Working from Home: 4 months later

I started working from home in October 2016, realising a long term goal of mine. Some find it hard to stay motivated (and fully clothed). How am I going?
February 17 2017

I wrote about my feelings and doings in week one of my work from home.  Four months later I'm still at it but how am I doing and what has changed.

In my first month, the first few weeks especially, I revelled in my new found freedom and I'd go for a walk and a workout before work, getting my daily exercise in and feeling energised for the day.   It was new and it was thrilling but it didn't last more than a few weeks.  

I'm routine driven and as the thrill wore off I returned to a more normal routine.  I'd do a little bit of work before taking the kids to school, mainly just organising myself for the rest of the day.  I'd then drive the kids the short distance to school, about 1.2 km.  I knew I'd end up driving them even though the school is so close.  For 1 it's summer now and 30 degrees outside at 9am, and two, I'm back in the routine of working and the self imposed stress of having to get stuff done made it hard to relax for those couple of hourse in the morning.  I need to feel I've accomplished something for the day before I can reward myself with exercise.  Following school dropoff I'd go and get a coffee from the local cafe.  I've got a perfectly good Nespresso machine at home, with super tasty coffee, but this is more about some human interaction.  I'd usually bump into a few people I knew and stop for a chat for 10 minutes before heading home and getting into it.

Now, my kids are a little older and I'm making them walk to and from school this year (some parents think I'm mean, some love the idea.  The kids are enjoying the walk, even if they do get very sweaty from it - I think it's the thrill of added responsibility and a bit more freedom).  Now my day starts of at between 6:30 and 8am, depending on how long I sleep for and when I went to bed the night before (It's still great to not wake to an alarm and not be constrained by the 9-5 timetable).  Usually I'm up by 7am - even on days like today, where my young son was unsettled until midnight last night - keeping me up until then.  I make a Nespresso - yes, that urge to get to work has even now stopped me getting a cafe coffee most days.  I'm still getting fully clothed and I'm dressed like I would go to work (one where shorts and a t-shirt is perfectly acceptable attire).  I take my breakfast and my coffee to my desk and I open a social media and my preferred real news site and introduce myself to this day of the world. Some days I'll even just get straight to coding - depends on my mood and where I left off the evening before.

I've upgraded to a Fitbit Blaze from my Charge HR (the Blaze is great by the way) and it's prompting me to move every hr - and I generally listen to it.  I get up with 10 minutes to go and do my 250 steps.  Sometimes it's putting the washing on, sometimes it's sweeping the kitchen/stacking the dishwasher - general "house husband" stuff.  As an aside, it's something my wife, who works fulltime greatly appreciates.

Before starting working from home I had these grand ideas of starting work at 6:30, working through lunch, and finishing up by about 3pm, at which time I'd jump on my sim rig and get in some quality racing practice - much like I used to years ago when I was starting work at 6 and finishing at 2:30 (plus travel).  Occassionally, if I'm feeling restless or just can't get my head around what I'm working on I'll go for a run for an hour in about the middle of the day, though generally I just power through.  I generally find I'm still working at 5pm.  Sometimes I'll break and come back to it after dinner, once the kids are in bed and go through until midnight, but that's only if I have something I committed myself to getting done by a particular timeframe.  I also work weekends for a few hours each day if the mood suits me - with no feeling of resentment! With the help of  HarvestApp I know I'm working between 33 and 45 hours a week, averaging about 37 hours still, which is no more than fulltime work - but it is significantly more productive in my opinion.

Something else I did was stop Taekwondo, both stopped my own training and stopped teaching students.  It became the only thing in my life that had a real schedule and it got annoying.  The premise of my happiness is that don't have a timetable, that I can do what needs to be done at about when it suits me (obviously I need to get work done by a timeframe), I'm talking about managing individual days.

Last week I bumped into an friend I hadn't seen this year and he commented how relaxed I was looking - admittedly we were at the local bar, but hey, I was more relaxed (I wasn't drinking either!).

So far I think the continued success to working from home is to still maintain a mostly normal work time - that is working during the day, and going through the normal routines I used to go through to start my day when I was going to a workplace.  If I ever have to go back to working away from home it's going to be very very hard.  Who know's, I might actually miss people by then - but so far, not at all.


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