Thursday, February 18, 2010

It May Look Easy, But It's Not

I loved reading this post yesterday over at FreelanceSwitch. I can readily agree that while working from home is a great gig for a mother of two small children, managing the day to day distractions can be problematic. I've already blogged about how I've had to wean myself off my biggest social networking distraction, Facebook. But there are other distractions too, not related to work. Like the need to tidy up the kitchen or fold a few loads of laundry. Heck, I even get distracted some days trying to cue up the best choice of music on iTunes!
I've tried to implement a few new organizational strategies and so far they've been working pretty well. While my son is in preschool is when I am the most productive, given I have a large mug of coffee to accompany me. I try to spend that time checking e-mail, applying for jobs, setting up phone interviews for articles or simply working on assignments. I always take a lunch break away from my desk, even if it just eating a salad while catching up on a show I've recorded or flipping through a magazine.
In the afternoon when my kids get home, I take 20-30 minutes during their "downtime" and put away laundry and straighten up the kitchen for the dinner shift.
This week I actually made a meal plan based on meats and leftover sauces I had in my freezer and shopped for extra ingredients needed. Then I tried to be more efficient while prepping for those meals. For example, Sunday afternoon, while making pot roast, I cut up all the carrots and celery in the refrigerator and separated half of them for later use. Monday evening I saved some of the rotini I didn't use for my baked pasta. Tuesday I sauteed chicken, added it into chicken broth with the carrots and celery and leftover pasta and, voila, chicken noodle soup!
These little changes have led me to be more productive in my writing career as well as in my household.
How do you separate out everyday distractions when you're trying to work?

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