Not everyone is given the opportunity to work from the comforts of their own home, and I am very fortunate to be able to do so. This gives me the chance to not only avoid the daily commute associated with working in an office (and to take a break any time I want), but it also gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my two kids. Now, who wouldn’t want to be in a situation like that?
As ideal as this may sound, (and it is, mind you) it does have a few drawbacks. One of the problems you will find yourself facing when you are taking on a telecommuting job is the one where you procrastinate. You often tell yourself that you will finish your work later, and then later becomes tomorrow, and tomorrow soon becomes three days later. When that happens, you find yourself with a mountain of work that you need to catch up on, which then results in sleepless nights trying to finish what should have been finished days ago, which then translates to unhealthy snacking habits and weight gain and grumpy days and…I can go on and on.
This can actually be avoided, and I found a way to help keep myself from procrastinating and putting off for tomorrow what can be done (and should be done) today. When I get up, and am scheduled to do some writing for the sites I am handling, I jump in the shower, get dressed and prepare, as if I was going to the office. No, I do not dress in a suit. I simply get out of my pajamas and dress like I was going out to the mall or some other place outside my home.
Another method that helps me stick to what needs to be done is to create a calendar of tasks to do and to follow that calendar as best as I possibly can. There will be days when I will miss writing one or two articles due to family emergencies and such, but as much as possible, this schedule has to be adhered to, or else huge backlogs are inevitable.
One of the perks of working from home is that you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do when you feel burned out or when your mind draws a blank while writing (they call this writer’s block, I call this writer’s blank, haha). It is important that you find a way to open up your mind for creativity to flow, and one of the things I find effective for such a problem is to watch a movie. This you cannot do at the office. You open up a YouTube stream on your office computer and boom! IT sanctions you.
At home, you can do this and a whole lot more. Sometimes, when watching a movie does not work, I take a power nap (coffee plus a 30 minute snooze) and I find myself ready to start pounding those keys again. However, you need to have enough discipline to get back to work when you need to. Abusing such privileges will only end up with you having to catch up on tasks that should have been finished hours, or even days ago.
Aside from being able to use a wide variety of methods you can’t use in the office to get yourself out of a slump, another perk that I find awesome with a work from home situation is the freedom to hit the sack when you find the need to. For example, if I stayed up late the night before and needed to catch some more Zzs the following morning, I do so but I set my alarm to wake me up at a reasonable time so that I can finish my work for the day. I can also take a nap after lunch or in the middle of the day if I feel that I have done enough work and can spare some time for a snooze.
These are just some of the joys (and challenges) of working from home. There are a lot more of these, I assure you, like balancing family life and work while doing both in the same location, and defining the boundaries that help you keep both separate (something you have no problems with in an office situation). These I will endeavor to share with you in future posts.
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