Drifting around the internet while waiting for the boyfriend to get out of work, I came across this article from Career Girl Daily whose title caught my eye: “How to Create a Routine When Working from Home.” Now, I feel I’ve wrangled down a pretty good routine for myself already, but I was curious what it might have to offer as far as other things I could try. Or how I match up to their suggestions. In a nutshell:
1. Set Working Hours. Check! I wake up at six thirty (nearly) every day, and I work until ten o’clock in the morning, sometimes a little later. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I also work a second job elsewhere, and I do this Monday through Sunday. Every day is a workday for me, so if I get in three hours a day, that’s still 21 hours. Match that with the 25 hours I usually have at my second job and I’m still working more than 40 hours. I just enjoy one job way more than the other. And if it’s a day where I don’t work but my boyfriend does, I also squeeze in about three more hours in the evening, too. If he’s home, though, no way. He’s too distracting. (Guess what time in the morning he wakes up…)
2. Use a Planner. Sort of check. I don’t have a planner per se, but I do have a board on the side of my fridge with upcoming deadlines listed so that I can consult it and know when deadlines are approaching. I also have several books to keep submission dates and other information in order. So not quite a planner, but I have gotten way better at keeping track of deadlines, and it’s been beneficial to me so far. I’ve been getting a lot more in on time (although there’s a lot that still passes me by).
3. Create a Workspace. Check! It’s not a great workplace, but I’m definitely the type of person who has a “place” where she can get “in the zone.” For me, it’s my kitchen table, in the corner, by the window where I can write as the sun comes up. We live in a teeny tiny studio, but it was built with a wall between the main living space and the kitchen. This allows me to work while the boyfriend is sleeping (he is not an early bird), it allows some peace and quiet, and it’s a solid space. It’s a consistent space, which is probably the bigger point. In the evening, rare as they are, I move over to the bed, where I can play a little bit of video games while I work, too. Probably not the best for productivity, but, hey, this is the extra time, not the official time. It’s okay.
4. Leave the House. This is a big one for me. Granted, I’m usually working out of the house for four days a week (sometimes five, like this week), but those other three (or two) days? I’ve got to get out and do something, whether it’s shopping, doing laundry, or walking on the nearby nature trail. It’s usually one of the two, but with winter coming, my wallet might suffer if I’m always shopping on those days. Maybe I can become a mall walker…But, yeah, staying at home all day makes me feel awful and unproductive, even if I’ve gotten a lot accomplished. There’s got to be something to break it up.
5. Socialize. Here’s the one I need to most help with. I’m not a very social person. Every once in a while, we’ll hook up with some friends from work, though it’s usually the boyfriend’s friends rather than mine. I don’t really have many friends. That sounds so pathetic, but I’m really just kind of introverted until I know someone. Does being social online count? Even that I’m not very good at.
So four out of five is pretty solid. I had no doubts, because I love what I’ve got going on right now, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. What sort of routine do you have in place for your writing, if any? How many of Career Girl Daily’s tips have you got locked down?
(Also, hey, the deadline for the World Unknown Review is almost here! Don’t miss it! Send some stories today!)