I am one of a million Australians who works from home.
That figure grows each year as people throw off their suits, whack on their trackies and pop on the kettle.
And I want to know from you other 999,999 homies, how do you do it without switching on the telly or getting caught up in some other really important task, such as playing Angry Birds?
Some people work very effectively from home, while others are absolutely useless at it. I am fairly useless at it.
You see, I am not averse to pushing back projects in lieu of spending time watching Ellen. My addiction to all things featuring caffeine sees me down at the café several times daily, where sometimes I will run into a mate and boom, there goes an hour wasted on whining about whatever needs my attention.
I do not write checklists. I do not have a special computer program that tells me to when I need to invoice clients but I certainly will click over onto any email alerting me to a super sale that is currently on.
Instead of writing a post or researching an article, I will spend hours trawling the internet planning a non-existent holiday to Thailand. I will actually go through all the motions, selecting my seats on the plane and upgrading myself, until it comes down to the part where you have to put your credit card details in.
A credit card that is maxed out. Because I have not been invoicing anyone.
So seeing that I am suitably unsuitable to dish out advice on this particular topic, I feel that I should anyway.
There are seven popular rules to adhere to when working from home, which I list here with my helpful responses:
Rule 1: Have a dedicated space to work
This means a room. With a desk. And one of those wire contraptions with the seven hanging balls which sway back and forth on your desk so you can be taken seriously. Put up a thought-provoking saying on the wall to inspire you.
Do not work in bed under any circumstances. Unless it is really, really cold.
Rule 2: Define work hours
This will, of course, depend on the amount of work you have on. In my case, it is certainly feasty and faminey and that is just in a 24-hour period. So I cannot really define them, but if I could choose them, it would be from 11 am till 1 pm, with an hour off for lunch.
Rule 3: Dress Up to Boost your Spirits
What a lot of rot. I have a special outfit that I work in. It is a pair of grey tracksuit pants, a t-shirt, a pair of fluffy ugg boots and a camel coloured nasty cardi with a hole in the side. I used to make apologies for my appearances when people popped in, but now I don’t bother. That cardi gives me magical creative powers. Judge away!
Rule 4: Keep away from distractions
Never going to happen. I eagerly seek them out.
Rule 5: Communicate your work hours to your colleagues and boss
I work for myself so I do not have to worry about this, but when I used to have a boss, I would do the old “send an email at 8.55 pm” trick so that she thought I was putting on a big day. In the end, she just concluded I was really very bad at my job.
Rule 6: Treat your lunch hour as you would when at work
Lunch hour is all day every day. NEXT.
Rule 7: Stop work as planned
No problem there! The school run rings in the time to knock off. Anything not achieved can be put on the one meter-high wavering pile that will make up the next days tasks. The trick to the pile is to take from the bottom.