Thursday morning and here I am. 13 years, 8 months, 1 week and 4 days since I started working from home.
The Mac has chimed and the iPhone’s charged. A mug of tea steams.
There’s lots to do. Start with what’s needed first, always best.
I do think I’m better at this home-working lark than most.
Some crack almost immediately.
Either they can’t stop doing the chores, even though at the weekend that’s the last thing they would choose to do.
Or they can’t face the loneliness. So it gets to 10 am and they’re out the door running to their shared workspace.
Others are fine as long as it’s only one day a week. Friday, of course. No people and meetings, just emails and conference calls.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be all work, does it?
Firstly, your commute is now measured in metres not miles. So that can mean extra time in bed and no time wasted changing out of your jim-jams.
Or there’s that weekend away and it makes so much sense to beat the rush-hour traffic, doesn’t it?
Or you’re wrecked.
But mainly you work from home to do some work and if you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, it’s amazing how much you can get done. It can be too much. I often get to mid-afternoon and I’m knackered.
What’s needed are little distractions during the day, punctuation points. A snack, a drink, a package for next door.
If you’re not hungry, thirsty or interrupted, then interrupt yourself. Have a quick scroll, watch a video.
Or just move. I know someone who goes out every hour and a half for a brisk walk round the block.
There are other advantages of working from home, too.
I have seen so much more of my children than parents who have to go to work. My Year 6 maths skills are now really promising.
It is definitely better when I need to focus on something, like thinking through a strategy or a research debrief.
I can take a break, it is allowed. I’m being paid to add value, not to sit there from 9 to 5.
I can reflect on an email reply. Or craft a carefully-worded spontaneous-sounding comment on LinkedIn.
And it’s comfortable. The chair, the screen, the mouse, they’re all just as I like it. When I come back to my desk, it’s just as I left it.
I can even decide not to take a phone call. No one’s watching.
That’s the thing. I’m in control. Master of my own little world.
But I need to be careful.
I read an interview with an author who said that, when she was in the middle of writing a book, she felt no need to have contact with real people because “I’m completely happy in the company of my characters”.
The journey into madness starts from here.
Time for a coffee, I think. I’ll go to Nero’s.