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Working from Home Tips: Swish, Shoes and Freeze

I got a few letters this month asking for advice from working from a home office. And, I know that when I made the leap of faith to work from home, I read a pile of books and articles and signed up for newsletters- because that’s what a type A like me does when entering the zone of the unknown.  I research.  Sure I learn a bit- but I think I do it mostly to fool myself into thinking I have a little control over the unknown.  Like reading books on child-raising when your expecting your first child.  Sure, You’ll tuck away a few gems of wisdom during your “research” but really, nothing is going to stick hard until your in the mix of it.
There are a a few “tricks” I have learned that help me hum along productively at home, but first- I must qualify:
I am still trying to figure this whole thing out.  It seems like its really a fluid lesson, because what work for me one month, may need some tweaking the next.  That’s because kids grow.  And in growing, they change- their routines, friends, needs change.  So you have to be fluid.  Make a routine that’s flexible, otherwise you’ll be a cranky, resentful, unproductive mess.  And that’s not a nice mama to be. 😉 . I can tell you this without a doubt: No matter what stage of life your in with the little buggers, the hardest thing to manage is guilt.   It always seems like something is being neglected.  It has to be.  While your working, you cant be taking the kids to the park  And while you’re at the beach with the kids, you cant be writing your next blog entry… at least I cant do it- effectively.  Multi-tasking just leads to diminished quality for me.  I crave focus.
But, when picking out the things that allow me to manage a Home career and Home life, I must give a shout out to FlyLady  who helped me get a few ducks in a row many years ago. And while I no l longer sign up for her daily reminder emails,  I learned several routines from her book “Sink Reflections” that I credit for allowing me to balance work and home.
During my typical “Work from Home” day:
I always make my bed when I wake up.  Always.  Otherwise, when I pass by my bedroom during my workday I think- oh- what a mess- I must tidy a bit- and then I stray.  And when I am looking to procrastinate from a deadline- little traps like this are dangerous.  Made bed will fool the brain into thinking the whole enchilada is clean.
I always dress.  Yep- no naked work for me.  No, seriously, I dress in a way that if I had to Skype- I wouldn’t be mortified. Jeans are fine- but no sloppy shirts- and always a little bit of bling and at the very least, under eye concealer.  And mascara.  I have just learned the wonders of mascara for brightening up 40+ year old eyes.  It may be terribly vain, but how I see myself in the mirror translates directly to how seriously I take myself working.  And when you work from home, I think you have to constantly convince yourself- this is real. This is a workday to be taken as seriously as if I were clocking in for someone else.  More so maybe- because if I let myself down, well, that’s personal.
And I always wear shoes while I work.  Going barefoot is a step on that slop down to laid-back that I must avoid.   Shoes on is like putting my thinking cap on.
As for balancing housework: I always go to bed with a clean sink- nothing worse that waking up to start a day with a burst on energy than going into the kitchen to make my coffee and seeing a pile of dishes.  Ugh.  Talk about a mojo killer.  And dishes always turns to sweeping and maybe a run of the vacuum, and next thing you know, it’s 10am and nothing is done.
Each morning while I brush my teeth, I throw a little cleaner in the “commode” and swish- I do a quick wipe down of all surfaces, spay some everyday shower cleaner all over everything and call it a day.  If you do this everyday- it never gets out of control.
And I always tidy my “hot spots” at 4pm.  Before dinner- before the crazy time begins. ( It seems like all heck breaks loose between 4pm and 7pm at my place!) Hot spots are those Bermuda triangle of the house where stuff seems to gather, grow and take a life of it’s own. And they are usually in the places people see first when they come to my house.  The dining room table.  The bottom of the stairs and the kitchen pass thru.  But, by herding these kittens each day- they never get bananas and my family has learned to pitch in with this.  I say- OK- time for a 10 minute tidy- and we all go around (not happily- but, hey- it’s gotta be done!) putting things back in their place.
I try and grocery shop once a week- having to run out to the store every-night is a real time drain.  And, like it or not, it really helps to have a kinda-meal plan.  I have a list of my family’s favorite meals.  Actually, it was kind of scary that there aren’t too many things on the list… I’ve been working to get something new on there at least once a month. But having this loose list makes it easier when you go to the market, because it lets you be flexible.  maybe the pork chops are looking a little meh.  Well, if you boxed yourself into pork chop- Tuesday- well then, you’re not going to be happy.  But, if you have meatballs , cutlets and hot dogs as a back up- you’ll be fine.  And I always try to have a few “backups” in the freezer.  Deadlines have a way of eating up my evenings- and I always feel less stressed if I can pull out a frozen yummy I made earlier and heat it up, put on a movie for the kids and get back to work for a bit more. Meatballs, sauce, stew, pulled pork, barbecued brisket- these all freeze super well- and can be made in double batches.  One for tonight, one for later.  Like a little work-at-home grasshopper preparing for the Winter of my workdays.  And don’t get me started on the wonders of a crockpot!  It’s SO awesome to work the day away and them just as you’re getting ready to wind things down, you can smell a delicious, healthy dinner is almost done!  I’ll have to post up some of my favorite freezer and crockpot recipes for you one day- but for now, Pinterest is chock full of Boards and a few great resources are: The Compete Idiots Guide to Freezer Meals  and yep, another “Idiot” book- (I really don’t like the names- but darn! they are good!) The Complete Idiots Guide to Slow Cooking.
So- nothing to do with work… but-these things really- really help me with my work day.  It’s like office management.  And people get paid good money to be office managers.  So taking the time out to make sure your home can hum along while you work is probably one of the most important things you can do when deciding to work from home. Keep the stress of keeping up with the chores on the back burner- so you can really get cookin’ on your work 😉  It’s the best advice I can offer.

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Catherine D. Hardy
7 years ago

There are many ways of making money on the internet though they all differ in their approaches. That’s what makes some more expensive to set up than others. This is an easy guide to work at home with drop shipping which is one of the most easy and cost effective businesses to implement.

Catherine D. Hardy
7 years ago

There are many ways of making money on the internet though they all differ in their approaches. That’s what makes some more expensive to set up than others. This is an easy guide to work at home with drop shipping which is one of the most easy and cost effective businesses to implement.