Over the years I found myself thinking about what it would be like working from home. Dreaming of getting up in a morning, not having to think about getting dressed or commuting to the office. It had a certain amount of appeal. The thought of no distractions from the general noise and activity that a manufacturing environment has – BLISS.
Well, in January I got the opportunity to work for myself from home. I couldn’t wait to churn through my workload, have an hour for lunch and still have time for my hobbies. The reality is not what I imaged it would be.
It is great working from home, being your own boss, prioritising your own workload and day. Even getting up and not having to leave the house is great. But there is also a down side, for me anyway. At first I found it very difficult to not get distracted – I’d settle down to work, after 15 minutes I’d be hoovering or putting a wash load in, oh I can just get the beds changed quickly, you get the idea. So by the time 5 o’clock came around I had hardly done any actual work! It was so alien to me because I have always worked really hard, put extra hours in when needed and got through tonnes of work. How is this not happening now, without the distractions?
Some of my friends tell me ‘think of the money’ and you will be motivated to get on with it. The problem is I have never been motivated by money – it has always been pride in the work I do. So whilst I have to earn enough to pay the bills, it’s not giving me that focus I need.
So after the first week of distractions, I decided to make sure my day was structured. I started each day checking my emails, social media sites and posting any interesting articles I came across. Then I did any domestic stuff that I knew would distract me. I set my alarm for 8am, once the alarm went off I made myself sit down and work solid for 1 hour with no distractions. I had a break while I had my cuppa and breakfast for about 15 minutes, then back to work and I worked this way throughout the day. Whilst I was less distracted I still didn’t feel I was actually achieving enough for the hours of work I put in.
I was getting increasingly frustrated (which is not like me), while I was chatting with my husband about my frustrations (others would maybe call it whining!), it came to me that when I work with clients I tell them to have a ‘to do list’ written at the end of each day so that when they start the next day they have a clear objective. Always starting with the job they don’t want to do first. Kind of silly that I didn’t follow my own advise really…..
Week 3 – much better. I plan my day in advanced, book my client visits around my best telephone time when possible and by 5 o’clock I feel content that I have achieve my daily goals and enjoyed the benefits of working from home. It is now a set routine that gives me the structure I need but with some flexibility.
Worse part of working from home is you can’t call in and say ‘it’s snowing, I can’t get in today’. But for me the benefits far out weight the negatives. So my advise to you would be try and have a structured day, get rid of the distractions before you start work and keep to your schedule where you can.
Good luck if you are also giving it a go working from home and let me know how you have got on.