I love working from home. I wear my pajamas to my desk in the morning. I change after coffee before I get on the treadmill, and I can read my morning e-mail on the treadmill! Yay. But as a lot of people have discovered as they’ve worked from home the past two years, there are some tricks to getting things done.
Set a Schedule
Most of us need to set some kind of schedule. Mine has always been, more or less, a traditional work day, 8 or 9 until 5:30 or so. This is because I want to have time off work when my family is off work.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t work during the evening or weekends but that’s my decision and I set the schedule. After all, when a deadline is tight, I might be putting in twelve hour days. Don’t worry! I’m not at my desk for twelve hours straight. Especially with my husband working from home, there are lunchtime walks and there is lunche time in the dining room. But I’m getting a lot done during that twelve hours.
One trick to keeping to a schedule is having something to work on. Because of this, when I’m not under contract for a job, I set goals and projects for myself. It must work at least to an extent because I’m productive.
Sometimes this means setting word count goals. 250 words/day.
Sometimes the goals are what I call “get it done” goals. Update the welcome page on my site. Draft Airstream Act 3.
I set both monthly and weekly goals. The weekly goals are detailed in my bullet journal and I cross them off with a brush marker as I get things done.
It doesn’t matter if you set a schedule and goals if you don’t set boundaries. When people know you are available . . . let’s just say that the expectations they have for a freelance author working from home are going to be utterly and entirely different from the expectations they have for someone teaching class from home.
Ninety percent of the time, I work with social media open in the background. Part of the reason for this is because my goals include setting up my work related posts and Tweets for the following day. But certain people have realized that if they Facebook message me enough, the pinging in the background will annoy me enough that I respond.
Or so they think. I am an introvert who loves her boundaries. I have no qualms about telling someone I am working and will read their messages later. Click. Then I close the social media. I don’t answer the phone when I’m working. I don’t return texts.
This isn’t to say that I block people completely. I just checked everything while I was at lunch. That way I can deal with anything earth shattering.
Set a schedule. Set goals. Set limits. And then get to writing. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve put my character in quite a predicament. I need to get back to sorting her out.