Things I learnt from trying to work from home

When I say working from home I mean it in a business, professional sense, as opposed to academic homework. Over the Christmas periods I had my first attempt at working from home, we had a ridiculously large Christmas break and I was very aware of how much work I’d to catch up on with my return to the office.
Throughout my time at university I tried working in the library, from study rooms and with various wonderful people off my course, and aside from very specific instance I worked far, far better at home. I one of those people who can put on a DVD or tv series in the background and dip in an our of a project. With hindsight, part of the reason this would work was that I would give myself a deadline, shut myself away for a period of time and work solidly on one project and one project alone. I would have a finished project I could proof read and out the final touches on. This sadly, is why I can’t work from home.

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Routine

I need an area and corresponding routine for work, when I’m in work I have a desk arranged in a system that works for me and helps me focus without distraction. I only put my headphones in when I need to focus, or shut the noisy office out. At home I have my computer desk, which I have to tidy to use.

Focus

I can focus at work as the only distractions I have are my colleagues who also want to work, and my phone I try to avoid. At home I have a bed I need to make, a family who are also home an adorable dog. A hundred distractions ranging from small to large. Distractions which I struggle to prioritise.

Other projects

I’m a projects person, at present I have three sewing projects, innumerable baking projects, linkedin and twitter updates to schedule (to appear professional and industry informed), friend and family to catch up with, scrapbooks and photo albums to create, images to back up and catalogue from my phone. Many things all of which are as important to me personally as my professional work.

Organisation

This is an odd one, but in effect I am a very organised untidy person. Something always needs to be tidied away, be it the three days worth of washed clothes to put away or personal mail to organise. I struggle to work in an untidy space as I just know it needs to be put away. Out of sight, out of mind when it come to going to work. When at home though, that wardrobe or top draw that need decluttering are like an itch I can’t leave alone. It stops me from focusing.

This has all been inspired from my present circumstances, I’ve hurt my ankle which has stopped me from leaving the house. I have everything I need to work from home, but it have really struggled with it. It’s been a personal challenge.

Looking back on these points I think the solution for me would be a lifestyle change. If I worked from home everyday I could turn these barriers into hacks, I could own my work and truly make my space my own. Do you have any little tricks for working from home and achieving that work life balance? Or can you empathise with any of these points, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter.

-Emily

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