Ever sat down to get some work done and then been inundated with thoughts like this?
“Oooh, I just need to put some laundry on.”
“Gosh…I could use a cup of coffee. And maybe some cookies. Which I’ll bake from scratch.”
“I’ll just turn on General Hospital while I work. You know…in the background.”
And then, before you know it, your baby has woken up from his nap, or your husband has returned from work, and all you’ve got to show for your work time is three dozen chocolate chip cookies (not that that’s a horrible thing) and an unrivaled knowledge of the goings-on in Port Charlies (I promise I had to google where GH is set).
Working home can be a real challenge, but most of us don’t have a choice because of time, money, or the fact that we’re squeezing work in during naptimes and after bedtime. Getting work done at home is tough, but it can be done. I’m not yet an expert at it (and I’ve got two loads of laundry on the go right now to prove it), but I have learned a few tricks, and I want to share one of them with you today.
Get an office.
A few months ago, I sat down to do some work on my sofa. I realized I needed to upload a couple of photos for a project, but my camera was in our bedroom, so I went and got it, and brought it back to the sofa.
A few minutes later, I got an email asking if I could take on a project the next month, but I couldn’t remember how busy I was, so I went to the bookcase in our dining room to retrieve my calendar.
Then, I needed a quote from someone for an article, but my phone was in my purse, so I had to walk to our front hall, dig around till I found it, and return to my sofa perch.
At the end of that day, I realized I had spent several minutes of my limited work time making trips around my house to find various items. Why? I didn’t have an office.
The very next day, I had my husband help me carry a desk from our bedroom to a room we were using to store our bikes. I bought a $5 cork board, painted the edges white (cause that’s prettier), and plastered it with photos that inspired me and ideas for future blogs. I filled a cup with pens. I stacked the books I use most often for my work on the corner of my desk.
Now, when I sit down at my desk, in my office – even though I share it with my husband’s racing bike – I know that this is my work space. It is surrounded with things that inspire me. Everything I need is here.
I get so much more work done in my office, because that is what it was made for.
Your office could be a corner of your dining room, or a chair in your bedroom with a file box beside it. It could be a craft table in your garage. It doesn’t really matter. But I think you’ll find that when you enter a space that has a purpose, you’ll feel more purposeful, too.