Since I married my husband over 5 years ago I have found myself working from home a lot. More than I ever imagined honestly. I have telecommuted across the country, had a flexible job where I worked in the office part-time, and freelanced full-time from home.
Over the years you’d think that I’d now be a pro at working from home and have the rules down pat.
But honestly – I break those work from home rules all the time.
Like right now as I was writing this piece I stopped and sent a Snapchat because why not? OK not why not isn’t the answer but sometimes I need a little break and that means that I take a selfie.
While I love working from home, it is tricky to balance everything – like being available to your coworkers, getting distracted by chores, getting work done, and checking your door every 3 minutes for that Amazon package of things that you really, really need.
Once you find that perfect work from home job, you will find your own way of working from home. But here’s the thing, you’ll make your own rules. Here are the 7 “rules” that I break the most while working from home.
7 “Rules” that I Love to Break While Working at Home
Watch TV While Working
This is one of those things that is up there on things not to do while working. But hear me out.
Sometimes I am literally just pulling numbers into a spreadsheet.
Sometimes I need background noise as I answer email after email.
And other times I am doing research and just need something else going on.
Times that I don’t watch TV: while I’m writing and while I’m on a phone call.
Eat Lunch at My Desk
I almost always eat lunch and work at the same time while I’m at home. The reason is simple – I can compact my hours a bit. At my last job I often scheduled appointments near my home on days that I wasn’t in the office so that meant that I lost some work time, so sandwich meet desk meet computer.
Work After Dinner
You’d think that working from home you could get it all done like you do at the office but sometimes you don’t. Especially now that I freelance, that means my time is really flexible and it’s often easier for me to work at night. Normally I like to reserve that time for family time, but when I’m on a deadline, working late at night is necessary.
Get Distracted by Chores
Instead of a coffee break with coworkers I tend to do a load of laundry. I’ve also been known to vacuum or take care of that pile of dishes. I do try to limit my chore time to when I really, really need a break.
If you’re anything like me you can’t concentrate with a giant pile of papers on your desk or that dish pile staring you in the face. If I don’t take care of it then I can’t focus, so chores it is, then back to work.
Take a Nap
Yeah, I take naps. But, BUT, only when I really, really need to. For instance, the other day I was awake thinking about things for 3 hours in the middle of the night but had an early morning appointment. Needless to say, I was not productive AT ALL at work.
So I took a nap. Once I woke up I chugged out work. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do to be a better employee.
Be on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. I’m on them all. All day. Every day.
But to be fair, it’s my job. As a social media manager for NextGen MilSpouse, it’s literally my job to be on social media. I need to check for breaking news, talk with our followers, and keep up on the latest trends.
Things that I try not to do – get sucked into the wormhole that is Facebook groups and political debates during the work day.
Don’t Work at My Desk
Having a home office space is always, ALWAYS on our house must-haves but I don’t always work in the office. Right now I’m not working in there because my shredder broke and my pile of papers has grown to an embarrassing level.
Also, I currently work from home with my baby, and while I try to do most of my work while she sleeps, I keep up with things as she plays on her play mat in our living room and I sit on the couch or at the dining room table.
With my computer constantly plugged in there it’s hard to move it into the office. My goal is to clean my desk off soon so that I can get back into that home office.