Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today was my first day ever teleworking. I am lucky enough to have a job that is "telework-friendly" at a place that encourages teleworking (for both office space and environmental reasons) and I've always wanted to try, but I was worried that I would be too distracted at home to accomplish anything.  I log into my work account on the occasional weekend or evening to finish up a big project or shoot off an important e-mail, but I have never sat down at home for a solid 8 hours and worked. How could I get any work down with a TV, two cats, and a story to edit right at my fingertips? So instead of going through all of the paperwork, I decided to give it a trial run first and figure out if teleworking works for me.

I was a bit slow to start this morning- I tried to work for about 45 minutes in comfy clothes. I did change out of my pajamas, but I tossed on an old t-shirt and some shorts. Even with the help of my morning caffeine, my brain refused fully engage. Around 9:15, I broke down and put on some work clothes. Don't get me wrong- I didn't brush my hair or put on deodorant or anything drastic like that, but  I did have my business casual slacks on (oh, yeah).

Once that was taken care of, things really got rolling. I resisted the temptation to work on Power Trio. I didn't even open it! One cat was too busy snoring in her cat tree to notice me sitting five feet away; the other didn't even emerge from the bedroom until 2:30! And I had enough to keep me busy, so even the siren song of the TV didn't affect me. Really, the only problem I had was knowing when to turn off. I managed to pry myself away from the scrren about an hour later than usual. I like to think it evens out this time, considering my first 45 minutes weren't the most productive, but I think if I keep this up in the future, I'll have to be better about working "normal hours." It's easy to lose track of time when you're already home.

Maybe it's my science brain, but I don't feel like I can really judge teleworking based on one experience (it's not a viable sample size to determine statistical significance!), so I want to give it a whirl next week too. Here's hoping it goes as well as today. Anybody out there got any tips or tricks for staying focused (be it on work, schoool, or whatever), while you're on your computer but not working on your writing?

Also, I searched for an image to include with this post using the keywords "telework" and "Snuggie" and there was nothing to be found. Someone who owns a Snuggie needs to remedy that immediately!


  1. Teleworking rocks! If your teleworking isn't a full-time writing job yet- what you're doing is valuable practice for the writing lifestyle. Avoiding all the pitfalls and comforts of home that distract from the work that needs to be done...what great practice!

  2. Agreed. Just treat your work from home the same as when you write. Changing clothes is a good start to teach yourself it's time to get to work. Getting up at the same time as you normally do might help the transition as well.

    Although soon you need to wean yourself from real people clothes. One of the benefits of teleworking is doing it in your jammies. You could also take a lunch break for real, instead of eating at your computer desk. Get up, make a sammich, maybe even go out for lunch. Just so you recharge the batteries.

    Good luck!

  3. I work from home a lot, but my trick for staying focused probably won't be very useful. I spend a lot of time at my job waiting for pages to load, which is dangerous because it's very easy to wander over to Wikipedia while I'm waiting and suddenly find that I've lost half an hour. If I keep a movie playing in the background, I can glance up at it for a few seconds and then go back to my loaded page. This afternoon's feature presentation will be Winter's Bone :)

  4. I like having a physical difference in space for work from home. Telecommuting was fun at first but I ended up backing off. I didn't decompress and found myself working more, stressed out all the time and generally not happy. So remember to check in with yourself too if you pursue this to make sure work doesn't invade your "home" time.

  5. Misty, thanks for stopping by! The teleworking is my regular job and not a writing one, so I have to be very careful to keep my WIP closed. There are pitfalls abound!

    Elizabeth, I was really disappointed to have to put on work clothes. I'll try harder next time. :)

    Rachel, interesting technique! I actually do the same thing when I'm working on my writing. Except I can only put on things I've seen before, else I spend too much time watching and not enough working.

    Steph, that's totally my fear! Especially after I noticed how easy it was to work an extra hour or so. I do like keeping work and home

  6. wait for it..... separated! But I also am moving to a very noisy space shortly and am worried that I'll have a hard time concentrating at work.