It’s not very often I get to do this, but today I am working from home. In all fairness I’m working from my deck. We’re heading out for the weekend and need to be on the road by 2PM at the very latest. So I got a little earlier than usual, put on some comfortable shorts and ran a few weekly reports from the kitchen table before the kids woke and headed out to swimming lessons. When my twin sons finally woke up, I grabbed my cup of coffee, slipped on my squishy and ugly crocs and headed out to the deck of the Wendyhouse to finish a project plan and tie up some loose ends.
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So far it has been an amazing morning. I’m still replying to emails as I usually do as well as answering all my phone calls but I don’t have anyone running into my office with their customer on hold in their earpiece panicking about something that really isn’t anything to get over excited about. In fact, I’m pretty sure the customer is probably getting a much calmer and clearer response than if that same person had been racing around the office looking for some one “RIGHT NOW”.
The real benefits of working from home are always heavily tipped towards the person actually at home. There is a certain piece of mind from being able to plough through task without interruption. I can never remember if it’s David Allen (GTD) or Merlin Mann (43Folders) who is always stating that multitasking sucks and the only people that are really good at it is those that can quickly blow through small successive tasks giving the appearance that they are doing many things at once. If I had to label it, I’d call it “Smoke and Mirrors and the CMD-Tab” I guess.
Sure you can be loading the washing machine while running reports or on a Conf Call (muted) whilst changing a diaper. But I don’t call that multitasking, that’s just being efficient. It’s essentially the same as going over a project scope with colleague as you walk to Timmies. I honestly feel that today’s modern office offers more distraction than it does productivity. There will always be some folks that watch too much YouTube or Txt more in a day than they Type, and the water cooler will always have 2 or 3 folks around it gabbing about the game or some un-reality TV show. So for those days when you really can’t stand being thrown into that mix, working from home is a god send even with all the kids. Let me just say that the unexpected refill form the Missus in her board shorts is always a great motivator.
So how do you succeed at getting things done from:
- Be Organized: Know what you have to do that day and stick to it
- Learn to Say No: Even when your part time assistant/spouse is those wearing cute board shorts.
- Make Sure Your Well Connected: Phone, Internet, VPN, Printers. You need access to all the same tools to your trade.
- Be Honest: Make sure you set the expectation with your boss and colleagues of what you are up to. It makes it a lot easier for the next time.
- Chillax: Remember why you wanted to work from home in the first place. If you’re still stressed and in your comfortable chair and jammies, you’re totally doing it wrong
Working from home is not rocket science, if you are good at your job and you need some catch up time just make your case, get your work done and enjoy the silence. And don’t forget that it’s not a paid vacation either. If you have a some pics of your SoHo setup or your favourite table at Starbucks we’d love to see them so add your links to the comments and we’ll set a pool for all of them.