well in the mornings, and to get you up and ready straight into your working day, is to make a bridge! No, I don’t mean an actual bridge but a metaphorical one. Every day when I finish my work for the day, I write a list of things I either didn’t complete, or I need to do the next morning. Sometimes I even leave a project unfinished so that I can start the next day jumping straight back into a project rather than having to start a daunting new task when I’m feeling a bit bleary eyed and sleepy! This way it bridges the gap and ensures I start the day off super productive, which in turn leads to a way more productive day than if I sat at my desk procrastinating my morning away not knowing where to start. 

☀ TOP TIP: Set and alarm and get to your dedicated workspace for the same time every day (maybe even your normal office start time) and your brain will feel so much more professional, become more ready to go and start to automatically be in work mode when you sit down in your dedicated workspace! Hooray!☀

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New Colourful & Fun Illustrated Quote Prints!

Eliston Button Etsy Shop Update Banner - at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

Hello there lovely Buttoneers! How are you!? I planned for this post and the accompanying Etsy Shop update to be launched in January but alas! Life got in the way! January felt like the longest month, yet now I look back it’s like it zipped right past me and before I know it, I am playing catch up and working hard to get stuff done! Nothing like a deadline to get my bum into gear!

After last year being a massive curve-ball in my life, let alone my little creative biz, my grand plans of world domination with a swish of rainbow and a sprinkle of sunshine, just didn’t come to fruition at all. It feels very strange to be back in the swing of things and writing blog posts, let alone launching new products. I actually think that all of that time where I couldn’t launch anything new, whether it was because of time, or life stuff or mental health struggles, has lead me to feel super charged in creativity and raring to go this year – fingers crossed it sticks around!

Disclaimer: Just to serve up a dollop of realness too, I am still tired all the time, procrastinate a lot, probably listen to too many true crime podcasts (SSDGM Murderinos!)

I still battle with the; to nap or not to nap dilemma, to do work or not to do work conundrum, or go and make another cup of tea and grab another biscuit saga, everyday!

“Some days I feel like Superwoman, other days I just want to nap” (Quote print in my Etsy Shop 😉)

So, I have found myself, three cups of tea later and after having pulled into the procrastination station for a while, sat typing out my first blog post of 2020 and feeling a little anxious about my new product launch.

It’s silly really, I have done this so many times, but the social media struggle at the moment has got me all of a dither with how my work is received and how I can get it out in to the scary big wide world for people to *hopefully* want to buy. There is a lot riding on this year and the future of my little business. It’s make or break time, so please consider supporting my small creative biz, even if you are just engaging with me on Instagram or Facebook – It makes the world of difference. 

Right then, enough chitter chatter! Here is what you have all been waiting for (just let me believe this one, yes!?) without further ado…Here are my new colourful & fun illustrated quote prints…New Colourful & Fun Illustrated Quote Prints! at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.Ekk! That was super scary! You may recognise this first round (oh yes, there are more to come) of prints from my little squares of colourful creativity on social media. I worked so hard on them and such a little amount of people actually probably got to see them – thanks algorithms (I promise that’s my lot of whinging about it all now!) that it seemed such a shame for them to get further and further back into the webosphere, never to be seen again. So, I grabbed my tools of mass creation (mainly my iPad Pro and a large mug of tea) and got to work making the little colourful squares into A4 prints.

I am so thrilled with how they have turned out on the larger, longer scale and think they might just be some of my new favourites! (Shhh! Don’t tell the others!) The actual printed prints are so vibrant and full of colour and I am so so proud of them. Here they are in all of their individual glory…

“It’s Not All Sunshines and Rainbows But That Makes It Better When It Is”
New Colourful & Fun Illustrated Quote Prints! at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

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Moments of Magic

Happy Holidays Sprout Wreath by Eliston Button - Moments of Magic at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

Hello lovely Buttoneers! Just when I’m starting to get into the swing of blogging again, just like that it is the end of the year. Oh well, I feel like I have definitely broken the ice and jumped back in enough to keep the magic around for a year of better blogging next year.

I have really enjoyed being back on this little colourful corner of the blogosphere again and definitely have plans to make it more of an adventure next year – watch this space!

As I mentioned in my Meet the Maker Week 2019 blog post earlier this month, this has been a really crappy year, so I for one, will be super glad to handpick the memories I want to keep…fancy a trip down memories-that-were-rather-special lane with me? I’m holding on to these tight in my little hands and never letting go.

These are the memories that shine like the sun in magic hour after a rainy grey day.

So, without further ado, here are my Moments of Magic for 2019…

At the very end of 2018 the lovely Zabby Allen asked me if I would like to contribute an article in the first ever issue of The Procrastination Paper. If you didn’t know, The Procrastination Paper is a monthly mini mag which aims to tempt you away from your phone and encourages you to waste some time offline (Such a fabulous and much needed idea in this day and age if you ask me!) I was so blooming honoured that, of course, I jumped at the chance!

I was sooooo excited to be published in a cool new zine to start off the brand new year!

Fast forward to January and the first issue came through my letterbox! I was so excited that I had to go and make myself a cup of tea before I tore open the envelope and raced through all of the wonderful pages, so that I didn’t hyperventilate! I was so blooming proud of my little illustrations and words being amongst such amazing makers, writers and really cool people.

From January to about June life got in the way and was not all sunshine’s and rainbows. Out of the storm came the brilliant bright and shining Spice Girls Concert…My 12 year old self, stood there in her Shellys platform boots, wearing her orange inflatable backpack, recording every song into her GirlTalk tape recorder and blowing the biggest Bubbaloo bubblegum bubbles, would have never believed she would ever get to see the Spice Girls in concert 💖✌🏻

She dreamt of singing alongside them whilst belting out the classics into her plastic microphone, was the cool kid on the school car share ‘cause her mum let them all sing along to her Spice Girls cassette in the car, was always Posh Spice when her and her friends put on a show in the street and once, even put glitter nail varnish in her hair because she wanted it to shine just like Ginger Spice’s did ✨ The Spice Girls concert in Manchester would have blown her little mind! That one’s for you little Rachel 💖✌🏻 💋✨ It was magnificent, and I still can’t quite find the words to describe my feelings on that day. I cried, I laughed, and I sang my little heart out – Just magic!

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Meet the Maker Week 2019

Hello there lovely Buttoneers! How are you!?

Long time no speak! This year has certainly been a bit of a year for me and it has taken a giant walloping toll on my creativity and little creative biz. I’ve had a rough year, but it also made me recognise the sprinkle of joy that appeared every so often too, so it hasn’t all been horrendous, but the cloudier weeks have thrown my mental health and my head space about my business all off kilter. Life eh!?

If you follow me on Instagram, I have shared a lot over there so feel free to whiz over and catch up with a cup of tea!

I had to close the Eliston Button Etsy Shop for a few months right at the start of the year when my Dad was ill and for a really long time, I worried you’d all forgotten me and maybe I’d fallen off the face of the internet. Instagram algorithms kick my butt for taking the break and now I struggle with engagement and to get my hard work seen, which is tough.

I’m getting there now but back in the first half of the year, heck, back a month ago, I needed that time away time to get myself to the best I can be, so I can be the best for my biz too.

Slow and steady wins the race eh!? 🐢

It’s increasingly harder battling social media algorithms that are based on engagement and popularity. Sometimes it feels like we’re all back in high school doesn’t it! No matter how many times I hear that I shouldn’t compare myself to strangers on the internet, no matter how many times I try to not see my self-worth in the number of likes I get, or even see my social media and Etsy shop statistics as a measure of my abilities, it is so so hard to carry on putting your heart and soul and hours of your time into something that doesn’t show everyone that chooses to follow you, the majority of your posts.

Yikes! Anyhoo, I didn’t come on here to rant about my struggle with social media, after all we are all in the same boat. I just wanted to set the scene of why it was so great that I started to see through the brain fog of this year, to be able to pick up my pencils again and start to create again. It is so important for me to show you the highs and the lows, to show a true representation of what it is like to run a small creative business when you are up against big companies.

I am so happy that I finally have been able to pull myself back into the creative, colourful sunshine that I love.

So, when I was reminded that the lovely Joanne Hawker was hosting her Meet the Maker Week again, I saw it as a fabulous opportunity to throw myself back out there, dive right back into the deep end, get back on to that creative alpaca and ride the wave again…or something like that!

If you don’t know, Meet the Maker Week is a week-long Instagram/social media challenge with the aim of showing the world what you do as a small business/creative person. It’s really hard to put yourself out there, so it is a great way to show yourself and your products off at the same time as meeting like-minded creatives.

Joanne Hawker Meet The Maker Week Prompt List - Meet the Maker Week 2019 at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

I just knew this would be a fabulous way to reset my social media/creative biz mindset. I knew it would be a really great way to reconnect with who I am, not just as a small business owner, but as a colour-loving, button collecting crafty kid too. I wanted to reconnect with the Why of my business and what I do, alongside re-learning about what makes me tick creatively.

It was a good push to get back out there, back on the saddle of the rainbow unicorn (probably called Starlite like my Rainbow Brite horse of the 90’s) and go get ’em!

Naturally, I wanted to get back to blogging too. writing this intro (soz it’s a bit long, but I had A LOT to catch up on and seemingly A LOT to say about social media – It’s best not to bring it up to me at a dinner party or at the Christmas dinner table, okay!?) has made me realise how much I love, love, love sitting down with a giant mug of tea and tippy-tappying my thoughts and passions in to a blog post, just like the old days.

I love nothing more than channelling my inner Carrie Bradshaw and pondering over life’s most creative conundrums – Yanno, like which jar does the pinky-red button go into, the red or the pink? Or would that crazy pants creative idea that is in my rainbow imagination, really going to look good on paper!?

I also love to document these type of things to look back on in years to come, when who knows what my little creative corner of the internet will look like then. If you to love an over the years comparison you can check out my Meet the Maker Week prompt answers from Meet the Maker Week 2016 and Meet the Maker Week 2017 if you like.

So, without further ado, here is my Meet the Maker Week 2019…

Rachel Eliston of Eliston Button - Designer Maker and Illustrator. - Meet the Maker Week 2019 at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - A Treasure Trove of Creativity, Colour and Adventure.

Day 1

Elevator Pitch: Hello there 👋🏻 I am Rachel. I am a designer maker and illustrator from Worcestershire. I am also Head Buttoneer over on this here creative lifestyle blog! ✏️ I design and make treasures for the Eliston Button Etsy Shop, full of handmade magical goodness from happy, colourful home decor like prints, weavings and fabric collages to accessories like felt flower brooches, earrings and hair grips. Not forgetting my super fun Christmas sprout and snowball range! 🎄 I always aim to add a sprinkle of sunshine to your day with every order ☀️ I’d love to know a fun fact about you! 

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