When you work from home, there is the unique challenge of keeping your mitts off the messes in your home, and actually doing your work. It’s harder than it looks to balance it out. I’ve been writing full time for about ten years now, and I’ve realized that I have a choice–write full time, or clean full time. Pick one.
It might not surprise you to know that I’ve chosen the writing option. 😉 But that doesn’t mean that keeping up with everything else is easy! So I have a few tips for you work-at-home types.
- Delegate! You are not the full-time housekeeper. You are a writer, and your working hours are sacred. That means you don’t have time to do all the things people hope you’ll do. Learn to delegate jobs to other members of the family to make that workload a litter fairer.
- Wait before you clean the bathroom… just a bit. With your long hours of writing, there is nothing more irritating than rushing around cleaning up, to have nobody notice or recognize just how heroic your efforts are. That is why I recommend waiting two days longer than you usually would to clean the bathroom. I can guarantee that not only will your family notice when you clean it, they will thank you for it. You’re welcome.
- The dishes can wait. If you were in an office across town for 8 hours a day, you wouldn’t worry about the cereal bowls sitting on the counter. And neither should you worry about them during your writing time. Dishes, laundry, the carpet… whatever it is that irritates you just to see it–turn your back! You have a chapter to write. Get to work.
- Don’t forget to rest. When your work hours are over, turn off the computer and spend that time with your family. It’s too easy to let work take over when it’s just a matter of sitting down at your computer and doing a little blogging or emailing to catch up. You love these people, remember? They deserve your time, too.
And there you have it–the best housekeeping tips I’ve got. You can tell that my writing hasn’t been going well when my home is sparkling. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t clean your home, but I AM saying the you and your family should do that cleaning outside of work hours. Because at the end of your work day, you can have a chapter written, or a clean floor/stove/kitchen/whatever. One of those is going to feel more satisfying to you. You have to decide which one you want.
Best of luck!