By August 5, 2010 Read More →

5 antidotes to hating home working

The cures for the home working blues

Work from Home Wisdom - 5 antidotes to hating home working

I wrote recently about 5 reasons to hate home working and a lot of people seemed to identify with them all. But the best thing about home working is that you’re the one in charge, and so you can plan your life to minimise the pitfalls and make the most of the possibilities. Here are my suggested antidotes:

1. Incipient madness
It’s said we have a limited number of thoughts every day, which means we repeatedly think the same thoughts over and over. Ask any home worker and they will confirm that left alone those thoughts all too quickly become a mantra of ‘I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, I’m bored’ etc. Let somebody else into your head and those thoughts have no space. Plan regular phone calls and time on social media throughout the day to keep a sense of connection with the outside world while you’re home working.

2. Weight gain
The best, in fact only, way for greedy home workers like me to eat healthily is to leave all those favourite treats on the supermarket shelves. It’s so much easier to make the decision there than when it’s staring at you from the cupboard. And so much easier again if your stomach isn’t rumbling when you go shopping. And a sad confession – if those calorie-laden snacks do somehow creep in, I may resort to asking my partner to hide them. No shame, out of sight, out of mind can work…sometimes.

3. Just leave me alone
There is something compelling about a ringing phone and very few of us can comfortably ignore it. So if you want to concentrate the only solution is to switch on the answerphone, turn down the volume or completely unplug it. Cultivate the attitude that a mobile phone is for your own convenience, nobody else’s, which means it’s switched on when it suits you. As for the doorbell, ignore it. If you were actually out, at a client meeting, for example, the caller would post a message or go away. No difference.

4. I’m never off-duty
If you have a dedicated home office keep all your work stuff strictly within it. It’s not that hard. After all, you never put saucepans in the bathroom. Presumably. It is more difficult if you’re working in a shared space, as you’ll have to do regular tidying sessions. Have you tried decluttering? It might sound hard work but it gives you a feeling of great virtue and clarity, both of which can generally be quite elusive. Ask a neat-freak friend if you need help getting started. I bet you’ll unearth loads of stuff you’d forgotten you even had.

5. Get me out of here
Yes, it’s true, you really do need to get out more when you’re home working. The only way is to make meetings and events a priority in your diary and plan your work around them, not the other way round. You will feel guilty doing it, but ignore that and go ahead. It works, honestly. And now you can combine getting out and meeting people with actually doing some work – yes, it’s coworking and Jelly time! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you there’s more information about that elsewhere on this site…

Posted in: Routine

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