Chatting to a fellow blogger at a recent conference, something he said in general conversation really struck a chord with me.
We were discussing the pros and cons of working from home.
He was lamenting on the many things he has to do in one day.
I was nodding in agreement, and added, “plus the little things round the home that also distract you from your work”.
He looked at me blankly.
He told me that he doesn’t do any household chores around the home whilst working.
“Not even a load of washing, answering the doorbell or tidying the kitchen?” I asked.
“No”, he replied, “my wife looks after most household chores when she gets home from work.”
His reply surprised me. On a number of levels.
But mostly, I think that home-based workers would often find themselves wondering, “ Can I squeeze in a couple of housework chores today?” Namely;
- I will answer the doorbell because if it’s the postman then it saves me a trip to the post office later to collect the package
- I will put on and hang out a load of washing because it’s going to rain later so it will help me out in the long run
- I will tidy the kitchen before I start work because it will be easier to do it now rather than have to deal with dried crusty plates later.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe I am hindering my own work productivity in lieu of my personal productivity.
So today we’re going to look at completely switching off the household tasks involved when ‘working from home’ and consider why our home office work day should not include ANY household chores.
How To Organize Your Home Office Work Day So It Does Not Include Household Chores
1. Set Boundaries
- Setting a clear line between your home and your office means you won’t have a conflict in priorities.
- Remove anything that will remind you of home chores from your office.
- The work environment will reframe your mindset and put you in work-mode.
2. Plan Schedules Carefully
- If you really do need to do some housework before starting your work day, then consider it your “travel time”.
- Allocate some time at the start and end of every work day that you can do a quick tidy, or put some washing on.
3. Create Productive Breaks
- During your breaks between tasks or projects make lists on what you need to do at the end of the day and tomorrow morning in order to stay organized around the home.
- Productive work breaks can involve going for a short walk to clear your head, doing some filing or returning some work calls.
4. Accept and Switch Off
- It’s a mindset change. Adjust your thinking to work-mode. Things will still get done, if you can plan well enough.
- Don’t let guilt creep in. Whether it’s the dirty dishes, your Mom calling to chat, or the neighbour dropping around for a catch up. If you set personal boundaries, avoid being interrupted and blindsided by the expectations of others, so you can have a highly productive work day.
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