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Thursday, December 6, 2007

The biggest problem with working at home has always been how to structure my time. Really, thatís just about the only problem. Out of necessity over the last couple of weeks, Iíve had to get my work done in small doses. First I couldnít keep the old computer on very long at a time because it was overheating, and then I took so long setting up the new computer that I could barely move my neck.

Now that I donít have to worry about a computer burning up, and I have full use of my physical faculties, Iíve found myself falling back into old habits, where I work when I feel like it and slack off when it suits me. Yesterday, it suited me just fine to get very little work done, in spite of the intimidating length of my to-do list.

Last night, after a fairly unproductive day, I wasnít feeling too good about myself. So today I rededicated. I set the kitchen timer for 40 minutes at a time and got as much done as possible before it went off. Then Iíd find something else to do (usually sitting in the recliner filled this hole in the schedule) for a little while, and then Iíd set the timer again. If I got interrupted during one of my work sessions, Iíd reset the timer to 40 as soon as I hung up the phone, and then get back to it.

Now, this is a great system if you actually do some work during the allotted time. Thatís where the experience of the last little while came in handy, because when the other computer was overheating, I had no choice. Work had to be done while I had the chance. I learned something about how to work during that time. And yes, I can still learn new tricks.

Today I managed to stay focused and get through three or four times as much work as I did yesterday, all the while knowing that every 40 minutes I was going to take a break. Itís a revelation! I should bottle and sell this system.

5 October 2007

Cloud calligraphy.

This morning I took some time out to meet Suzanne for coffee. She had Aiden and Kylie with her, so we didnít get much chance to talk, but we did get a lot of laughing accomplished. And Mom joined us, so it was like a little family reunion of sorts. We donít get to see each other nearly as much as I would like, so this was pretty cool. Itís partly my fault that we donít get together, of course, because I tend to stretch out my work day to the point where I hardly ever get out of the house. Now that Iím teaching myself to stay more focused during the day, maybe that will be less of a problem.

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