I cannot imagine how people who work from home full time do it. I admire that they have so much motivation and focus. I, however, am a mess when working from home.
As I've mentioned in the sidebar, I'm a college professor (non-tenure track if you know anything about the academic life--it's not relevant to this particular post, but I'll talk about the non-tenure track someday, I promise). Summer is both a blessing and a curse for me. I love that I have a flexible work schedule. This week, for instance, I went in yesterday from 9-2 and that's it. I can work from home all the other days. And my work load? It's much reduced from the load during a regular semester. I'm not currently teaching, so there are no students to confer with or grade papers for, and my work projects aren't due in any immediate fashion. I can work on them slowly and over the next few weeks/months whenever I feel like it.
The problem: I just don't feel like it. I can find a million other things to do. I'm halfway through the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, I'd love to work on the backyard, I have plenty of trashy tv on the dvr to catch up on, and there are movies to get to, both in the theater and on dvd. Man, those work projects seem pretty low on the list! I haven't even mentioned the internet (my most significant time suck). I have done almost nothing today. I conducted one phone interview with a potential instructor for fall and that's it.
I suppose I need to learn some tricks of the WAHM trade, like making myself a schedule, planning my long-term projects by breaking them down into smaller pieces (and giving myself interim due dates for these pieces), and limiting my "fun" time during the day. I've done this before...when I wrote my dissertation, I broke the chapters into little chunks and did what my friend and I called "hits," which were small increments of time to write that, if I met my day's quota, would be rewarded with a matinee or a take-out dinner. Without this strategy, I would have remained ABD forever. Not so incidentally, it was during this dissertation-writing time that I discovered I had adult ADD, and this "hit" strategy is one that I've since read about in books as one strategy that works well for people with limited attention spans. I wish I had realized the ADD thing earlier in my adult life. (Strangely, I don't think I had problems with ADD as a child/adolescent...could it have developed in college sometime? Hmmm.)
Let's just start today. Here is my list of things to do before 4:30 when I pick up W from daycare (none of which are work-related, I know, but at least they'll get me up off my butt):
- clean up the deck in the backyard, but don't linger. Just get it done. Tomorrow, I'll work on planting some flowers in the deck planters.
- vacuum. sigh.
- clean up kitchen (mostly clean, but needs a sprucing)
- grocery shop (milk, butter, cookies?)
- do my ICLW comments for the day (joy!)
That's an easy list, right? For crying out loud, I can do this! If anyone has suggestions about how they manage to get things done when they're working at/around/from home all day, they'd be sorely appreciated. I am clearly not good at this timte management thing and could use all the help I can get.