Well, it was my second day as a “full-time writer-editor//ad-manager-support person for Maiedae” and it is going swimmingly. I am enjoying myself SO much with this! Granted, it is hard to maintain my attention span for too long, so I am making sure to get up and walk around, research items when I need to, and take mental breaks every now and then. Still, I’m getting at least 2,000 words of manuscript writing in each morning and some editing of other manuscripts, etc. I hope to up my daily word count and maybe cap it out at 5,000 words a day, but I’m starting out with 2,000 until I am consistent with that.
I confess that I woke up this morning at 7:45, rolled out of bed in my pajamas and “went” to work. I am sitting here in snowmen socks, Tinker Bell pajama pants, a Tinker Bell pajama shirt, and an old blue hoodie; ah yeah, the glamorous look. Disclaimer: I do not anticipate dressing like this everyday for work. However, while the Philosopher is out-of-town, I am less inclined to dress up. Perhaps tomorrow or Friday I’ll doll myself up for my workday. For today, however, I’m enjoying the heck out of my “relaxed look”.
Observations about working from home vs. a “day-job”:
1. I am MUCH more productive at home than I ever was at my “day-job”. So far, it is MUCH easier for me to focus on my writing. At my teaching job, all I would think about was writing, editing, etc. It made it extremely difficult to concentrate on my teaching tasks. Now, since I am working on my writing and editing from home, my mind stays on task more easily and I sure get a whole lot more accomplished each day.
2. I am not emotionally drained at the end of the workday. I have the highest respect for teachers (many people in my family are teachers and I was one for two years.) Still, it is a tough line of work and every part of your being (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) are turned on all of the time. It is exhausting. So far, this job leaves me feeling accomplished, relaxed, and refreshed at the end of the day. Over time, this may not always be the case, but as of right now, I am feeling much more myself than I ever have.
3. It saves a ton of gas money. I used to have about a two-hour commute (an hour both ways), and even with our little Honda, gas bills were monstrous. Though I may have taken a significant pay-cut in leaving my day-job, we are at least saving lots of money in this area from now on.
4. I have access to good, nutritious food. I had a very tiny refrigerator in my classroom when I was teaching. That meant that I could not always bring all of the good-for-me-food that I would have wished. Here at my house, I don’t have to worry about packing lunch in the smallest possible container. I can go and make nutritious lunches and dinners without worrying about it. At first, I was worried that I would be tempted to eat all of the time and graze while working from home. I know it’s only been two days, but so far, I haven’t even been tempted.
5. I can tailor my perfect work environment. I hate strong artificial lighting–especially in the morning. At school, it would kill me to have to turn on those huge fluorescent lights, but I would do it so the children would not be sluggish when they came in to the room. Now that I’m at home, I go into my office in the mornings, open the two windows’ blinds and light a candle. That’s all the light I feel that I need; all day. If it is cloudy outside, I’ll turn on the overhead light (which is blessedly not fluorescent) and I’ll enjoy it. When I’m working, though, low-lighting is my favorite. As well, because I own all of the furniture and office supplies, I can move everything where I want it and arrange things the way I want them, vs. what students need.
6. I have my precious pets in the room with me for instant soul-pick-me-upping. I have a darling pair of sister fancy rats that live with us as our “furry children”. When I set up our guest room as my office, they came to “live with me”. They had previously been staying in the Philosopher’s office, but I wanted them to be with me when I started working from home. They are so precious and sweet. I know it is probably messing with their heads that I am up and working during their prime sleeping time (rats are nocturnal), but so far, they seem to be adjusting pretty well. When I first come into work, they are just going to sleep, so they get to stare at me and look extremely precious for a few minutes before they hit the sack.
7. I have TIME to do work, housework, and fun stuff each day. Before, when I was working three-ish jobs, it was extremely overwhelming to get everything done during the day and still have time for some rest and relaxation. Now, I can take a break and get some dishes done or laundry. I can work a full-day and still have time to cook and eat dinner, get some housework done, and rest. No longer do I have to try to micromanage every detail of my day just to fit it all in. It is extremely liberating.
8. I can eat lunch with the Philosopher (and actually have a lunch break.) Most schools provide the teachers with “duty-free” lunch, which means they get to retreat to some quiet corner of the school without their students and enjoy a break and lunch. At the school where I worked, there was no such luxury. Now, I get to take a lunch break each day and eat with my husband. We both have little projects we do during lunch (some days, we rest, though), but having that time to checkout from work for a while is important.
9. I get to arrange my schedule and move it around however I want. This is a big one for me. Some may call it “controlling”, but I call it “organizing” my time. I was always the kid in school that hated working with other people–not because I was shy or introverted, but because I was extremely self-motivated. When I got a project, I developed a plan, followed it through, and got things done to the best of my ability. I am good at managing my time. Of course, as an adult, I have many situations (even working from home) where I need to work with other people and I am now good at that skill, too. However, my favorite is to work alone and get things done!
10. I get to stick to a goal-tasks schedule vs. a traditional schedule. While my hours may often look like a traditional schedule (as in 8-whatever), I am much more interested in identifying tasks I need to accomplish in a day and getting them done no matter what the time looks like. At the moment, I do all writing related work in the morning (some in the afternoon if there is more to do) and in the afternoons, I do my work for a small graphic design company called Maiedae. I am their Chief Editor, Ad Manager, and Support Person. I LOVE what I do with them and it is nice to have another source of income than just writing alone. P.S.–you should all check them out! Those ladies are EXCELLENT graphic designers and their blogs are amazing!
Well, there you have it, folks! Those ten observations are from my day and a half as a from-home-worker. I hope you enjoyed them. If any of you guys work from home, I’d love to hear your observations from your point of view! Perhaps in a few months I’ll do another observations post to see if my opinions have changed at all.
Thanks for stopping by,