Let’s get real here for a minute. Working from home is hard. The flexibility is great. Not having to commute to work is great. Not having to fill up the gas tank in the truck more than once a month is great. But actually getting work done is hard.
Transitioning from a traditional job to working for myself out of my home has been interesting. Admittedly it has only been a few weeks, but I expected the transition to be smoother.
Until last week I didn’t have a set schedule that worked for me. I may still have the one I’ll settle on, but starting last Monday I began a new plan of action.
My original plan was to work on my writing and speaking business in the morning for a few hours, and then every afternoon would be dedicated to the voice over business.
Plans are great, but plans change.
As much as I tried to stick to the original plan, it wasn’t working for me.
Two things kept the plan from working. One could be overcome, but the other caused a bigger problem.
The first thing keeping me from following through on the plan was my pillow. It wouldn’t let go of me in the morning. More accurately, it would call out to me and lure me back to it after I had already left the bedroom.
I’d get up for a couple of hours to make sure the rest of the family was moving and leaving the house on time, and then my pillow would call me back for a while. Not good. Not good at all.
The second problem I encountered with the original plan was more of a flow and rhythm issue.
Working on my writing, it usually takes me a bit to get “in the groove”. I was finding that by the time I really got the rhythm going, it was all of a sudden time to quit and work on voice over tasks. This meant I either stopped writing mid-thought and process, or I kept writing and ignored the voice over tasks for the day.
Neither of these “solutions” was good.
To rectify the problem I spent some time looking at each day of the week, what was on the schedule for that particular day (business and family), and determined I need to spend each day focused on one task.
Working from home also means working around my family being home. My wife is in grad school full-time. She also works two or three days a week. My oldest son is in college. He has class Monday through Wednesday. (Tough life.) My youngest son is a high school sophomore. He’s gone from 8-3 Monday through Friday.
What I decided to try is a schedule where I do voice over work the two days my wife is at work (quieter house). Tuesday and Thursday are now fully dedicated to voice over.
The speaking part of the business is really the third area of focus for me, so I decided to dedicate one day, Wednesday, to speaker training.
Monday and Friday are now set aside for writing. What this does is gives me Friday through Monday to keep my brain focused on writing.
I’ve committed to not working on the weekend (after 18 years of working on Saturday), but at least I’ll be able to keep the ideas flowing over the course of four straight days instead of breaking in with other work.
We’ll see how it goes. The new plan of action began last week Monday. So far so good with the daily focus. The pillow was an issue again this morning, but I will not let it win!