I’m new at this, some help please!

If you work from home, how do you do it? Get the balance between home and work I mean?

For the length of my ride this morning this question was foremost in my thoughts. I dress properly in the morning, as if I am heading to the office. Yet somewhere early in the day, especially so if there is no reason to leave the house, my eye gets distracted by the house and so I think, 15 minutes won’t hurt. Or the blog takes longer to write than I’ve allowed on the clock. Then the research material doesn’t fit together or a crucial part is missing. Let’s not even mention email.

Now that the young man of the house is on summer holiday there is an additional distraction.

Presently my set up is:

Shared desk space with my partner (in life, not business!), shared printer, own computer. Paper in boxes, paper in folders, paper in plastics bags, paper in paper bags: by paper I mean printed stuff, including yet not limited to magazines, letters, brochures, trade info, ideas, reminders, application forms etc.

Should I think about renting an office space? There are plenty of office suites around the city, with rents charged according to size and location. Financially, this was a step that I was anticipating 18 months – 2 years down the track. If I’m not getting anything done at home, it could well be better in the long-term.

Space wise we do not have the luxury of a dedicated office. Our current office takes up one corner in our open living / dining room. A desk in the bedroom is out of the question from a space point of view, and also for my own piece of mind. Now if I wake at three in the morning, I’m not disturbing anyone if I sit at the desk for an hour or so.

There is one other alternative: I could buy dedicated ‘Heather only’ filing cabinet. My ‘favourite’ furniture store has quite a nice unit called Alex, 9 drawers and stands a little over one metre high. Times 2 would be 18 different lockers that would more than cater for my needs at the present. Although space is at a premium, and I’m reluctant to bring more furniture into the house, the paper situation is driving me crazy.

Now that I’ve thought out loud for a little while, I’d like to know what you think about my situation and if you work from home, how do you do it? All comments and ideas eagerly anticipated. If you know of someone who works from home and has a good set up, please pass this on and ask them to comment. Even if you enjoy the luxury (IMO!) of a separate room to work from, I still want to hear how you cope with putting on the ‘office’ hat as opposed to the ‘home’ hat.

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3 thoughts on “I’m new at this, some help please!

  1. I feel I should respond even though I’m not totally sure what it should be. Ok, so my craft room, is my own space, (a kind of formal dining area) BUT, it is also a walk through. In that it is a Major thoroughfare.(?spelling). It would be way too hard to try and stop it, so I make sure there is nothing in the way of the many legs and arms that flail through. I have also used up another corner of the lounge for storage of my ‘take out’ boxes for the markets, and the hall cupboard is full of my stuff aswell.
    For the ‘office’ hat – I have most days to myself with kids at school, and there after, when ever I get a spare moment and the inclination. the timing of such stuff though, needs to be worked out. Look at the rest of the house diary and work out the times that will be best suited to ‘office time’ and make the most of those times. Then list up everything that needs to be done on a white board (or whatever you can utilise for this purpose) and spend 15 mins blocks or more if able to get the little jobs done. as for the space where the office is, more filing systems, and is there a way to have the shared printer etc in the middle of the work space to seperate them – giving you an illusion of more space….

  2. As someone who can barely work at work, I’m probably exceptionally unqualified for this.
    but do you have a space that can be closed off with just work stuff? And a conversation with your son that you’re there if he needs you, but you really have to spend your work time working?

  3. Before I retired I worked a little bit out of an office for the firm I represented – but, mostly from home. Mostly on the road, actually, driving around a county about 1000 sq.miles.

    The company wanted a modicum of paperwork. I filled it out for them. But, everything, I mean everything, notes, forms, was scanned and filed on a hard drive in my computer in my home office. Backed up twice to each standalone external hard drive.

    I kept no paper. I ran a truly paperless office. If I was still working, today – it would be the same with the addition of an iPad instead of laptop on the road with me.

    It can be done. And everything is searchable.

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