I’ve always loved the idea of working from home. The sweet freedom of fitting your work day around the times that work for you, taking the laptop up to a cafe and enjoying a coffee and sweet, sweet inspiration. Well, that’s what working from home would look like in my dreams.
In reality,working from home with two kids looks more like the image above. And that was a good moment. At least he’s not screaming. And relatively still.
It was my first official week of working from home last week for two lovely clients and there are alot of pluses – doing something I enjoy and earning money at the same time being the main one – but the combination of limited sleep, tantruming toddler and breastfeeding baby has a way of puncturing those images of work from home bliss. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible or unworkable.
How I’m making it work
Having limited hours in a day when I can work uninterrupted has made me more productive when I sit at my desk. It’s made me re-evaluate what will not work for me right now and find new ways to work. Large, languid chunks of time can never be relied upon so when I have a quiet house – even if its for a snatch of time – I’ve learnt to make them count. Old procrastinating me is shocked at my productivity!
When I am working I am on the clock and I have an app called ‘OfficeTime’ that keeps a record of my hours per project. It is genius and keeps me on track if I feel the mind start to wander.
The other big change I’ve made just today is to move my office space to the top of the house in the living/dining room, rather than its previous home in the TV/toy/laundry room.
I was starting to dislike working in that space as it was the area of the house that combined all my distractions and stresses. I was always working next to upended buckets of toys and my laundry pile, so here I am in my new quieter office space with the views up to the hills with my back towards all the distractions in the house and I LOVE it!
The other plus to this move is the boys now have a dedicated toy space in that room, instead of having the toy storage right next to my desk. Jarvis even has his own office desk and chair down there which he is loving – even though it was always in the room the change of position has him feeling the space is truly his own. I’ll share some photos of the play space and what I hope to achieve with it later in the week.
I am really mindful that working from home can start to take over, that you’re never quite off the clock so I am putting in place strategies to only work when the boys are either in bed or J is at day care, or in the evenings. The occasional phone call, email or meeting will always have to happen whenever but by setting mental boundaries and planning to get things done within them helps me switch off and not worry about my work to do list when I am enjoying spending time with both my boys.
So, it’s been a busy week as I get myself in the swing of things and put all this planning and processes in place. I feel tired, energised and exhilarated all at the same time.
If anyone has any work from home tips I’d love to hear them. I also hope to share more of mine as the journey continues.