Can you Really Please All of the People All of the Time?
When I first started sourcing work from home, I never imagined that soon I’d be so busy that I’d often be working 6 days a week 10 hours a day. I’ve worked part time from a home office for over ten years; however, PPH propelled me to a fulltime success beyond my wildest dreams. This, of course, is exhilarating but time needed to be optimized if I was going to make it work.
The biggest challenge I found was the attitudes of others. Working part time was fine; as I could adapt and make sure I had time for everyone. However when my hours escalated to over 45 a week, I found that the time in my office was valuable and should be as productive as possible.
This meant discouraging regular visits from the children and husband, fielding calls from friends and family until the evening, making sure visits from friends and family were done out of office hours and standing up to my Mum. She thought I didn’t have a “proper job” so could pop to the post office, wait in for her washing machine repair man and do all the errands she couldn’t because she worked in an office 9-5!
For a while I let frustration build, uttering profanities as my husband interrupted a call to ask if I’d seen the Sky remote, or mother would pop in expecting me to take an hour off as I listened to her relationship woes. Then the bubble burst as I found myself sacrificing time with my children because my to-do list wouldn’t be completed until late into the evening, when I knew without interruptions I’d be done much quicker.
Fortunately PPH helped me save time other ways, from invoicing, keeping track of projects to contracts, yet something still needed to give, and so some ground rules were laid.
Rule 1) Pretend I’ve left the house at 8am
Even my toddler will wave bye bye as I leave the living room with a coffee only to step into the room next door. It has helped so much, it allows us to both to appreciate that just because I’m working from home, it doesn’t mean it’s not a proper job.
Rule 2) Email me
This may sound silly, my husband is just 50 feet away yet still if he needs to find the remote I ask him to email. This way I choose when to reply so he doesn’t interrupt me as I’m writing a sentence, which can leave me scratching my head trying to remember where I was for ten minutes after he’s gone!
My office is a grown up haven, completely child free, people are not permitted to enter. It may sound harsh but as I say, “as soon as I finish you can have 100% attention instead of 40%”.
In the beginning it was easy to take a long lunch or to do a little housework in between projects. Now, due to PeoplePerHour it’s impossible. I’m not complaining at all but like all working mums I’m constantly on the hunt for that perfect balance.
Just yesterday my mum turned up as she had a few hours off from work. I’m afraid I was a bit of a wimp and applied for pension credit for her, found the sofa she wants to buy online, and submitted a complaint to Morrisons because of their poor customer service. The binging of Skype, the ringing of the phone and the manic look in my eyes still didn’t put her off, so I’ve a way to go before I convince her I’ve got a “proper job”.