Many people who work traditional go-off-to-work jobs dream of being able to work from home. I have to confess, I've been one of them. But unless you live alone with no pets and a very small dwelling space to take care of way out in the woods where the nearest neighbor is miles away, working from home can be just as distracting and time consuming as working in an office.
I started working this morning at 8:45 AM. Ten minutes into it, I realized I'd better call the pool company who is replacing our pool liner about their air pump which had shut off during the night. I stop working and start searching for their phone number. Can't find it. Okay, where's the phone book? I hunt for that. Finally spot it. Look them up. Give them a call. Pool guy will be out soon. Super.
I get back to work. Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rings and the two dogs pictured above raise a ruckus that is deafening. I trot downstairs thinking it's the pool guy. It's not. It's some guy on a bicycle with an order form in his hand. Uh oh, a solicitor. I don't answer the door because we get odd people ringing our doorbells all the time in the historic neighborhood where I live. The dogs are still going nuts. Once they quiet down, I know bike guy is gone.
I trot upstairs, get back to work. Just as I'm getting on a roll, the pool guy shows up. And it really is the pool guy this time. And there's a problem. The air pump is off because the circuit blew. We hunt for the right breaker switch in the right breaker box. There are three of 'em: one of each side of the house and one in the creepy basement. Pool guy tries all of them. None fix the problem. I go back inside, climb the stairs, find my phone and call my husband. Which breaker services the outside outlets? He tells me. I trot downstairs. Pool guy has already figured it out and has air pump running. Good.
I go in and climb the stairs. All this stair climbing keeps me slim. I get back to work.
Fifteen minutes later, my dog, Bo, pictured above on the left, nudges me at my desk. That's his signal that he has to pee.
So guess what? The dogs and I trot back downstairs and I go out with them because there are now four pool guys in the backyard. Bo is enamored with these men. Instead of peeing, he has to sniff everyone's butt. Then he wants to play. After ten minutes of goofing around with the pool guys, he finally tears off running around the yard like a crazy dog and I'm assuming he pees somewhere out in the jungle that is the back of our backyard. I get our older Moxie up on the deck to come in. Bo is back to sniffing butts. I get Bo to come in and now Moxie is checking out the pool guys. This goes on for another ten minutes, neither dog listening to a word I'm saying. I finally corral them to me and we head in.
I climb the stairs yet again and get to work. I'm able to go about an hour with no interruptions.
Then my stomach growls...ferociously. Feed me, Seymour! Since I feel like my stomach lining has been turned inside out, I trudge downstairs to scrounge up some food. Meanwhile, what should have taken me two hours to do has now stretched out to three hours. Amazing.
But this is how it goes when you work from home. Also know that if you work from home, your friends, family, and neighbors will assume that you don't really work and have all the free time in the world ( unless they, too, work from home). So I've learned to set boundaries and I say no a lot. It cuts down on the distractions.
But interruptions aside, I still prefer working from home. The uniform is pretty lax (PJs, anyone?). No worries about eating and drinking while on the job. No co-workers to deal with. No generic office with bad lighting to be confined to. And the commute is super short...like from my bedroom to my office in about twenty steps. Not bad. Not bad at all.