Working from home brings a whole lot of positives and negatives. Today we are going to untangle how we navigate it both during quarantine and otherwise!
Today’s guest is Jamie Lieberman from Hashtag Legal. She runs her own that provides legal services for businesses ranging from multi-million dollar corporations to small startups. You can find them on Instagram @hashtag_legal and on YouTube. I will have to say that Jamie really boils down the nitty gritty law stuff (especially as a business owner) that I want to ignore but need to know about.
You can also find her talking all things business on the FearLess Business Podcast.
But enough about Jamie, let’s talk about how she manages life being a high powered attorney and mom to two little boys.
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines. Being in a routine 100% makes my work/life work for me, and I can’t remember that course any more. Families love it, and they love how I really help you simplify your priorities.
In this episode we are talking about the:
- Perks of working from home
- Cons of working from home
- Extra issues we face(d) during quarantine
- How Jamie uses time blocking and her to-do list to help her be the most productive
- How Jamie will be working it now that she is renting office space as well.
Other things that might interest you:
- The Business of Blogging
- Setting Boundaries with Homework
- Using a Paper Planner to Organize (Epsidode 019)
Producer: Drew Erickson
**We are going on Hiatus until August 3rd so be sure to check out some other episodes of ours in the meantime. See you after out little summer break!
Check out my other parenting podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys, welcome back to the pulling curls podcast. Today we are talking about working from home. I think a lot of us are now newly experienced working at home parents and maybe you’re gonna find some solace in this episode. We’re going to talk about some of the pros of working from home because I think we can all agree that there are great things, being a mom working from home, some of the cons, and then my guest is going to talk about she actually just purchased office space so that she could go to an office every once in a while. So we’re going to talk about all of that. Let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy parenting, home routines, even some family travel because heavens knows our lives are tangled. I’m your host, Hilary Erickson.
Hey guys, before we get into the meat of this one, let me just ask you I beg you plead with you to leave me a review. I don’t have very many and it hurts my feelings. And you know, you don’t want to see me cry, do you? Leave me a review. Thanks so much.
Okay, so today’s guest is one of my favorite people. I always say that but this one’s for real. She is the owner of Hashtag Legal. She is a high powered attorney. In fact she’s my attorney. We are working on my copyright as we record this. She has a website hashtaglegal and she has a YouTube channel and an Instagram. If you are a business owner who is looking for legal advice, she’s your gal. She’s also kind of a pitbull. So if you’ve ever had to like, you know, enforce some sort of contract I’d want her on on my side. Today I want to introduce my friend Jamie Lieberman.
This episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast is sponsored by Family Routines: how to automate your housewife life. Ever wish life was more like you pictured it would be before you had kids? Being able to spend less time with the mundane tasks and more time teaching kids the fun and valuable life skills you know they need. Family Routines teaches families to simplify daily tasks into routines that help them feel more peace and joy. Save 15% with a coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find it at pullingcurls.com in the menu under Courses or in this episode’s show notes.
Hey Jamie, welcome The Pulling Curls Podcast.
Jamie Lieberman 2:01
Hi, thanks for having me.
Hilary Erickson 2:03
Now, Jamie, you’re gonna have to put your mom ears on because Jamie’s used to talking, you know, high powered attorney talk.
Jamie Lieberman 2:10
These days My mom ears are on all the time.
Hilary Erickson 2:13
But this is a parenting podcast. So Welcome!
Jamie Lieberman 2:17
Thank you. Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
Hilary Erickson 2:20
Everything’s warm and cuddly on my channel.
Jamie Lieberman 2:22
Oh my gosh, I’m so excited.
Hilary Erickson 2:24
Yeah. Okay, so tell us a little bit about yourself, like what kind of business you have and the ages of your kids.
Jamie Lieberman 2:29
So I am a lawyer. I run my own law firm. We work with small businesses and entrepreneurs. And I have two boys who are high spirited and high energy, as we like to refer to them. One is in third grade and one is in kindergarten.
Hilary Erickson 2:43
Yeah. High spirited and it comes with the third grade and kindergarten boy, I’m pretty sure…
Jamie Lieberman 2:48
it’s a lot.
Hilary Erickson 2:49
It’s a lot.
Jamie Lieberman 2:50
It’s a lot.
Hilary Erickson 2:51
I think we’re recording this The day after teachers day so holla to all the teachers out there.
Jamie Lieberman 2:56
I’m telling you where it’s the whole week is Teacher Appreciation. And every day, we’re just like, thank you.
Hilary Erickson 3:08
If I thank you more, will you take them back? Exactly. I’ll make you a mask.
Jamie Lieberman 3:13
Hilary Erickson 3:14
Yeah. Okay, so what are the perks of working from home because you work from home all the time. It’s not just now.
Jamie Lieberman 3:19
Right before we all you know, the world changed and we all went into quarantine. I did mostly work from home, I had office space, but when I rarely used although that is going to change for me the perk from working from home Honestly, I live in the New York area.
So one of the biggest perks was no commute. That was huge, because you can lose hours here to a commute. And so that was a big one. The other big one was flexibility. You know, if I, I mean, I do own my own business, so that’s helpful. But if I, if I wanted to, like pick up and go over to my kids school to read a story, I could and I would maybe only lose 20 minutes versus if I was in an office and had to plan you know, like a whole morning around it.
Hilary Erickson 3:58
Yeah. I love the flex ability of being able to pick my own hours and nobody really cares.
Jamie Lieberman 4:03
Hilary Erickson 4:04
And I would say we’re in a business where people don’t care when they get an email at 11am 11pm or 5am. For me, because everyone’s kind of working those random hours.
Jamie Lieberman 4:13
Yeah, it’s interesting. So I have sort of two sets of clients. One are online business owners who are much more say flexible or a lot less, you know, they kind of work all the time. And then I do have some very traditional like brick and mortar businesses that are local. And those can be they sometimes are like, wow, you work really late. Because I’m a night owl, I tend to work very briefly. So sometimes I hold back on those emails until the next morning.
Hilary Erickson 4:42
Yeah, that’s probably smart. Do you think they don’t like it that you email them so late? Are there-
Jamie Lieberman 4:46
No, I don’t think that they don’t. I just think sometimes, like they notice it, and if they mentioned it, then I’m like, okay, that means something to them and whatever it might mean something positive, it might mean something negative, I’m not sure but I try as much as I can. Just sort of Stay in the realm of working
Hilary Erickson 5:02
hours. Yeah. I mean, I want my lawyer working 24. Seven. But I only want them billing me for one of those hours.
Jamie Lieberman 5:12
Send me all the emails, but don’t send me the bill.
Hilary Erickson 5:15
Okay, so what are some of the challenges of working from home?
Jamie Lieberman 5:18
So I think the biggest challenge is people think you’re not working. They’re like, Hey, you want to meet for lunch like I do, but I can’t. And so I really am super scheduled. So every half hour to be more efficient, is scheduled in my day. So I don’t really actually get many breaks. That’s another thing. I feel like when you’re in an office, you’re more inclined to take more breaks.
I’ve worked offices for many, many years, I’ve only been working from home for maybe the last seven or eight, but I’ve been a lawyer for 15. So the first half of my career was like really traditional office working, and I took away more breaks when I worked there and I don’t do that as much anymore. So I definitely find them a bit over scheduled, which may be the nature of my business as well.
But Because you know when my I’m here when my kids walk in the door, even though we do have child care who helps they know I’m here. So I’m going to pause and to see them, I’m going to stop things like that.
So what would have been normally longer day for me, the hours have shifted a little bit that can definitely be a little bit challenging of people who think you’re either not working or trying to cram a lot into a shorter amount of time, because you’re sort of hyper focused on being at home and getting distracted by the things at home like Oh, let me just throw in this thing as laundry or like, I don’t I don’t allow myself to do that. Oh, you don’t
Hilary Erickson 6:33
know. That’s one of my perks. I get up and I do some household chore, but I really like mixing things up in my brain. So it helps me to like clean accounter then get back and whatever. Yeah,
Jamie Lieberman 6:43
yeah, I don’t I try not to me. I try not to do household chores is a break. For me. I try to pick something else. But I can see why. You know, it’s tempting at times. I’m like, oh, there’s a lot of laundry like I’ll be looking. Just throw it in real quick. So
Hilary Erickson 6:59
yeah. That’s my break. Now I feel depressed now that you said that was my break.
Jamie Lieberman 7:04
She should draw, write or have a cup of tea something. Writing is
Hilary Erickson 7:08
definitely not my break. That’s fair. That’s what she do for a living all the time. Yeah. So I have the same problem because I was PTO president before I really started upping my business game. And so constantly, I’m invited to come back and new PTO things. And so that has been really hard, because people are kinda like, well, you were building your business before? And I’m like, Yeah, but it wasn’t the same. And yeah,
Jamie Lieberman 7:30
do you get that a lot of school? I do. So yes. And then I also have the guilt of I can’t do that. So there are certain times where my schedule isn’t able to be flexible because of a deadline or a meeting or something. And so while I wish I was able to do all the things I you know, our PTO meetings are like 930 on Fridays, and that’s a time I can never meet.
So I’m just never able to do any of that. So I definitely do have that conflict where I feel a little bit guilty that I do. can’t make it to certain things or if I’m traveling because I do travel for work. And I miss something. I’m like, oh, man, I should be there for that. So I struggle with that a little bit as well. But I do get invited to a lot of stuff. I say no to so much. That’s hard.
Hilary Erickson 8:11
Yeah. But I think it’s it’s really nice that you get a prioritize, because if there is an event at school, I try and throw it on my calendar and make sure that I can work it around versus when I work at the hospital. You know, if I’m scheduled that day, then I’m scheduled that day. There’s no working around it. So
Jamie Lieberman 8:26
Exactly. Yeah. If I’m here, I’ll move things for school events, for sure. But sometimes I’m traveling and obviously that it’s sort of like working at the hospital. I can’t I can’t change that.
Hilary Erickson 8:36
Yeah, you could fly home
Jamie Lieberman 8:39
from California just to see a 15 Minute Book Fair. Definitely.
Hilary Erickson 8:44
Hold the book fair. The worst. All right. So any other challenge? What do you think your biggest challenge has been during this with the kids home all the time because I’m used to like adjusting during summer but I cannot take off six months of work time.
Jamie Lieberman 8:59
This is actually been probably one of the most intensely challenging times I’ve had in my entire career. And I’m talking about like when they took the bar. It’s, it’s a whole different world, I was very set in my very specific routine. I knew like, where the kids were, what they were doing when they were gone. When I was home, I built my entire world around that I live in, in New York area.
So I live in an apartment. And so now I went from working alone five days a week by myself and my house to now my husband, who’s also a lawyer is home. And my two children who, like I said, are very high energy boys. And we don’t have outdoor space. So and we’re in like, sort of the eye of the storm. And so we have a lot more things that we’re not allowed to do that a lot of people are allowed to do in other parts of the country. So that’s been a huge challenge.
Sitting down and really, essentially having to find time I used to have that now is spent with my kids, and they’re the priority. They need me. I’m going to be there and so we’ve sort of had to time lock and shift everything. It was just like this radical change in how I worked, how I did business, everything has changed. I do have a team that works with me.
So they’ve made a significant difference and a huge help but figuring out like what the new normal look like it took us quite, you know, we’re still working on it. We’re a lot better now. But it took at least a few weeks to figure out what would work where everybody wasn’t like crying, or yelling or frustrated or all of those things.
Hilary Erickson 10:24
Yeah, it’s hard because you want to be kids are the priority, but they can’t always be the priority and trying to let kids realize that you’re the priority this hour. But next hour you need especially because you know, I mean, you have a kindergartener, but for me, my kids are old enough to not ask me what they should have for lunch, right? Well,
Jamie Lieberman 10:43
mine are actually really self sufficient in that way. So they will play for hours by themselves. I am not a mom who will constantly tell her kids like what they should or shouldn’t do. And I’m not an entertainer. I love to play with my kids. I love to read with my kids. We do we’ve one of the ways that we take body breaks during school is we use when we can’t get outside in particulars, we play just dance, which is this video game where you’re like, you know, on PlayStation.
And I play it with that, because I love it. It’s really fun. And we do it together. And we’re trying to unlock songs together. And it’s great. But there are hours where we say to them, like you guys gotta go play figure it out, they made their they make their lunch, they make their own breakfast, like, I have really self sufficient and independent kids, you know, where I have to put up those more, they have to become the priorities when they need help with school, like, even my third grader is incredibly self sufficient.
But sometimes he’s like, I don’t get this, can you sit and help me? Whereas before, he would just call the teacher or go to the teacher. And so now we’ve sort of moved in, and sometimes the teacher can step in, but other times I come to so figuring out how to navigate that that’s challenging. And we’ve sort of figured it out. We my husband and I have time blocked it.
So like I take the morning and he takes the afternoon. That way we know we have a concentrated amount of time where we can just solely focus on our work and there’s one parent around if a kid needs help, bye We really try to empower them to be as independent as possible. Even the kindergartener.
Hilary Erickson 12:04
Yeah. That’s awesome. I mean, my kids are definitely self sufficient. My problem is that my workspace is our dining room. It’s always been that way. It’s just the way it is. I’ve thought about reconfiguring, but I have it set up there really well.
And they’re really good about when I have headphones on. It’s like, I’m gone. Yeah, that’s my rule. But it is hard. So if you’re a mom working from your kitchen table, COSATU, I will say at the beginning, there were so many emotions of things getting canceled so many tears over Carnival, and that at least we kind of moved fast up. I think my kids are just planning on everything getting canceled at this point. So that helps.
Jamie Lieberman 12:37
Yeah, we just had the final Well, it’s not the final but the latest one was our schools just got canceled. We’re recording this in May. Our schools just got cancelled on Monday. And that was we all knew it was coming. It’s not like any of us were surprised, but I feel like there’s the difference between the anticipation and then the actual event of it happening and I mean, schools got canceled through the end of the year and we go to school to the end of June.
We’re looking at another seven or eight weeks of home instruction. taking deep breaths. And yeah, so we we had that and that even though everybody knew and we mentally prepared for it as much as possible Monday was a Saturday.
Hilary Erickson 13:14
Yeah. And it kind of catches you off guard like you said like, as soon as they announced it, like I went out of my garage and I cried mostly for like the seniors and you know, the stuff that my kids were going to be missing out on. And I didn’t want them to see how disappointed I really was and all that I told them, it was sad, but it just caught catch me off guard for sure. Me too. Okay, so I like the time blocking that you and your husband have done what do you do? Let’s pretend like we aren’t important to you. Are there things you do that make it easier? It sounds like you have set boundaries. So that’s awesome with the laundry.
Jamie Lieberman 13:45
I do. I’m big on boundaries. We know each other so you know that that’s true. I schedule every single day and I plan it for the week. And then I revisit it for the night before and I time block everything. So I only take phone calls on certain days of the week. at certain times, so I know that that’s when my phone calls are going to be I have certain days set aside for sitting down and doing large, like blocks of work, whether it’s client work, or it’s review of work that my staff has done, or it’s creative work, like if I have to film a video or because we create a lot of content. And so I blocked that.
So for example, this afternoon, I’m going to spend two hours because I’m creating a course i’m going to spend two hours working on my outline, and then creating a bunch of downloads and I know that from you know, two to four today, that’s all I’m allowed to do.
So I’m not going to check my email, that’s a big thing for me, I do not stay on my email and all times I have certain times in the day where I check it, and that enables me to be more productive. I also have a master to do list and a daily to do list because if you’re going off your master to do list, you’ll just go crazy. So if you set like, Okay 25 things to do, right, like we always have 25 and this could be anything, it could be in your house, it could be your work, whatever.
But if you say on Wednesday, I’m going to accomplish these three things. You feel amazing when you processor things off, even though you’re looking at 22 other things you haven’t done, I used to just create this big list, I cross one thing off, and it would look like I did nothing. So I’ve sure I’ve really started big and I sort of think of it like a funnel and I shrink it down. But I know by the end of the week, all 25 will be checked off. If that’s a weekly goal. Sometimes they’re longer. And so then I feel a lot more accomplished. And I don’t feel so overwhelmed. Yeah,
Hilary Erickson 15:24
I think it’s extra hard because we own our own businesses. So there really is no one telling us these are the things I need you to accomplish. So we have to spend some time prioritizing, like what really is important.
Jamie Lieberman 15:34
I think that goes to home stuff too, right? Like how many times you look around your house and you’re like, Okay, that pile of laundry needs to be folded and that bathroom looks really gross. Or my son is wearing pants that come up to his mid calf like, you don’t I mean, and so you start to think like what’s the most important thing I’m like, Okay, I gotta hit the bathroom and I gotta get a new pants and that laundry just gonna hang out till tomorrow. Like there’s nothing
Hilary Erickson 15:56
I can do about that. That’s okay. Hey, those are manpreet and they’re coming back. In the sky,
Jamie Lieberman 16:01
right? These are three examples that actually happened today. Yes, my six year old pick on my husband and I’m like, look at this. But we’re not going anywhere. So he’ll be fine.
Hilary Erickson 16:15
Just turn him into cut offs. It’s almost summer. It’s fine. No, nope. Yeah, that only gets worse when they’re teenagers. Because all of a sudden, you’ll look up and you’ll be like, What? Where did those knees come from? I don’t know. Are there things you hire out in your house?
Jamie Lieberman 16:29
Yes, I do. I have a house cleaner, which is one of the greatest things I’ve invested in. I do have childcare help. So my kids get picked up from school by our babies or they did by our babysitter and she picked them up from school, she brings them home, she like feels with all their stuff.
So she like takes, you know, the lunchbox, we pack lunch, so like the lunch boxes and she puts all their stuff away with them. I mean, they do it together.
She reviews their homework to make sure it’s gotten done. And then she sort of scatters them to make sure they’re doing whatever needs to get done. And then she helps with Dinner, I often cooked dinner, but she sort of is around helping with stuff that needs to get done, which is incredibly helpful.
So those two things, and if I do, like if I’m traveling, she’ll handle everything for the kids. So or if I’m in a meeting and I’m going to be late, she’ll start dinner, things like that. So I do do that. Yeah,
Hilary Erickson 17:16
that is awesome. I feel like we should have some sad music inserted here for the babysitter. I know. I know. I miss her. Yeah, soon. I know. I keep thinking like, when will that come back? Who knows? We’ve been talking about it.
Jamie Lieberman 17:32
I know. Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 17:33
Okay, so you just got office space. You rented office space right before we went into quarantine. Excellent timing. Yeah.
Jamie Lieberman 17:41
Yeah. So how are you going to integrate that into this? Do you have any ideas I do. So my plan is to go to the office probably four or five days a week for at least a few hours. And I’m going to pick specific time blocks and I should back up my offices, three blocks from my apartment.
So there’s no commute. It’s really Really, really close. And so what I’m going to do is look at the week and see how it plays out. So if I need, I’m going to be doing all my recording from my office because it’s way cuter than recording in my apartment, it’s going to look a lot nicer. I’ve gotten light boxes, so it’ll look nice, all that good stuff. And so anytime I’m going to record, I’m going to make sure I’m there for that time.
I’m also going to, potentially My guess is and I haven’t quite obviously been able to integrate today yet, but I think where I’m going to spend my time at the office is going to be when I need to like put head down and do work. So I’m going to work around that because phone calls, taking phone calls from home. I’m a pacer. So like I walk around my entire apartment the entire time, I’m on phone calls, unless I need to take notes. So I don’t know that I’m going to do that in my office.
People around me may think I’m insane. So that’s probably how I’m going to deal with it. And I will be at least a few hours every single day some days longer than others. That’s awesome. It’s going to be exciting to have the office. But you’re not going to be required to be there right? Me personally.
Hilary Erickson 18:58
Yeah. Are you going to have a receptionist in the office, oh, no, we
Jamie Lieberman 19:01
have a receptionist. But she’s my whole team is virtual? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we have a Virtual Receptionist, she’s awesome. They connect people write to us. And they’re great. But I’m not going to have anybody sitting there.
But I am going to do client meetings. So I do have many of my clients are virtual and all across the country, I do have a good set of local clients, and sometimes they need to meet. So I will definitely do client meetings, I’ll probably host will be able to fit like 1012 people in there. So we’ll probably host like small events in there as well. I’m in a number of local networking groups.
And I think that there’s definitely time or we’ll do like little masterminds or things like that at the office and we bought this like really beautiful table that’s still waiting to be put together. It’s just sitting there that’ll be able to fit a large amount of people and it’s it’s a it’s the office I rented is in this really cool like loft building like funky industrial space. And so it’s just one giant room that we’ll be able to sort of have like a lot of people there which is kind of nice.
Hilary Erickson 19:57
Yeah, that is so exciting. I can’t even know Imagine having an office. It’s very grown up and a high powered
Jamie Lieberman 20:03
Have you felt that way? You’ve also felt terrifying. We did go up there a few times because we’re able to get into the building and because the office is mine, I mean, it’s, you know, there’s multiple offices on my floor, but half the floor is actually taken up by daycare, so they’re not there. So we’re there’s like literally nobody on my floor. I’ve gone and even taken the kids just to get like a change of scenery and spent like a few hours there just working.
Hilary Erickson 20:26
Yeah, it’s been nice. I feel like that’s third grade math to put up a table like that.
Jamie Lieberman 20:31
We thought about it. There’s power tools involved in Hill Yeah, son of a gun, one of us will get injured and it would probably be me. We put together four chairs though he and the two kids put together the chairs using like the little Allen wrenches. It’s
Hilary Erickson 20:44
really funny. I hope people can sit on them again. All right. Any other tips for moms staying at home? Jamie, take a breath. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Yeah, especially right now.
Jamie Lieberman 20:56
Yeah, I think anytime that you just set whatever Your boundaries need to be because they’re different for everybody. I know what minor that’s really the most important thing is just having those boundaries sticking to them and not feeling bad about them.
Hilary Erickson 21:09
Yeah, but that really is the key. All right. Thanks for coming on, Jamie.
Jamie Lieberman 21:11
Thanks for having me.
Hilary Erickson 21:13
Okay, I hope you guys liked that episode. I really did. It’s interesting how Jamie and I have different boundaries. Like I really like to be able to do a household task and we don’t have a maid at this point in our lives. Although I’m starting to consider it. I’m not gonna lie to you. But it’s just interesting to see how people have different boundaries.
I got some ideas from Jamie but some of them I was like, that wouldn’t work for me and so hopefully you guys got some ideas that would work for you. Big thanks to Jamie for coming on. Definitely check her out. Follow her on Instagram. If you’ve ever thought of having your own business, it is surprising how helpful a lawyer can be in the business world can be in things that are even beyond what you would think of as legal. She just has great advice for me all around and she gives good advice on her Instagram and YouTube. So check her out!
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines. If you are looking to work from home one of the most important parts of being a work at home parent is getting in a good routine and that course has all of my favorite tips. Check it out.
Okay guys, before we go I just want to let you know that we are actually going on hiatus for two weeks. We will be back August 3 with a brand new episode of season two of the Pulling Curls Podcast. In the meantime, feel free to check out all the episodes you missed during the year. There’s lots of early ones you probably didn’t listen to you but people love the Labor Bag one, they love the Kitchen Organization one. There is tons of good stuff in there so do not miss those previous episodes. Otherwise, I will see you on August 3!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai