54 gratitude: working from home day

Working from home as a freelance writer certainly has its perks and this entrepreneurial journey has provided me with a different set of experiences than if I had taken a more conventional route instead. I’ve written before about the many misconceptions people may have about my chosen career, so I thought I’d follow up with some fun little insights into my daily life.

I Spent My First Five Years Working from a Laptop

I know there are many people out there who have a notebook as their primary computer, particularly when it comes to folks who don’t need all that much processing power to complete their daily needs. I was one of those people for about the first five years of my full-time writing career. This gave me a good deal of mobility, as I could just as easily set up camp on my dining room table as I could at the local coffee shop.

While I did work almost exclusively on a laptop during that time, I didn’t work solely with the laptop. That is to say that I tried out a variety of docking stations and laptop stands, which I would then use in tandem with at least a separate mouse, if not also a keyboard and an external monitor. This kind of configuration worked for a while, but I have since moved on to using a “true” desktop PC as my primary computer, working off a dual monitor setup that allows for better multitasking and background processes. It also helps that I have a spare bedroom as my home office, a topic I discuss in Beyond the Margins.

My Meal Schedule Is Completely Out of Whack

There is something to be said about the “time freedom” that running your own business can afford, but this also becomes something of a double-edged sword. I try to stick to a “normal” eating schedule as best that I can. In the absence of outside forces, like familial obligations and such, I can sometimes “forget” to eat lunch or dinner. It’s not out of the ordinary for me to eat lunch at closer to 3pm or to have dinner at 9pm. Of course, this altered meal schedule is both directly influenced by and directly impacts my sleeping schedule too.

Rise and Shine Time Is Around Noon

“It must be nice to sleep in every day.”

People tell me that all the time, because they assume that I live in the lap of luxury by waking up around 11 or noon each day. To an extent, that may be true, as I have never been a morning person and I function far better as a night owl. As such, while I do wake up later in the day, I also go to bed later than most people too. I value my sleep, striving to get a solid eight hours each night, so you’ll find me hitting the hay closer to 3am or 4am.

The amount of sleep is comparable; it’s just everything gets bumped a few hours. This is another reason why I struggle with trade shows and conventions, what with their “normal working hours” schedules.

Unread Emails Really Bother Me

Just the other day, someone proudly shared a screenshot of their email inbox with me. That’s because this person had over 10,000 unread messages in there. I guess he takes the John Hodgman approach. Me, I simply can’t operate that way. It’s almost like I get a nervous tick when I see “Inbox (1)” in my Gmail tab.

That probably isn’t the healthiest response and it may take me some time to conjure up an appropriate response (if needed). You know what bothers me even more? When I don’t receive a timely response from someone that I email, even if only to acknowledge receipt.

I Might Be a Twitch Worker

Blame all those twitch games I played as a kid. Blame the rise of the Internet. Blame whatever you want, as it has become increasingly clear that I suffer from a short attention span. Having multiple tabs open in multiple browsers across multiple monitors simply means that it becomes even easier to get distracted. Multitasking may have its merits, but focusing on a single task can be quite challenging. Everything gets done — my work ethic ensures that — but the path to the destination may not be the most direct.

Do you identify with any of these daily insights? Do you have any strange quirks to the way that you work, either at home or at the office? Please share through the comments below.

Image credit: Kathy Ponce (Flickr)