Working from home has all been part of the reinvention process for me. As my children were growing up I was busy busy busy and grew so used to managing my own time that it would have been nigh on impossible for me to return to an office. Creating this blog fitted in perfectly with the transition from hands on mom to self employed multi-tasker. To begin with of course the blog took up far less time, but as I gained readers and wanted to take baby steps towards a bigger site, then the workload increased, which was also fine.
I am not a very organised person. That is the sad truth, I am easily distracted and tend to multi task and flit from one project to the next in the day. Maddening for anyone else, fine by me. But I have had to pull myself into line, in order to be able to work productively and stop the blog invading every waking hour.
Here are the few guidelines that have worked for me, but I’d love to know how you structure your time too. I know that many of my readers work or have worked from home, and we’ve all had to figure it out in our individual manner. Or maybe it is something you dream about, and wonder if it’s for you … leave a comment below and let us all know.
So here we go, in no particular order …
1. The day well begun is more productive. When you work from home you have nobody watching the clock for you, and if like me the children have flown the nest, there are no more early school runs to get up for. Laying in bed late is not an option for me. I’ve tried it, the “I’ll just finish that book” or “I’ll answer a few mails from bed with a cup of tea”, it just doesn’t work. If I start the day late, then I am late the whole day long and I achieve little. Oh yes, and this may sound trivial but by making my bed perfectly each morning, psychologically I am closing the night and opening the day, ready for business!
2. A healthy start to the day. I love breakfast, sometimes I think it’s my favourite meal. I have discovered what works best for me, the foods that keep my energy levels high and leave me feeling neither heavy nor hungry. Each person has their personal favourites, I go with fresh fruit, muesli, and tea
3. Sit down to a tidy desk, and if possible a desk with a few fresh flowers beside me. I don’t have a big fancy office to work from. My desk is actually on the first floor landing in front of the window. I have a view out to the garden on one side, and in front of me a lovely wall of artwork, many pieces from blogging friends, all hung with happy memories attached. It is a spot that feels comfortable, friendly and conducive to creative thinking.
4. Set myself targets for each day. The list! This one is closely attached to my habit of jumping from one subject to the next, and is absolutely vital if I am to achieve anything before close of play. There is such satisfaction in ticking stuff off as the day progresses.
5. Know when to leave the desk. One of the downsides of working from home, is the danger of isolation. Especially living in the country. I’m fairly ambitious with my daily targets and time is required to reach them, but if I don’t want to become a horrible geeky hermit then the downtime is important too. Luckily many of the subjects for the blog require photo shoots out and about, and of course I love to meet a friend for lunch, or for a walk with those dogs.
6. Keeping fit. This is another danger that comes with blogging; it’s called sitting down for too long and not moving enough. There is no magic wand for this one, just discipline, and a firm decision to exercise or simply walk regularly.
7. Know when to stop. Not as easy as you think. I often lose track of time and before I know it it’s dark outside. And because I correspond with people in different time zones those emails just keep rolling in, day and night. The trick is to turn the computer off. To declare the working day over, and tell yourself that it will all still be there tomorrow and that there is a husband who would also like to share a dinner and some down time. Yes, life is more important .
Your turn now, how do you juggle working from home with your family life?
images taken from pinterest