Don’t Procrastinate

Someone said to me recently – must be great to work from home – you don’t know how lucky you are – being able to do as you please – stop when you want etc. I nodded my head and agreed at the time but then that gave me pause for thought. Was I lucky? Was working from home so much better than travelling to your workplace every day…

So I decided to draw up the Pros and Cons…
See what you think?

PRO WORKING FROM HOME:

  • You aren’t (technically) set to any time frame so have flexibility with your daily routine
  • If you want to work in your Onesie you can!
  • At least you are home to let the dogs out regularly for their ablutions right?
  • You can work later into the evening or even overnight if that helps you to get things done or when you feel most productive
  • Everything you could want is generally to hand if you set your work area up correctly from the start
  • If you have children its far easier working from home than trying to organise transport or crèches/childminders
  • Some people find they get far more done when they are in a familiar relaxed environment

CONS WORKING FROM HOME:

  • Constant distractions from daily life
  • Family life can often get in the way of setting aside time to work
  • Family constantly asking you to errands as you are home to do them
  • Visitors popping in for a catch up or coffee without considering you need to work
  • The attitude of some that you don’t work at all but skive at home all day
  • The isolation of working from home – especially if you live alone
  • The real fear that you cannot close the door on work so you end up living – eating – breathing it 24/7
  • The actual outgoings from running a business from home

As you can see it’s fairly evenly matched BUT the ‘cons’ are quite hefty consequences to bear! Every job or business is different – there will be more or less cons depending on what it is. For me I am a Writer and I design knitting patterns for babies & toddlers.  So should be easy peasy for me – right?

Well no – actually it’s very difficult! I am just dipping my toe into my 50s age wise – so no childish distractions (unless you can count the man in my life – adult baby comes to mind!) So how do I manage to get any work done?

Well I confess to procrastinating recently – we moved house in Autumn 2016 – the move was a positive one to a larger detached home – private – quiet – less stresses and distractions to our previous property and perfect for writing. But of course moving house means a huge change in routine and for months afterwards you are often still unpacking boxes – redecorating – sorting the garden or doing any other nature of jobs that need to be completed– that immediately sends your routine out the window – then I have been trying to get my office unpacked and set up to maximise productivity and as we know personal living space usually takes priority over office space. So for 5 months now I have been flitting from job to job around the home and until this week had not really got my office space unpacked and organised and even worse been very sporadic and fickle with my writing – I still have a few boxes in the corner to open too! Of course winter and weather meant I have been poorly – Xmas took up time as well and the man in my life got a new job and his transport died a death all in the same moment so I seem to have become taxi driver as well – which also makes my day difficult as its yet another distraction..

So as I am sat here writing this blog I am also writing a Schedule out in Microsoft Excel – just a normal spreadsheet with the days of the week in a column to the left and hourly time slots across the top – as I don’t particularly want to be scheduling work over through the night my cut off is 10pm and my start is 10am – this gives me time to get up – shower – eat – sort the animals etc. before I sit down at my desk. I print the blank schedule of each week and write in the boxes how my days need to be set out. I try to structure a minimum of 2hrs work then a mini break – even if it’s just coffee and wee time.  I include my ‘have to do’ distractions such as taking or collecting hubby from work – bedding the animals down for the night – doctor/work related appointments etc. and I try to stick to it.

There are various timer apps you can download for free on the internet or even online websites that you can set alarms on – by leaving the page open while you’re working it will activate when your time slot is up. I use Softonic’s Free Alarm Clock that works alongside your PC clock but there are several others out there such as Online Stopwatch – some that sit on your browser and can be activated as you need them and even some that can be downloaded to your mobile. I find that if you set alarms you become more focused to get the work done in the time you have allotted yourself.

Another thing you could do is perhaps inform your family and friends that you don’t want any distractions or interruptions for a set time period on a  certain day – so request no visitors – no interruptions at all unless urgent for the length of your time period required. But most of all you need to focus yourself – make sure you have everything you need to hand before you start – don’t get distracted by Facebook or Twitter or your mobile – switch them off if you need to – and then you should be able to get a bit more done than you used to! But also make sure you do leave time for family interaction so they – or even YOU don’t start to feel too isolated!

Wish me luck and good luck!

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