Time management and the scourge of the home worker….

4 Aug

OK, so the clear desk policy hasn’t really worked out – at all – in fact things are worse than ever.  On the plus side I have within reach pretty much every item I could ever need in my day-to-day working life (and then some).

In my defence, it’s the UK summer holidays, that time of year when British children get to spend 6 long weeks terrorising their parents.  Today I’ve caught up with emails, made a couple of appointments, shuffled through my to-do list, built a chair, watched 2 DVDs, broken up 3 fights and failed to persuade my 5yo to get dressed (it’s now 16.55).

As far as actually getting work done, I’m very organised.  I have a quoting and invoicing system that works, job bags for every project and a huge pad on which I scribble my ‘notes to self’. Being a home worker means that I often have to juggle tasks, I can’t just leave the house at 8am, work all day and return with a clear head for 6.30.  I’m pretty much always thinking, and applying those thoughts whenever I get the chance.  For my clients this is generally good news – as most of what I do relies on a healthy does of creative thinking, the more evolutionary time that goes into it, the better, and you’d be surprised at the ideas I come up with on the school run.

The school holidays are tough though, after a day hiding from entertaining my children, the idea of sitting down to work is not as tempting as the whole ‘slob out on the sofa and watch whatever nonsense Sky has gifted me this evening’ thing.  I’m tired, my brain is cluttered and my productivity suffers.  The first week off is generally a write-off anyway, so that was expected.  By now I should have shrugged off the change in routine and have settled back into making it work.

However this year we decided to build me a new office. This involved converting part of our garage – If memory serves, we did the basic stud walls and shell back in July.  The plan was for it all to be finished for the end of July and yet here we are in August and I still have a shell…

Yesterday heralded much excitement as the new external door was supposed to go in.  This was to be followed by plastering, plumbing, a new floor and finally, lights and a bit more carpentry.

The door was cracked – it had to go back, apparently they hadn’t checked it before leaving the warehouse.  I won’t name and shame (yet). I’m a benevolent type and I’m giving them a second chance – but there’s only so much that a poor home worker can take.

In the meantime, I’ll be here pretty much all night for the next few weeks – do pop in and say hello, I’ll keep the tea flowing…


10 Responses to “Time management and the scourge of the home worker….”

  1. TheMadHouse August 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    I hope that the office moves fast!

    • Paula August 5, 2010 at 10:09 am #

      Me too Jen, thanks! x

  2. christinemosler August 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Oh I hear you! My lot are having a bedroom shuffle. We knew it would come as DS2’s bedroom is a through way to DS1’s. Consequently DS2 is moving into my office/the spare bedroom and I’m moving up next door to DS1…nightmare!

    • Paula August 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

      Oh that’s awful! You need a pod, or a shed at the very least!

  3. jfb57 August 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    I don’t know how you all manage to juggle so many balls in the air. At least at school I was in the same sort of ‘genre’. I may (no definitely will) be coming for some hints & tips if this new venbture takes off!

    • Paula August 5, 2010 at 10:10 am #

      I drop them a lot Julia! Very excited about your new venture….. 🙂

  4. Rosie Scribble August 11, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Paula I could hug you. I can so relate to this and I thought it was just me going quietly mad here in my own. We are going away again on Friday for a few nights which means that for the next few days (and yesterday) I have nad no choice but to start my working day at 8pm as there is some much to be done but no way of getting anything done in the day. When we arrive home at the beginning of next week it will be exactly the same. This is the first summer I’ve had work on. I’m very grateful of course but I had no idea the summer holidays would be this tough. Relieved it is not just me. Cup of strong tea? xx

    • Paula August 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      I’m always up for hugs Rosie! It’s really hard isn’t it? And then you check yourself for wingeing – because we’re lucky to be working, right?! What we need is a working mother’s collective…providing (free) childcare and support – oh, and we all need to live next door to one another…… aha! The commune – tis the only answer – now, about that tea… xx


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