Carol Ann Guarino
Do Not Disturb
So, you have decided to work from home…. glorious…. then the phone rings (again), it’s your Mom. Will you ever get the project done? My God, it’s three o’clock already and time to pick up the kids. How do you manage? You either work too much or the constant interruptions are keeping you from getting anything done.
We have Alexa, Alexa is in “his” office. Alexa reminds my partner to get up and stretch, eat a healthy lunch, send an email, call his colleague in London at 8:30 EST. I’m not fond of Alexa (mostly because she won’t acknowledge my disdain for country music on her playlists) but Alexa can help with working from home pitfalls.
Pitfall one…you work too much. You spend all day in your office and don’t take breaks for lunch, standing, moving, showering…coffee.
Pitfall two….you have no designated workspace and the couch is oooh so comfortable plus the wireless is great in the living room. Or the dining table is strewn with papers and you have been eating on a tray for eight months. Or you have a closet cubby you’re crammed into next to your boots and your six bridesmaids dresses.
Pitfall three…you work, walk the dog, do laundry, answer every call, cook dinner, chase your toddler….etc, etc. How do you handle all the interruptions?
To avoid some of the work at home pitfalls, set up a work schedule with a set start and stop time AND scheduled breaks. Share this with your family, roommates, dog, anyone who resides with you so they understand the importance of boundaries when you’re working. If you have an office, let people know the times you cannot be disturbed by closing the door, if there isn’t a door to your workspace, use some kind of do not disturb sign or traffic cones. If you don’t have an office, designate a workspace where you can comfortably work and keep your work supplies. Make your workspace you! Make it inviting and reflective of your personality. Follow some feng shui and place your desk facing into the room and place vision boards, artwork or fab photos in your line of sight. Dress for work. Skip the yoga pants or sweats for working out and look the part (plus you’ll never have to scramble for those last-minute video calls). If you have small children, it may be time to hire a sitter to help for a few hours. Lastly, enjoy your short evening commute…to your closet to change clothes, unwind and shut-down. Have a set work stop time and stick to it.
Working from home can be fantastic…Alexa says “this is your reminder…get out of your jammies.”