How to Work (or Not Work) from Home

So, you have retired and have hopes of writing and editing at home. Good for you! Now that there are no distractions, you can get those novels and articles cranked out for publication. Allow me to help you get maximum production from your day by sharing how my days are organized.  Here is a typical day for someone who works from home.  Those with children will need to add in a little more time.  I understand that children can be quite pesky when organizing the day.

6 AM:  Pet the dog.  Check emails and social media.  I am an older white lady, so Facebook comes first, then Instagram, then Twitter.  Have a brief quiet time.

7 AM:  Roll out of bed.  Get coffee.  Let it get cold while listening to my spouse list off what I need to get done today.  Make the list.  Look at it as I try to figure out how not to do any of it.  Shower and get dressed.  My husband says I will need to put on pants to run errands.  This is unreasonable.

7:45 AM:  Drive spouse’s truck to Jiffy Lube to get oil changed and tires rotated.  Wonder if Jiffy Lube is hiring.  At stoplight, notice hooker crossing the street.  Wonder how much she makes an hour.

8:00 AM  Drop off vehicle; go to restaurant to get coffee and work on my story.  Get sucked into conversation with waitress, take notes on the pompous conversation going on at the table next to mine; take a call from my daddy; turn on my iPad to get some work done; get a text that vehicle is ready.

9:00 AM Go to Publix.  Purchase the six things on the list plus ten more.  Wonder if Publix is hiring.  They make good bread, but they have to be nice to people.

10:00 AM  Ah!  I am done with the errands.  Time to write.  Of course, first I must take the dog out.  Might as well start a load of laundry.  Dishwasher is almost full – might as well do that too.  Wonder if I could work as a housecleaner.  Look around house and laugh.  Realize I need to prepare for hurricane.  Check emergency water rations, make list of snacks.  I will have to go back to Publix.

10:30 AM: Put away groceries from second Publix visit.  Sit down at the computer and edit an article in progress as the cat walks on my head.  Hate it, delete it, and start over.  Wonder if deleting old work counts as writing.  Spend time looking out window.  Window is dirty.

11:45 AM:  What should I have for lunch?  Black bean soup.  Delicious!  Oh look, the dog who could go all day without peeing when I had a real job needs to go out again.  Friend calls to see if I can take her to pick up her car from the mechanic.

12:15 PM:  Take another call from Daddy.  No matter the circumstances, never ignore a call from your dad.  Answer a bunch of texts and emails.  Switch over laundry.  Watch as cat and dog team up to catch a fly that has managed its way into the house.

1:00 PM:  Back at the computer.  Take a few minutes to choose just the right playlist. Review notes for two works in progress.  Decide to work on the brilliant snarky murder mystery that will bring world peace and set the literary world on its head.  Get stuck on a plot point that needs research.  Do the research.  Get stuck again.  Watch a spider wrapping up a butterfly he caught in the butterfly bush.

2:00 PM: Dog asks to go outside.  Daddy calls.  My boy calls.  Might as well go help friend pick up car.  Pick up car.  Friend asks how working from home is going.  Do not choke her.

3:00 PM:  Edit.  Feel dismayed at the number of dangling modifiers I caught.  Become paranoid over the ones I may not have noticed.  Fold laundry and leave it on the sofa as proof I did something today.  Router goes out.  Go to ginormous electronics store and wander until I find a router.  Pretend I know what I am doing.

4:00 PM  Hook up new router.  Troubleshoot new router.  Nurse fears and self-doubt or worth as a writer and good person in general.  Read a beautiful novel to remind myself that I have no talent and remind myself that Publix may be hiring.  Fear and loathing increase.  Dog asks to go outside but just lies in the sun – dog is a liar.

5:00 PM:  Time to fix a mediocre supper.  I will try again after spouse goes to bed.

See!  It’s all a matter of time management.  Simple. Excuse me while I go weep in the closet.


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