A Work at Home Routine and Accountability
I have discovered that I don’t really like routine. But to work at home I need it. To get me out of bed and get going. To start my workday. I have worked at home for nearly 20 years but I still have a hard time with my work at home routine. I like to run away. To the beach. The mountains. The woods. However, being forced to stay home more has actually been helpful.
Zoom activities have fostered a music routine. For instance, thanks to other frustrated musicians, I drop what I am doing for 1 hour at noon and join them in a virtual jam session. In addition, this month’s writerly activities focused around NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, are helping me with a writing routine. I have always lacked consistency. It is hard. I want distraction. I tell my grandson to focus on his class. Get it done and he will have more time to play. I need to tell myself the same thing.
If you are new to working at home,
realize that you are not alone in your struggles. Along with the delicious sleep-in-no-commute-pajama-days come challenges with internet reliability, interruptions, distraction, and motivation. The good news is, there’s lots of help. Because anyone who works at home goes through this at various points.
I used to blame interruptions.
From my children, whom I was homeschooling. From my dad, for whom I am caregiver. I know that’s not true. I used to blame “being flexible”. “Flexibility” became the routine.
I am finding freedom in bits and pieces. Some things happen in 5 or 20-minute increments. Others are scheduled. For instance, my 1hr of music at noon and 1 hour of writing first thing in the morning. I have not done this on my own. I find I won’t stick to it if it is a solo activity. Because I have to be “flexible”. After our noonish jam session, anyone who wants to posts their participation and what instrument they played. It has become such a happy habit that now I am using NaNoWriMo towards the same end.
The accountability helps. Yes, I do have days that I don’t check-in or my hour starts later or I just play (or write) for 20 minutes. But overall it is working and so am I.
My mental status and attitude are much improved by routine
because I feel productive. Focus on my work. Get it done and I will have more time to play. Or catch up with the housework.
Now that I have scheduled time for music and writing, all the rest is gravy. There is so much more to my particular work than practicing scales or filling pages with words. But if that doesn’t happen, the rest is a waste of time.