Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Ten Second Commute

 The Ten Second Commute.
Jennifer Anne Gregory

As a freelance writer it’s a given I work from home, or, if I hitch a plane to England, my mother’s. Mostly my day goes a bit like this and I hope my publisher has suddenly lost the ability to read.
Plan to write.
Get dragged down the road by the Mastiff and Anatolian (dogs).
Respond to e-mails.
Plan to write.
Get dragged again.
Do laundry ‘coz being at home I see it pile up.
Eat lunch.
Plan some writing time.
Text, skype or call my mother to apologize for not texting, skyping or calling since the last time a full moon fell on the third Wednesday of the month.
Plan dinner.
Plan to write the next day.
Plan to convince those nearest and dearest that I do, in fact, have a job.

At some point a friend informs me via e-mail that I have it easy. Being a writer I must have lots of time on my hands.  She wishes she could just take ‘time off.’ Really?
Make that both of us.

Each day my ten second commute takes me from the bedroom to my office at  the other end of the landing where I hit the keyboard, face (book) first.  Before    brushes, both tooth and hair, (I never said this was going to be pretty) have crossed my path, I have responded to emails, got distracted by emails and glanced off into the woods across the street, daydreaming about a nine to five complete with  regular paycheck and Christmas bonus. I plan to go running…one day, however I am too busy rubbing the sleep out my eyes from a late writing session the night before when I finally had time to write to deadline. 3.00 am finish, meet 6.00 am start.

According to a 2004 employment survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor) two-thirds of the 7.0 million workers identifying themselves as self employed operated from a business run exclusively from the home.  A random search of home based occupations through popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo reveal home based opportunities as diverse as medical billing, direct sales, on line consulting, survey taking and the traditional envelope stuffing.

But who has time to work from home? A question I ask while directing the plumber to a blocked drain and a broken garbage disposal. “It’s all in the planning,” a life coach friend tells me. Ask yourself at the end of each day, are you satisfied with your performance? If not, why not? Be honest. Was there a legitimate reason or did you give yourself the afternoon off to watch ‘All My Children.’

Make a plan and stick to it. Working from home offers great flexibility, but the work still needs to get done. Whatever non-work related tasks you tackle during the day, are you prepared to pay the piper at midnight when you should be sleeping? Plan accordingly; schedule when to make phone calls, respond to e-mails and work projects. If you are more revved up around 11.00 am do the major tasks then. 

I plan to make coffee.  Check.
Drink, said coffee. Check.
Celebrate with another coffee. Add a biscotti for job well done. 
Plan to weigh self.
Plan to throw out remaining biscotti.
Plan to ‘Google’ 5K training plans.
Plan to throw out bathroom scale.

See how hard this working from home gig is?

Anyway, The Ten Second Commute is finished, so that is something for the day.
Meantime, one of my dogs needs to have his ears cleaned, and my husband wants to know why I tossed his muddy socks into the laundry basket.
Apparently, he still needs them.
Whoever said a writer’s life is glamorous, has obviously never written a sentence, never mind a book.

To Do-
Put tomorrow’s date on today’s ‘LIST OF THINGS TO DO’.
Feel better.
Celebrate with a glass of wine. A toast to Jennifer Average. There’s always another day.


Jennifer Anne Gregory lives in Virginia with her husband and their two dogs Mouse and Bailey. Her paranormal/fantasy novel, ‘Among Other Edens’  (Richardson Publishing, 2010) is written under the pseudonym, Guinevere Edern. Somewhere within the flatlands of her head, the goats, cows and horses still graze......

1 comment:

  1. So true! All I can say is that it is even harder with a 4-year-old at home. I plan when he is awake, so I can accomplish when he sleeps.


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