Working from home is a bitch. Or it can be. Since the shutdown of all non-essential face-to-face businesses in our state, I’ve been trying to telecommute. And I’ve run across an insane amount of Resistance in the process.
Day 1… It all started off on a good note – I got my makeshift home office set up. I was primed to create the big things that have been bouncing around my head for…well…since I can remember.
I was ready. It was time to make things.
Day 2… I did a lot of busy work on day 2, but nothing that I’d planned. It was panic time to find what food we could, and we continued to prep for a long stay at home.
I couldn’t keep doing days like this.
Except for Day 3… another day like this.
I had more busywork to handle! And more sleep deprivation. Trying to continue working while I was too stressed to sleep was starting to cause problems.
And I didn’t have any boundaries, so interruptions were more than common — they were constant.
I wrote an article on my plans for my time off, but my plans didn’t work out. I was too busy (but wasn’t getting anything done).
More and more, I realized I was letting Resistance kick my ass and kill my dreams.
After a week in, I’d had enough of the distractions and procrastination. Working from home doesn’t mean I’m allowed to not work at home. Haley and I sat and had a long talk about how to deal with the Resistance happening in the house.
We needed a plan to execute the plan.
I guess “plan” isn’t the right word to use for what I wanted to do. I had goals, not a plan.
I knew what I wanted, and I knew the work I had to do, but I didn’t have a plan to reach those goals.
Think about it – saying “I’m gonna do X, Y, and Z” is great, but unless you tell me how you plan to do it, you haven’t even taken the first real step.
I didn’t have a leg to stand on, just some dreams and goals on a distant mountain. And, without a plan to achieve those goals and processes to keep me on track, I was running in circles.Think about it - saying 'I'm gonna do X, Y, and Z' is great, but unless you tell me how you plan to do it, you haven't even taken the first real step.Click To Tweet
Fixing problems – one nap at a time.
The biggest issue I was having was a slow-down in my productivity. And the source of that problem started with my sleep. You need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Don’t kid yourself if you think you’re good with less.
Even if you function with less, you’re not functioning well with less than 7 hours. You’re just alive, not thriving.
So I started napping when I could and getting in bed much, much earlier. That was the beginning.
Back to the basics.
Once my sleep was back on track, it was time to get back to the rest of the basics. The fundamental things that help me work effectively.
I got back to my exercise routines. I stuck to my morning and night-time routines again – including showering at the same time I would if I were headed to the shop. I focused on hydrating constantly and moving more.
Working from home allowed me to get more exercise by going on family bike rides and playing with the kids during my breaks.
And I started using Pomodoro timers again to help me intensely focus on the projects that needed to get done.
Haley and I also sat down to discuss boundaries on our time. She wanted time to work on her projects, too, and I’m able to give that to her now that I’m home. So we agreed to split our work time up so we can both get lots of stuff done. 🙂
Our split-up time is guarded with an electric fence. My time in the office is my time, and her time in the office is her time. No interruptions allowed.
Now that the basics are laid out, it’s time to take some more of my own advice and…
Having the energy, routines, and time to focus on what I needed to focus on was a great start. But the carefully batched routines that I stuck to while tattooing weren’t applicable at home.
So I started tackling things whenever I thought I had the time. That means I was drawing, writing, studying, planning, coding, etc…all in a day. I was task switching a LOT.
And we all know that isn’t very effective. Hell, it’s one of those things that I try to avoid at all costs – switching back and forth between projects all day long means I’m not focusing on anything long enough to make decent progress.
Luckily, Haley was there to save the day for me again. After she listened to me vent about how I wasn’t getting things done the way I expected to, she just popped off with… “Why don’t you just plan for one big thing every day again?”
Yeah, that would be the smart thing to do, wouldn’t it?
I’ll spare you the details of my weekly plan, but I’m glad I have such an awesome wife to provide a different perspective.
Focus, Dream, Plan, Execute.
Don’t let Resistance kick your ass with busy work when you have the time to achieve your dreams. I almost fell into that trap.Don't let Resistance kick your ass with busy work when you have the time to achieve your dreams.Click To Tweet
Set yourself up to focus on what you want to do. Dream big and set your goals. Come up with a realistic plan to achieve those goals. Then get to it.
What are some dreams that you want to pursue next time you have some extra time? Have you come up with a plan for those goals? Let me know in the comments!