Shop on Open Sky
I now have my very own Open Sky store! Check it out by clicking on my Shop Healthy page. Peruse the items and let me know if you have any questions – I’d be happy to elaborate on the awesomeness of the products that I sell. These are all items that I have tried and liked; they are mostly health related and include kitchen appliances, spices, and a book that I have reviewed in the past, in addition to some food products and wine accessories. Check back regularly because I’ll be updating it as I find more products on Open Sky that I approve of 🙂
Working from Home
I consider myself someone who works from home part time: although I am not currently being paid for the work that I do at home, I have three “jobs” that I work on. These “jobs” are my three blogs (and maintaining the whole website), my healthy living how-to book that I’m writing, and the emotional eating book that my nutritionist friend and I are writing together. Soon I will be working from home much more frequently doing public relations work, too (excitement!).
At the vet clinic where I work about 4 days a week, you can’t exactly get “distracted”. Between taking notes during appointment for the veterinarian, answering phone calls, making appointments, and maintaining a clean environment, there’s always something to do (and if it’s a slow day, there’s always the beloved Internet with blogging to be done :)). But when you work from home, it is very easy to get distracted.
My condo is a bachelor suite. I have a desk in one corner of the condo near my set of bookcases, and in the kitchen I have a gigantic table where I keep my laptop (it’s in the style of a large design table – the perfect height for standing in front of the computer). I keep it in my kitchen because my kitchen is enormous; it honestly takes up nearly half of my condo. This could potentially be a problem because it means that I don’t have a separate room designated to working, but I’ve learned how to get around it, as I’ll discuss below.
There are lots of distractions. Food. Books. The Internet. Cleaning. Cooking. Tiny tasks that wander into my mind throughout the day. But if you want to get the job done, you cannot allow those thoughts and distractions to take over. Here are a few ways that I have found help me to get the work done:
1) Figure out the best time of day for you to work. Around 3pm is when I get run down, no matter what I’m doing that day. So when I’m working from home, I usually like to take a little bit of time to read a book, go for a walk, or have something to eat in mid-afternoon. I also really like to exercise first thing in the morning or else I feel restless later on in the day, so if I can exercise early, I find that I am able to get started on work fairly early in the morning, too. I also strangely get really motivated to work around 8pm, so I’m usually good for a solid two hours of work during the time when most people are winding down at the end of the day.
2) Acknowledge your distractions. If it’s a beautiful day, make sure you get outside. If there is a slice of cake in the fridge that is calling out to you, have it. If you really want to check out some websites, then do it. The key is to not let the distractions take over. Set yourself a timer if you need to. Allow yourself 20 minutes to satisfy your craving for whatever it is you want to do, and then get back to tackling your work. In my experience, if you are feeling really distracted, your work will be compromised throughout the entire day. Get it out of the way so that you don’t have to think about it all day! Another great option is to decide that you will do xyz at a certain time of the day, or after you have finished a certain amount of work. Then it becomes a reward and you won’t feel guilty about taking a break.
3) Organize yourself at the beginning of the day. Decide what you want to accomplish and what needs to be accomplished first. Have a back-up plan just in case. Sometimes book-writing requires a level of creativity but my mind isn’t in quite the right place, so I will either do research for the book or cross some other things off of my to-do list for a little while, during which I get myself into creativity mode. It usually doesn’t take too long before I’m all set to start writing. I’ve also found that writing one book can inspire an idea for the other book, which is very useful!
4) Act like you’re going to an office. Don’t work in your pajamas. If you let your dress code slide, you’ll likely feel lazier and get less work done. I find that if I get showered and dressed before I’ve started my work, I’m generally much more productive than if I’m yawning and staring blearily at the computer in my pajamas. Get dressed in a power suit if you need to – seriously. And you can always take the laptop (or notebook, whichever you use) to a cafe so that you force yourself to get out into public and work with the world watching you. That is also effective 🙂
In the end, not everyone can work from home. I think you have to enjoy spending time by yourself and you have to know how to motivate yourself, and you also have to have a really positive home environment to be able to work there. Personally, I love working from home. I think it’s challenging in a whole new way, and my home is my castle. I feel great working there.
What are your tips and tricks for working from home?