Sometimes you need to concentrate hard. And for that you need a quiet moment. When you're at work, it's typically not too loud, unless you're working in a factory or in construction. But in an office, noise is kept to a minimum.
When you work from home, there are tons of noises. Neighbors mowing the lawn, road construction, dogs barking, televisions, kids, a particular cat that cries and meows loud enough to be heard on phone conversations...
You need to find your quiet time for tasks that take extra focus. Sometimes it's just getting up earlier than everyone else and having 30 minutes to get those hard-to-think-about tasks done. Don't force it when noise is coming at you from all ends. Schedule the time, do the work, feel better.
This is something that I (Frankie) am in a constant struggle with. In the past I would work really hard all week to keep my workload caught up so I could quit work at a normal hour. When Friday rolled around, I would work double hard to make sure I had every little thing done so that at the end of the day I could close my laptop and not look at it again until Monday morning. Unfortunately, that's not the way it went down most days.
I have gotten better and taken my life back. I had to.
Not even a year ago you could find me working at least one day on the weekend and well past my self-set hours a couple of days a week. It really started to take a toll on my personal relationships and my health. I wasn't getting to spend the time I wanted to with my family and the time I did get to spend with them I didn't enjoy to the fullest because I was thinking about work. I wasn't sleeping and exercising had become a thing of the past. I just didn’t have time to take care of myself anymore. It also started to take a toll on my professional life. I started to resent my job. This job that I'd wanted all of my life had now become a source of resentment, even hate, at times.
My husband finally sat me down and brought everything out in the open. I was miserable and I had no idea why. He explained it from his perspective and that allowed me to step back and look at what was happening. I felt like I had to do everything related to work "right now." That report couldn't wait until Monday. Heck, it couldn't even wait till the morning. I had to stay up, even if it took all night, and get that done. I was sick, I was tired and I thought I hated my career.
I reevaluated things. I set hard hours and now, more times than not, even if I don’t have everything done at 5pm, I turn my laptop off and wind down before my husband comes home. Then we work out, have a nice dinner and go to bed. I do not stay up till the wee hours of the morning working anymore. On Friday, I bust my tail to get the most important things done, things I feel absolutely cannot wait till Monday, then at 5pm, I shut my laptop off, and most of the time I don't even think about work again until Monday morning.
I'm so much happier now. I love my career again. I get out and enjoy time with my family on the weekends. My husband and I are so much closer because he knows when he comes home from work, that's our time now. No more working all night. No more working weekends.
It's so easy when you work from home to let the work take over your life. When you work a traditional job, you are able to leave at the end of your shift and leave work at work. When you work from home, your office is always a couple of feet from you. The work is always there. You just have to learn like I did that your health, well-being and family is more important than the job. Set your hours and never waiver. You'll only end up sick, tired and hating your job.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.