I’ve never had an office and have worked at home. Whether it was while in my pajamas (the comfortable ones I might add) while sitting at the kitchen counter, on the couch or in bed, I somehow managed to write two books and start Chick Lit Goddess. My husband would go to work, I’d pick up around the house and maybe start dinner (thank goodness for Crock Pots), then get to work. I’d work most of the day, with a few distracting episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Friends” and of course, “Dr. Phil.” My husband would come home, we’d have dinner, watch our TV shows – with the cat sprawled across our laps, then I’d work a bit more and then it would be time for bed. The next day I would get up just to do it all over again. I thought I was productive. I thought I had it down. I thought I did, I thought I did, I thought I did. I thought wrong.
Since I’ve been in my office for about a month now, I’ve seen my productivity level increase a lot! Now that I have to get out of bed, get dressed and look decent at the least, it makes it feel like I’m really someone, not just an upcoming Indie author. I’m fortunate that my office is close to home, which makes for an easy drive into work, and I’m thankful that I’m not honking my horn at anyone or stuck on a freeway in stopped traffic. You see, I’m not a morning person and have a tendency to be (a little) grumpy. Anyway, when I get in the office, I’m greeted by my new tea maker that my hubby bought me for Christmas. Actually, he bought himself one too and plans to take his to work and wrapped mine, so I don’t get it until Christmas. (I guess those are the joys of shopping together, right).
I’m digressing, so let me continue…
I’m not one who deals with silence well, though I’m not one who can be surrounded with a lot of noise either. Pandora has become my best friend while working, specifically the sounds of symphony type music. It’s because of this that I feel my fingers click, click, click to the beat of the instruments. See, it’s all about productivity.
Now, if you don’t have an office, but would like to be more productive, here are five tips that seemed to be help me back in the day when I needed to get stuff done:
- GET DRESSED – Yes, get out of those pajama or Yoga pants. Believe me, I’d love to live in them too, but you’ve got a book to write and work to do. Throw on a fancy (red) top and put on make-up. Run a brush through that pretty hair of yours. You’ve got a date with a Hero who is romancing you through your current WIP.
- TURN OFF THE TV – If you are one who can work with noise, that’s great, but I wouldn’t recommend it being TV. Say your favorite show is “Friends” and you tell yourself that they’re all repeats and that you’ll be productive, you’re lying to yourself. You know you’ll still watch it as if it’s the first time that Ross and Rachel take a “break?” Take a break from them and get to work!
- SET HOURS FOR YOURSELF – Like for most, writing is a hard job and it’s not one that comes easy. First you have to write the book and that can take a while, then you have to edit, then comes the publishing part that can take a long time as well, so it’s important to take being a writer seriously. Whether it’s an hour or two a night, make the time you put into your book count for something!
- DETERMINE WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU – If you’re a partier and are one to go out a lot, your work might be slacking. Am I right? (It’s okay to nod if I am). If you get a call from someone urging you to come out with them, make the smart choice and decide to work because it’ll pay off in the end. Now, I’m not saying to ignore your friends, family or significant other, but I’m just saying to think about what’s really important in the big picture…
- THINK POSITIVE – I know that it’s a lot easier said than done, but thinking positive really can get you somewhere! If you’re one to be hard on yourself, turn that thought pattern around. There are thousands of positive quotes you can find online and in books. When you stumble upon one that you like, read between the lines and think about what it’s really saying. Most of the time it’s saying, “Yes you can!”
Kathleen Irene Paterka says
Isabella, what a wonderful post! I envy you your office space separate from the house. And I love your 5 tips; very encouraging to procrastinators!
Isabella Louise Anderson says
Thanks so much, Kathleen! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and now that it’s finally here, it’s a great feeling! 🙂
Elke Feuer says
Great tips! I envy your office without distractions, and that you get to be a writer full-time. It’s challenging having four jobs: wife, mother, project manager, and writer. I remind myself of Kellie who is a single mom with four kids and I stop complaining. 🙂
You should post some pics of your office space. I’d love to see how you set it up and decorated.
Isabella Louise Anderson says
Ohh, good idea! I’m still working on hanging some things I got for Christmas, but I’ll do a post about my workspace in the next few weeks. 🙂