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Thread: Working from home

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Working from home

    Not really looking for advice or anything, but had an interesting day today that wasn't exactly what I planned and just thought I'd share.

    As many of you know I left my job at international insurance mega corp last May to work for a much smaller UK based company that is working hard to get traction in the US in my particular specialty after building a decent amount of that business in the London insurance market over the last 20 years. The US subsidiary of my newish employer is so small that they don't have a San Francisco office, which is pretty rare for insurance companies. Consequently, I now work from home, for the first time in my life. My boss is in Chicago. For the most part I have LOVED working from home. Off the top of my head there are a bunch of reasons:

    -I'm an introvert so not having to interact face to face with people every day is a plus.
    -The time I used to waste chatting with coworkers at the coffee machine or whatever is now spent doing things like putting laundry in the washer
    -I don't have to suffer San Francisco's abysmal transit system on a daily basis
    -I get interrupted a lot less, especially in the afternoon since a lot of the people I have to interact with are on the east coast so they go home shortly after I get back to work after lunch, which allows me to focus on underwriting tougher accounts without interruption

    Today I was struggling to stay focused after lunch (and had a few things I REALLY wanted to get done today) so I switched pandora to the 80's dance music channel. (The classical music channel just wasn't cutting it.) Shortly after that I texted a dear friend that working from home benefit #254 was being able to blast 80's dance music while I worked and not have anyone complain. About ten minutes later I realized that while I had indeed gotten past the post lunch malaise I was in fact not working, and instead dancing around the room and hitting the repeat button everytime my favorite dance song from the late 80's was about to end. And I will be likely be singing this incessant tidbit from Evelyn Thomas's "High Energy" all weekend:

    Bum bum bum. badum bum. Bum bum badum badum bum bum. <repeat 500 times in seven minutes alternating up and down a half step each time>

    Don't go searching out the song if you've never heard it. I don't want to be held responsible for putting a major earworm in your head.

    Monday morning I will need to get started working a bit earlier than usual. I have a bunch of things that I had hoped to deal with today that I just didn't get to for some reason.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    That freedom of working at home is enjoyable. Some can manage it, some cannot. Music is a wonderful distraction. Have you found the music that gets you to focus yet?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    jp, I've worked from home for 12 years now, and I love it for all the reasons you cited. But I also often fall prey to the pitfalls. Yes, I've wasted many a moment due to my focus evaporating. I have a major deadline and all of a sudden it's imperative that I clean out the utility drawer.

    I sometimes use music like you do to help me focus--either classical or soft rock. My best tip, though, is this: If I have a deadline or something I need to do, I take my old fashioned kitchen timer--the kind that goes tick-tick-tick and I set it for 45 minutes. I do not let myself go on the internet, respond to emails, or answer the phone, or think about anything other than the task at hand for 45 minutes. Have you ever seen how amazing football teams can perform in the final minutes at the end of the game? Well, it's amazing what you can do in 45 minutes when you focus with intensity.

    That usually works, and now that tick-tick-tick has become a subliminal cue for me.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #4
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    Catherine, I love the timer idea, and I have a timer, so I am going to try that.
    I have worked at home exclusively for ten years now, and I like some things about it, like the flexibility, and truly dislike others--if I had scads of money, and the weather was good, I'd be happy in one of those shared office spaces where you see other people, have no barking dogs, and where you get to shut the door on work when you leave.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I love you word picture, jp1.

    I really enjoyed SF's transit when I was there for work--I could get from Walnut Creek to downtown and navigate your wonderfully compact city using it. Apparently, it's deteriorated.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    My last year at the state I worked from home one day a week. Since retiring it’s been 7 years part time from home. All positives for me but I am disciplined. It doesn’t work for my husband at all.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    That phenomenon where you'd rather do anything but the task at hand is real. Once when I faced a daunting income tax filing, I suddenly decided I needed to work on a quilt. If I could only fool myself into thinking I was avoiding some odious task by doing so, maybe I could make some headway in life.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    razz, I've found that different music works for different times of the day. In the morning when I'm fresh I have a mellow acoustic guitar channel that works or I do the classical channel. It makes me feel happy and relaxed, the sun is shining, the coffee is hot (and way better than office coffee...), and the music not distracting. By lunchtime I usually switch to a jazz channel I've set up that plays John Coltraine, Thelonius Monk, Dave Brubeck and that sort of thing. By 4:00 or 4:30 I've usually moved on to my Ozzy Osbourne or Bruno Mars channels, or occasionally one of my dance channels so I can power through until 6:00 or 6:30 when SO gets home. (trying to work after SO gets home just doesn't work. He wants to tell me about his day and turns on the news, etc.) Most days this cycle of music works pretty well but I must not have slept well Thursday night because all day yesterday I was just tired and distracted and really wanted to be doing just about anything other than work.

  9. #9
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    I have a manuscript I've promised to deliver the beginning of this week. That said? We had various emergencies and whatnot over the weekend, so it didn't get done. I had to do it or at least get it started today...and it took a LOT of reminding myself that I need the good vibes from this job, not to mention the experience, as this is a new aspect of publishing for me...

    I finally got going, but it was after lunch, sigh.

    DH and I both work at home. Usually it works just fine. He was gone today and it was tough to put my nose on that grindstone!

  10. #10
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    This week my boss was in town so we had a bunch of appointments and it was all good. He went home this morning so I was focused on getting back on track. Busy day but all was good. Stayed focused until SO was leaving the office. At the end of the day I put on the Macklemore channel. There are just too many songs that get my heart rate up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGhoLcsr8GA

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