Monday, November 9, 2015

10 Reasons Why Working At Home Isn't Glamorous

I've worked at home for almost 10 years. Despite the misconceptions, working at home doesn't come without its fair share of obstacles. It's not glamorous. I've had to adapt. Set limits. Put my foot down at times. Cancel plans. Work when others are playing. Focus. Focus. Focus. Granted, I don't have to deal with commuting to work during inclement weather or the stress of clocking in on time however, I'm faced with a slew of other challenges.

Accompanying those challenges are a handful of pet-peeves. For something to make it to my pet-peeve list, there's criteria...

It has to occur often.

More than 3 F-Bombs are dropped when that something occurs.

The occurrence transpires into a distraction lasting more than 5 minutes.

The biggest pet-peeve, at the top of the list, is when someone blatantly says, "I would love to stay home and bake and write and play online all day."



Once I get beyond the shock of such an ignorant and poorly thought out statement, I'm tempted to sit 'em down and explain a few things. Yes, I bake. Write. Spend a considerable amount of time online. However (and I put a great deal of emphasis on the word h-o-w-e-v-e-r), working at home is not a walk in the park. It's work. WORK.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg....

1. No set hours. Despite my best attempts at keeping a schedule, it very seldom goes as planned...even with an allotted amount of wiggle room. I don't have a 9-5. I have a "when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes." The thought of having no set hours sounds alluring to a lot of people, but trust me, most of my work gets done on the overnight hours when Lisa and the 3 kids are sleeping.

2. Baking. Baking. Baking. I do enjoy time spent in the kitchen, but, like with everything else, I have to meticulously plan out each hour. In addition to the hours spent baking dog biscuits, I incorporate a couple of hours here and there for meals...both human and pup. Since converting to making most everything homemade (versus store-bought or take-out)...well, the frilly apron is on quite a bit. Baking fresh bread, whipping up a decent supper, and baking snacks for Lisa's lunches takes time. I've had to seriously hone up on my time management skills. I've pounded bread dough at 2 in the morning and baked and swizzled biscuits on the overnight.

3. Online activity. About 95% of my time spent online is work related. When sitting at my desk, I'm working. I am not engaging in recreational activities like polishing my nails, scoffing down BonBons or online shopping.

4. Choppy hours. When I have blog posts or columns to write, I need quiet. When it's time to populate a site with content (coupons, products, etc), staying focused is imperative. Managing and updating social for clients requires uninterrupted time. What I work on at my desk depends on my surroundings both outside and in. It varies day to day. I may have two hours of quiet in the morning. Sometimes none.

5. A day off? Yeah, right. Those don't exist.

6. Compatibility. The world around me isn't compatible with the few hours I try to sleep in the morning or occasionally for an early-evening nap. Two words. Sleep. Deprivation.

7. Making plans is 'bout near impossible. At least once I week I hear, "You need to get out more." True. However. Between Lisa's work schedules, mine, biscuits, the kids, appointments, making deliveries, and whatever else is on our weekly schedule, it's a challenge to make plans. It is what it is. We embrace our crazy life.

8. Discipline. Like with everyone else, I have off days. Exhaustion gets the best of me. There isn't enough coffee to fuel up the embers. Regardless of my emotional, mental or physical state, there's a virtual pile o' work sitting on my desk, biscuits to bake or package, columns to write, content to manage, emails to respond to and everything between. It. Has. To. Get. Done.

9. My daily wardrobe. It stays neutral. Work-At-Home-Dog-Mom-Style. Lounge pants. T-shirts and turtlenecks. Cotton, knee-length skirts. Flip flops. Clogs. Hair in a sloppy bun. No makeup. People never know if I'm getting ready to go to bed or I just crawled out of bed. Or, if I'm plagued with the flu. My appearance stays consistent.

10. No office parties. No luncheons. No perks. No awards. No recognition. Nothing. Yeah, at times, it gets to me. A little bit. To pacify my occasional craving for an employee gathering, involving free food and booze, I create my own. Nothing boosts my home office spirit like a bottle of wine and a snack plate loaded with crackers, cheese and an assortment of olives.

Despite the challenges, long hours, exhaustion, and the occasional snarky remark from this person or that, it's worth it. I get to hang out with these 3 lil' nuggets of love...our fur-kids. They're at my feet, on my lap, in my arms or climbing on my back when I'm on the floor with them. 

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