I was in the library the other day and I saw a book entitled ‘Work From Home’ by Judy Heminsley (How to Books Ltd, 2009) I checked it out, thinking Hmmm this looks interesting, maybe I should try it.
I was half way home before I realized Oh, right. I already do work from home!
Of course it doesn’t always feel like working because the pay can be so up and down. And the books take so long to write. And it’s so insular. And really the navel gazing aspect is breath taking.
But I do work and I realize I’ve been very lucky to have done it from home these last years.
My life consists of children prodding, school runs, sort of keeping the house going, not very good cooking and writing.
When I tell people I write books, they look at me so respectfully I get embarrassed. They say Oh, you must be so disciplined! And I say Oh no, you should see the state of our cookie jar.
But then when I think about it, I suppose I must be disciplined. But that’s only because I have an inner slave driver.
On good days, I picture him looking like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. On bad days more like a brittle babushka with no teeth.
Because when you do work from home you have to organize some sort of schedule or your day will have disappeared and all you have to show for it is a suspiciously warm television set and an empty carton of Haagen Dazs.
‘Work From Home’ has quite good advice, the best coming from a management guru from the 1930’s which has stood the test of time.
1. Write down the jobs you want to do the night before. And list the five most important in order of priority.
2. In the morning, start with the first item and don’t give up until it’s complete or as complete as you are able to make it.
3. When you’re done with the five, rearrange what’s left to do in order of priority and start on the first one….
I always make a list. I find if I don’t very little gets done. and all those little non work things–doctor’s appointments, thank you notes, replanting the flower pot at the front door–are great for a list. I get great satisfaction when I finally cross them out.
But what is always first on my list? Write 1000 words of whatever I’m working on.
And no, I don’t always get there, sometimes I don’t even start. But that uncrossed out item glares at me all day.
Which is where the babushka with no teeth comes in. And she is merciless.
photo by willposh (flickr)