Doing home-based work can be more of a challenge than you imagined.
The Covid 19 pandemic has re-written the rules when it comes to companies accommodating home-based work. It used to be a rather exclusive domain of the self-employed and the start-up entrepreneurs keeping their costs down. Only occasionally was the privilege extended to the work-a-day office worker who might be given a special dispensation to work away from the usual distractions of office life to get a job done and meet a deadline.
During lockdowns business had to adapt - or die! In fact governments ordered you not to travel to the office so the world of office work was revolutionised, made possible by the modern communications technology. And now everybody has been able to gain an insight into the challenges those micro-businesses faced.
The struggle with working at home is that without the environmental factors in the workplace and camaraderie that can keep you motivated you will have to rely on yourself.
So be careful to identify the things that you do that drain your energy, things that demotivate you and have you literally "feeling bad"! By this I don't just mean distractions that divert your attention from the task in hand but the things that can insidiously chip away at you without you realising it because they are so ordinary and commonplace.
The very fact that you are at home can put many distractions in your path that can divert your focus and stop you being productive. And that is even before adding into the mix having to home school your kids. For now we will ignore that particular peril and assume we are in a "new normal" where the kids are back at school, the childcare is available and all you have to do is find a quiet place at home where you can access the internet and make your calls....
You may laugh at the suggestion that there is any spare time in your schedule to accommodate any down-time during the day but look carefully at how these things might affect you. Time out for exercise or for mindfulness can invigorate and energize you but consider some things that do the opposite and depress or subdue you even if they are not taking time out of your working hours.
Newspapers/Watching news on TV The media loves bad news. If you cannot read or watch without internalising it then avoid it. Try going a week or even a month without getting your daily “fix”. You will be amazed that your life still goes on. It does not stop just because you don’t know about the latest political argument or tragedy. If there is something that does affect you, you will soon find out about it.
A messy desk or house can be very draining. Offices enact a "clear desk" policy for good reason. Not just to be seen to be neat and tidy but because it actually increases productivity. Having to wade through piles of paper to find the note you want or hunt around just to find a pen takes its toll emotionally and psychologically. Having a clear desk, or home, has a surprising effect in keeping the mind fresh and energy high. Ask any feng shui practitioner.
Film & Book Dramas and Tragedies The drama is supposed to draw you in and get you emotionally involved in situations that can be disastrous and tragic. If you are empathising strongly with the hurt, pain and grief of the characters then how is that affecting your vibrational level? it takes up a lot of time and energy to keep up with the goings on of imaginary people in imaginary situations.
Surfing/Social networking without a purpose. The internet is a great power for good, but it can also be a distraction. Use it wisely, but switch off if you are being distracted from your purpose. Be ready to walk away rather than go down some rabbit hole... or worse! The internet is great for keeping in touch with friends and loved one, but don't let it become a master rather than a servant.
Gossip Of course you want to keep up with how your friends and family are doing, but is a polite enquiry and catch-up the same as going into the ins outs if “She said – he said – she said…!”. Gossip usually focuses on the negative aspects of someone’s character or actions and so has a knock on effect on your own energy, as well as taking up time you can use more positively.
This doesn't just apply when working from home. It affects your energy and ability to perform in any situation. It's just that there is more temptation and opportunity to do these when we are at home all day...
We All Have 24 Hours a Day
...yet some people accomplish so much more than others each day – something you are sure to have noticed at your job!
People watch an average of 4 hours TV! Add to that the time reading newspapers, gossiping and surfing and you could easily lose half of your waking hours to activities that are not just unproductive and waste time, but actually drain your energy, lower your "vibration" and in turn adversely affect your achievements.
Of course you need to balance your life, which means having enough relaxation time to keep you fresh. Spend a week noting how you spend your time, and how you feel when you do it. Does it leave you more energized and ready to take on the world or more inclined to withdraw into straightening out your desk one more time!
Ensure your home-based work does not take over the whole house!! It needs to be in a place in your home where you can put it down, walk away, and leave it. Otherwise there is always the temptation to keep on doing something and going back to it. Not only do you need downtime, but other members of your family want your presence and full engagement with them.
See what you may have to give up to do your home-based work. You will be surprised at what keeps you “busy” and what you can change.