Home Alone

In response to my post “The All Request Show” the ever supportive Margaret Burnside asked me to write about the “discipline of working for yourself/from home”.

The steady state

Well as you can see Margaret, I may not be the best person to answer this question, though at least my picture shows this post on my screen (lets not mention the phone logged into twitter and the ipad showing BBC programmes). The washing up is mainly done and the veg box has been unpacked but it’s fair to say I’m fairly free form in my approach.

So lets get on to what I know. Well I know that the world of work is changing, not least because the book on my kitchen table says so too. It talks about people “home-ing from work” rather than working from home. The idea that we all expect a bit of time in our day to check the bank account, maybe buy a little something from Amazon or book our holiday. So you know what, if you do those things at your home office then surely there are no problems there.

What about other office time killers? The endless meetings, the politics, the gossip, well we don’t have those things so we can fill that time up with work can’t we? I’m honestly not sure that’s a great idea though. I’ve found that reaching out to check twitter and blogs is a welcome break from work and it gives you the fun of gossip (& no one gets hurt) and actually directs me towards something more meaningful, making me fresher when I resume my labours.

When I last worked in a corporate office there was a real culture of “presenteeism” often I felt that if I could just take a lap round the park mid afternoon to maintain my energy levels then I’d be twice as productive (in half the time) on my return, so if you want to bunk off to the beach during your “working” day then I say go right ahead. After all, you are your own boss, feel free to treat yourself like an adult and not feel guilty. You can trust yourself, right?

I know I’ve taken rather a light hearted approach to Margaret’s question but hey, if you want home office tips then there are plenty of websites you can choose from. I mean we all know the basics, block time for email, keep your home office in a separate room, don’t work in your pj’s etc etc. I tend to work with clients at discovering their purpose, and truly, if you’ve chosen to work out there as an independent it’s surely because you wanted to do it differently. So why recreate the conditions of when you were a wage slave in a Dilbert style cubicle? If you’re struggling for motivation or procrastinating then there’s not much discipline will do for you, maybe you just need to dig a bit deeper and find out how this particular piece of work serves your values. If it does, great, you’ll be able to focus. If it doesn’t then discard it and do something that does excite you.

There’s still time to challenge me at “The All Request Show” if you have a burning question. If you want to know more about how I work then I’m at www.projectlibero.com or find me on twitter @projectlibero where I’ll be keeping up to date with trends, avoiding doing my tax return and obviously not procrastinating at all .

P.S. Sorry if you thought this post was about a 6 year old you, defending your home against inept thieves when your parents left you at home over Christmas – as the blog title may have led you to believe.

1 thought on “Home Alone

  1. Margaret Burnside Reply

    Thanks Jon! Love your multi purpose office! I wish I had a kitchen in mine – coffee on tap! The principles are exactly what I believe and in fact I proudly boast whenever I can about taking time out to go to the beach on a sunny Thursday afternoon then working flat out on a rainy Sunday morning …

    I hear the new phrase for what was work-life balance is ‘work/life integration’ for the reasons you describe – we might do a bit of personal stuff on the net at work and deal with a few e-mails at home in the evening.

    You’re right I have worked for myself for over 20 years sometimes from home sometimes from an office and would find it almost impossible to go back to a 9-5 routine in a ‘normal’ office environment. I know I’m at most productive if I can choose when I do things – in Emotional Intelligence terms it’s about maximising the ‘mood/task’ match.

    Twitter is my water cooler/coffee machine time – great to have some light-hearted chat with my fellow workers …

    Looking forward to the next blog (but – no pressure!)

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