Two Weeks into Working at Home – This is What I Have Learned

My last day at PBI was April 29. I have now officially been working at home for two weeks. This is what I have learned.

It is important to have a schedule for work. This helps to keep life from intruding into work and work intruding into life. It is important to let it be flexible too though. This is one of the benefits of working at home.

  1. When you get up in the morning decide
    1. What time you will start working
    2. What time you eat (don’t forget to eat, helps with concentration and fatigue)
    3. When you will take breaks
    4. When you will stop
    5. What must get done that day
  2. Don’t be afraid to be flexible, but make sure what needs to get done gets done
  3. Don’t be afraid to tell people not to call after a certain time
  4. Have a phone you can put on do-not-disturb (Google voice works well for this.)

Change your clothes

  1. Seriously people, get up, take a shower, get dressed
  2. I am not saying full on work clothes and makeup here, just put on clean clothes
  3. I always hear jokes about people not showering for days on end. I cannot do this. Yuck.
  4. It puts you in the right mind for work
  5. Also if you need to run out to a meeting you are ready
  6. Last you won’t be embarrassed if someone stops by and wonders why you aren’t dressed at 3 pm

Don’t keep junk food in the house

  1. I have been on a diet for some time now and lost around 60lbs
  2. I don’t care to gain it back
  3. If I had junk food I would be in trouble
  4. I am very careful not to snack all day
  5. If I snack I eat fruit or vegetables

It is good to have a job that requires outside communication

  1. I have to talk on the phone a lot during the day
  2. I also seem to have in person meetings at least once or twice a week
  3. This is good, it keeps me from getting isolated from the work world

Focus, focus focus

  1. Actually this goes for whether you work at home or not
  2. It is easy to get distracted by
    1. Housework
    2. Tv
    3. The Internet
    4. Guests
    5. Non-work phone calls
    6. Your dog
    7. The nice weather

However, give yourself a break

  1. It is ok to go to the dog park on a nice day
  2. Just make up the time later, or
  3. Do work at the park

On the other hand, be disciplined

  1. Don’t procrastinate
  2. Know what needs to get done that day and do it
  3. Make sure every day business tasks don’t fall behind
  4. If you aren’t disciplined you will fall behind and your personal life will suffer, as well as your sleep.

You will still look forward to the weekend

  1. I always worked on the weekend when I had a normal job
  2. I still do now
  3. It is similar to the work I did on the weekend before
  4. Having a schedule enables me to keep my work on the weekends limited

Working at home is pretty darn cool.

  1. I can work anywhere I want
    1. Study
    2. Porch
    3. Living room
    4. Coffee shop
    5. While visiting family (I am looking forward to being able to do this more.)
  2. I can take a long lunch
    1. No one glares at me, yay
  3. I can start late
    1. No one glares at me, yay
  4. I don’t have to keep to the same schedule every day
    1. No one glares at me, yay (Sensing a pattern? No I have never been great with keeping a schedule the same every day.)

Actually, I have to say, I enjoy working at home more than I thought I would.

I thought I would be bored, lonely and have trouble getting my work done. I am none of these things. I keep busy all day, I talk to clients and colleagues a lot, and my work habits keep me focused and working.

I am able to set my work aside much more easily now than I could before, when it comes time to relax for the evening. I absolutely did not expect this. I thought I would be working all the time. I am disciplining myself not to do so.

Over all, I find myself much less stressed.  This is extremely surprising to me.

So happy 2 week anniversary to me!  And Curtis.  He seems happy I am home too.

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