Thursday, October 6, 2016

FOCUS!

 Life. It happens. Most things that life throws at us happen at the most inconvenient times. When you work from home, it can be both a blessing and a curse. When I'd dream about working from home, I imagined peaceful and productive days that left me smiling and pleasant to be around. Yeah, not so much.
 In the last two weeks, life's put a great deal onto my plate. It's like Thanksgiving at the relative's that can't cook but, you smile and work your way through and hope dessert will be worth it. My husband lost his job and my middle child broke her ankle and needed screws placed. So, the normal stuff that happens was amplified. So how does one focus on work when the spouse and children are home? Boundaries.
 You must have boundaries. Rules. You must create an environment free of distraction so you can get done what you need to get done. Everyone needs to understand that this is protected time and, unless they're needing the sick bucket, they need to be able to entertain and cook for themselves. Now, if this means the kids get a little more screen time than normal, so be it. The spouse can take the laptop and go to a coffee shop or the library.
 The children. If yours are school-aged, great! This means that most of your days can be productive. If not, get a sitter or enroll them in childcare. If you have a full-time 9-5 kind of job, there is NO WAY you're going to accomplish anything. Nope. Not at all.
 The significant other. If they're able to leave, make them. I love my husband dearly, but he's noisy. I'm used to the sounds of the house or some nature sounds type music in the background. And, since he's looking for a job, I also nag. Which means I'm not focusing on MY job. Thankfully, he's understanding and doesn't get too annoyed with me. At least, not yet.
 So what else can you do? Set up your area as though it were an office that wasn't part of your home. Get a divider of some sort, like a dressing screen. Even a sheet will do, if you need to. If you need background noise, find something you won't pay attention to. Let's say you live with roommates...noise cancelling headphones might work.
 Get enough rest. When I don't sleep, I zone out. A lot. That's not good. Part of resting is taking breaks. Get up, stretch, read a short article about something that isn't work related, or just go make a cup of tea. If you miss gossip, because I'll admit that sometimes I do, check your social media. Just don't spend too much time on it.
 The main thing is to find something that works for YOU. We're all different and what works for me might not work for everybody else. DON'T FEEL BADLY ABOUT SAYING NO. You have a job to do. You need to be your own advocate for your time and energy.
 That's it. If you have any questions or comments please let me know. If there are any topics you'd like more information on, I'd be happy to try to answer.  Until next time...



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Welcome home! Now what?

 You've done it! You're working from home! You're probably thinking about all the things you can get done while working from home. You're going to be the best multi-tasker ever! Right? Wrong.
  Let me tell you what happened when I began working from home just two years ago. The first week felt amazing! The commute didn't stress me out. I was able to help get my girls ready for school, which was a job that fell to my husband before due to having to leave so early for work. I got laundry done, the house was clean and I worked in between. Bad idea. My work suffered because I was trying to be the best multi-tasker ever.
  I'm going to share some things that help me stay focused. First, maintain your schedule. Get up and get ready for work. (Minus the business clothes, I did call it pajamastowork.com.) Do whatever you did before. Some people need to work out, others just need to check the news with breakfast. Whatever you did, keep doing that. It actually gets your brain going. Mornings that I roll out of bed and go directly to work are not my most productive. Quite the opposite.
  Second, make sure to take breaks. Step away from your desk or wherever you work. Take a walk or just go stretch. But, do it away from your work area. You can even go put a load of laundry in if its bugging you, but don't DO the laundry. (We have a deal at home, I wash/dry and they help put it away.) Try not to take breaks in the kitchen, though.
  Which leads me to number three, fill your kitchen with healthy snacks. But, try not to snack on every break. Even healthy snacks contain those evil little calories and if you're moving less than you did at the office, well...at some point, you'll need bigger pajamas for work. Trust me on this one. I know filling the kitchen with completely healthy stuff can be difficult when you have kids. Especially if they're like mine as see the words organic or natural as you attempting to poison them.
  Finally, you need to leave the house. Take a walk. Join a club. Take a class. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but, you're going to miss chatting with other adults. Even if you're not the most social butterfly. I love my family, but I need other adults to talk to sometimes.
  I hope I've been at least kind of helpful. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my first blog post ever! More to come...