Friday, May 25, 2007

Working at Home - Time Management Tips

Hello everyone and apologies for my absence. I was away in Greece since April. My father passed away and I made it just in time to see him, talk with him, and tell him how much I loved him. Dad was my best friend, my motivator, and my writing inspiration and his teachings will continue to inspire me for many years to come.

This month's topic is Working at Home - Time Management Tips.

As a full time writer/editor, finding time to read, review books, write my own stories, and edit for several publishing houses and my own freelance editing business is a chore and a half.

Try living in a house where family members 'think' you are playing on the computer and not actually 'working. Imagine a home where five kids, four of them being adults, come and go, "Mom, what's for dinner?", "Mom, did you wash my...", "Mom, tell her to stop taking my clothes!". Yes, imagine trying to edit 'peacefully' in these circumstances.

But guess what? I do? Perhaps it's the mother in me and quite capable of tuning in and out whenever I want but I do get work done, most of the time on the proposed deadlines.

Most of the time I try to get up early to catch up with some editing while everyone is still asleep. That time fluctuates anytime between 4am - 5:30am.

Then the making of beds, preparing breakfast and figuring out the supper meal begins. When everyone is out of the house again, usually before lunch, I hop on my laptop and work nonstop until 4pm.

Most of the time, I hop on and off the computer between 4pm and 8pm, working around the house in-between. Then my fulltime ritual begins again around 10pm when everyone is too booped out to call out my name, and I'll continue until my eyes begin to droop, maybe midnight or 1am.

Is this a sane schedule to follow? No.

Then what motivates me to follow it? Simple...a love for what I'm doing.

When you have a passion for something as much as I have for writing, then you will find the time during the day to devote even an hour to it.

Oh, there are many excuses I've heard from not only writers, but from other at-home professionals:

-but the phone keeps me from working-- then don't answer it when you are in your scheduled 'work' time. If you were working from out of your home, would you allow your family and friends to interrupt you at work? I have call display so I see who is calling and make a mental note to call them later on, when I'm 'off' work. Make sure to tell your friends you won't answer the phone between so and so a time.

-there's so much to do around the house--then delegate. If you were working somewhere else, you'd still have to do this after you came home, right? Ask everyone to pitch in and help you around the house.

and many more excuses. As I wrote above and I stick by that: when you have a passion for what you are doing you will always find the time to accomodate it somewhere in your daily routine. Think of your at-home business as your baby. You need to nurture it from young in order for it to build into something you'll be proud of. You'd never neglect a child, then why neglect your business? You always find the extra time for play time with your child, then why can't you find one hour for your business?

As the saying goes: where there's a will there's a way.

Make sure to bookmark us and come back often and read what some of the other participating members have to offer in this month's topic: WORKING AT HOME- TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS.

Here are some of our upcoming topics to look forward to:

June: Fantasy: What I love about Fantasy

July: Losing weight after 40

Lea Schizas

1 comment:

publisher said...

Both my wife and I work at home as full time writers and, in my case, publisher ( For families with nobody with a paycheck and benefits, there is another whole set of issues--what happens if someone gets sick. The cost of medical insurance is very high indeed, but don't make the false economy of going without. One hospital visit can bankrupt even moderately successful individuals.

Because my child is an adult, I don't have the day care issues, but I'll certainly agree that working at home won't, well, work if you can't work because you're letting yourself be distracted. I have a fixed schedule for myself--before breakfast, I follow up on any sales that came in overnight and check to see if I have any Amazon or other orders I need to respond to. After breakfast, I write until I finish my ten pages (which is my daily quota). After lunch (which happens whenevery I get my pages written--sometimes in the late afternoon), I exercise, walk to the post office to mail anything ordered, and then pick a task (Monday is submissions day, for example).

One thing that doesn't happen EVER during the day is turning on the TV. What a time sump that is.

I think I'm more regimented at home than I was when I used to work at an office. Why? Because I realize how lucky I am to be doing this and how easy it would be to lose it if I every lose focus.

Rob Preece