Friday, August 14, 2009

The beauty of remoteness...

Ah, yes! The beauty of a remote desert island. The barren beauty of a desert sunset. Lonely. Uncluttered. Still. All adjectives brought to mind by the word "remote".

But now put the word 'remote' in another context. As in "working remotely". Somehow, the barren beauty of a desert...uncluttered, lonely, wide open...can't "remotely" describe what it is like to work from home.

Right now, I am sitting in a room that is about 8x6. My co-worker, Shannon Mischler's comment upon entering my little office was "Whoa! Think you could get anything else in here??" A desk, 2 office chairs, filing cabinet, computer armoire, & a storage cabinet make the space compact & cozy!

Separating all this from the 2nd floor hallway is an accordion door. Not exactly I can hear my daughter singing in the shower which is less than 4 feet from my chair.

Within the last hour, my son has come in to ask several questions about his "summer school" worksheets, his pokemon cards, his bakugan & to announce for about the millionth time this summer that he is bored.

So, you might wonder, how do I accomplish ANYTHING in all the confusion?

Well, today, I've plowed through most of the "To-Do" list. And quite honestly, I'm not feeling stressed or very interrupted at all!

One of the recent blogs I read on Toilet Paper Entrepeneur (Definitely worth checking out: was entitled "155 Ways How To Work At Home Without Distraction". Quite a few of them revolved around not turning on the television or abandoning ship by fleeing to your local coffee shop. There were lots of practical suggestions -- someone even suggested working in bed!

I think one of the keys to working at home (and to just about everything else in life) is setting everyone's expectations appropriately. My kids know that what I do is important to me & important to the children Infinite Family serves in South Africa. They also understand that I earn our living with my work. So they respect my work time & work space...most of the time.

I also set my expectations for their behavior as clearly as possible. No fighting, no screaming & no rollerblades in the living room. And they respect the rules of behavior...most of the time.

I also have to have realistic expectations for myself. I am going to be interrupted. I am going to be distracted. I should not let myself get stressed out or turn into an obsessive over the minutes taken away with answering homework questions or admiring the "Moonlight Sonata" my daughter labored so hard to master this summer. And I honor those distractions the best I can...most of the time.

I also know that we who work at home actually are generally very focused & productive. I've worked in an office where I had many colleagues to chat with. I had a long walk to the copier room. I had to wait on tech support to fix my computer. Now, working from home, I even have fewer time-sucking meetings because people are much less apt to "meet" when it involves meeting on the phone. To put it bluntly, I get much more done working remotely than I ever did in an office!

Expectations & Balance. The ingredients that make most of life much easier.

Having shared my opinion, I now ask you to excuse me while I head downstairs & conduct a brief science experiment with my son.

The beauty of working remotely!

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