10/27/2010

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

 Yesterday was such a great day to be working from home; there was a storm brewing outside, and the house was so cozy inside. It got me thinking about how lucky I am to be able to work from home.  Then as I was daydreaming about cups of loose-leaf tea, and sleeping in; I realized one major disadvantage to me working from home.  A disadvantage that I could probably fix.  But first, here are the pros:

-Flexible schedule.  If there's an event going on, I can almost always schedule my working hours around it.  Even last-minute stuff.  

-Being an emergency contact.  When my little sister was in school, I was listed as her first emergency contact.  Since our mom worked a half hour away, it was way easier for me to rescue her from school when she got sick.

-Sick days.  I don't have to worry about the whole "am I sick enough to stay home, or should I go in...hmmmm" thing.  Even if it's something little like maybe I needed an extra hour of rest that day, I can do that, as long as I make up the lost time at the end of the day.

-Fancy food!  Since it's just a walk downstairs to my kitchen with many, many options for lunch that day, lunch is my favorite.  I end up eating a lot healthier too.  And, I can make as many cups of loose-leaf tea throughout the day as I want.

-The job.  I get to design, draft patterns, sew, network, graphic design, sew some more, (and teach piano lessons and music class) every day.  I couldn't have asked for a job I like more.

When most people list the disadvantages of working at home, one of the most common things is loneliness/feeling isolated.  That doesn't really apply to me, since I teach piano lessons Monday-Friday, and I mostly teach at the student's home, so I see quite a few students and their parents every day. And with the amount of people I often see on the evenings/weekends, I really enjoy the alone time!  My major problem with working at home are the distractions:

-Stuff that needs to get done around the house. Cleaning is the obvious one, but we just moved into this house a few months ago, and there are a million improvement projects to be done, which are often really fun (and super distracting).

-Piano.  Since I teach it, I have to keep up on my skills, so daily practice I something I have to do.  Daily practice is also really fun, and has a tendency to go on for much longer than I plan on.

-Sleeping in.  I wake up every day at 5:50 with Billy, but some days, if I convince myself I reeeeeallllly need the extra sleep, I'll go back to bed until 8.  Which is fine every so often, but not too much or I really cut into my working time.

-Blogging/Twitter/other social networking things.  For my field of work, it's something that must be done.  When I first started, I really wasn't into any of those things.  I thought Twitter was useless, blogging was just self-important, and all those social networking things were just a huge waste of time. I quickly learned otherwise, with all the opportunities I would find out about, and all the people I connected with and knowledge we shared.  And it's really fun.  But it can be a huge time-eater.

-Working on projects that aren't urgent.  Store order = urgent.  Designing new tags = not so much.  But one task might be a little easier than the other, so I'll do that one to procrastinate.  

What I figured out is:  I need to make a work schedule and prioritize my tasks.  That sounds like corporate speak, but I don't have a boss, so I gotta step in and make it happen!

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