with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
If you’re reading here and you’re a client of mine, allow me to assure you that absolutely nothing gets in the way of my productivity. Ever! When I have work to do, I just get it done, because I’m a professional. Yup. I am totally not distracted by the string of family crises that currently feels never-ending and completely soul-sucking, so no need to worry at all.
In fact, this post is not for you, because I wouldn’t know anything about distraction. Just move along, and I’ll have that work done for you in no time.
Are they gone? Is the coast clear?
Okay: In reality, the biggest productivity struggle I’m facing is not that time I’m actually unable to work because I’m attending to my children, various appointments, phone calls about the mounting medical bills, or any of that. The biggest struggle is my reaction to this stress, in that even when I have the time to work, my ability to focus is, shall we say, slightly impaired. Or, you know, completely obliterated. There’s something about stress and unhappiness that makes me highly distractible.
So I spent some time today trying to come up with a cohesive, hard-hitting topic for my weekly post here, and finally I had to admit defeat. If the reason I’m unable to come up with something is that I’m grappling with distraction, maybe I should just… go with it. Surely I’m not the only home-office dweller easily drawn away from work for a variety of less important shiny things. Play to my strengths, right?
An Incomplete List of Things I Typically Do During the Day When I Should Be Working:
* Dishes (my office is right off the kitchen; I can’t be expected to get any work done when there are dishes in the sink)
* Baking (well now that the dishes are done, who wants some muffins?)
* Play Scrabble on Facebook (it’s my turn in several games, I don’t want to make my opponents wait)
* Catch up on friends and current events on Facebook (as long as I’m there)
* Become enraged over politics while reading Facebook (you’d think I’d learn)
* Laundry (the hamper was full)
* Take a shower (not that I shouldn’t be showering, but instead of showering first thing I often wait until later, and then there’s no particular rush, you know, so it’s often kind of leisurely)
* Write pieces of posts I’ll never publish (it’s therapy, kind of)
* Go to actual therapy (this is necessary, but…)
* Come home from therapy and sit around doing not much of anything because my brain is full (… yeah)
* Read blogs (instead of, you know, writing my own)
* Text or IM with friends to complain about how little work I’m getting done (irony!)
* Text or IM with my husband to ask him what he’s doing (know what he’s doing? Working!)
* Clean my desk (it’s always a mess)
* Water the plants (they’re thirsty, and what am I, some kind of monster?)
* Play with the dog (she needs love)
* Snack (I am currently in the Eat All The Things phase of stressing out)
* Make more coffee (mmmm… coffee)
* Go outside and get the mail (twice, if I go out too early the first time)
* Feed bills and other documents through the paper shredder (one of my favorite office tools)
* Scan and file business receipts (that would involve my other favorite office tool)
* Waste time on Twitter (after I get tired of being enraged on Facebook)
* Make lists of the things I should be doing (there’s that irony thing again)
* Stare out the window and mentally compose grocery lists (as one does)
Now that you’ve read that, don’t you feel a lot more productive, yourself? You’re welcome.
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