So, when I started this crazy venture there were a few things that I told myself that I must do, some that I told myself I should do, and then lots and lots of advice from everyone else who a) has worked from a home office or b) has a home and therefore believes they know what it takes to work in it. Let’s see how I made out with my top 3 goals:
1. Get dressed in the morning as if you were going into the office
I’ll admit, I completely failed at this one. And guess what? It didn’t make a shred of difference to my motivation.
I am the kind of person who changes into comfortable the clothes the instant I step in my house. In my previous job it wasn’t uncommon for me to work evenings and weekends from home, which meant I already had a lot of hours logged working in comfortable clothes. Also, I don’t work well if I’m uncomfortable. If I’m constantly tugging on scarves or straightening sweaters o checking my makeup I’m not focusing on the task at hand. So here I am, in my Rider sweats and hoodie, my hair in a ponytail, getting down to business!
2. Relax in the morning, start work later
English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d’une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Instead of rushing off to work, I thought I would like to begin my day nice and relaxed: have some coffee, eat a leisurely breakfast, watch the morning news, then take a deep breath and start work with a clear head and a full stomach.
I began to notice a disturbing pattern: have some coffee, eat breakfast one-handed while checking Facebook/twitter/LinkedIn/email simultaneously on my laptop and iPhone, have some more coffee, abandon cold breakfast, sit down to watch the news, not get back up, begin reading a book, watch emails begin to pile up, play with dog, go back to reading book on the couch, nap.
If I give myself too much time to relax, I don’t want to work. Now, I like being able to set my own hours, but working every evening wasn’t really what I had in mind. So now I just get up and start working without thinking about anything else. My first reward of the day is coffee and breakfast. Once I’m done I want to get back to work because I already feel like I’ve accomplished enough that the rest of the day will be a piece of cake.
3. Walk the dog at lunch, every day
A dog walking service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The few times I’ve done this, I’ve come back to the house so physically exhausted that I (like the dog) needed a nap before I could go back to work. I’m still struggling with the solution to this one. Do I a) tough it out because I know that it will get better and I will eventually return to the house feel refreshed and re-energized or b) just switch the dog walking until the end of my day.
In case you’re thinking that I’m a total couch potato, I have a high energy Lab who was never leash-trained as a puppy. We’re talking yanking, pulling, twisting, tangling, full on zigzags here.
Turns out “Know Thyself” really does apply to all aspects of life. 1 month in and I’ve already discarded some of those ‘must dos’ and compromised on some of those ‘should dos’. Oh, and gave myself a reminder that people always think they know more than they do. Including myself.