Monday, February 23, 2004

Working From Home

It’s been really hard lately to actually write just about anything to put up on here. I’ve been so entrenched with other writing that this always seems to get put on the back burner. Besides my writing at work, I’ve been doing cd reviews for which has taken away some of my free writing time. Well, enough excuses, everyone hears excuses for things all the time. I’ll just call myself lazy as well as busy.

In the writing of the Indy manual at work, I have reached a milestone as of today. I broke the 40,000 word barrier. It’s so hard to believe that I’ve cranked out that much writing on this thing and yet I still have so far to go before it’s finished. I’m guessing that when I started on the manual there was probably already between 5 and 10 thousand words written, so if I look at it in a very conservative light, I’ve put in around 30,000 words of typing for this manual over the last month and a half, and that’s after you take out all of the time I spend on the website and on the help files. I think I might keep a running total of words typed per day. I’m interested to see how much I crank out per day since over the last few days as I’ve focused very heavily on writing the manual, I’ve been able to put down 1,000 words.

Part of the reason that I got a good chunk of that hammered out was that I worked some from home this weekend. I want to take Friday off to spend with Kristin and go to a concert so I decided to put in some weekend hours to offset what I’d be missing. It always amazes me, but I am so much more productive when I am at home as opposed to when I am at work. I know, I know, it sounds weird, but I really am more productive sitting at home in my flannels.

First, I think I’m more productive at home simply because I am at home. When I get up, shower, drive 40 miles into the office, and sit down in my cube, I have already lost motivation. I know that I am there for the next 8 hours and often that fact is enough to make me lose interest in what I’m doing. While I’m at home, though, I’m overcome with the thought that I’m not at the office. I honestly would feel guilty if I wasn’t being productive at home because it would feel like I’m stealing Kingland’s money. I’ve been brought up from my childhood to believe that I have to work for every cent I make. There aren’t any freebies (although if I find some, I won’t hesitate to pick them up).

I’m also more productive at home because of the environment. I can set my laptop up on the kitchen table, smell my coffee brewing, and glance outside and see our dogs playing in the snow. I’m refreshed and I can delve into my work uninhibited by thoughts of how long I have left until I can leave the confines of my cube. I also don’t have to worry about getting dressed up. Heck, showering becomes optional. I can sit in my comfortable flannels and a t-shirt while working instead of having to shower, put on nice pants and a sweater for work.

The surroundings are also so much more hospitable at home. I can grab a snack whenever. I can have Karma, my dog, sitting on my lap while I work, or have Sammy, my cat purring next to my computer. The music can play at any volume and it’s not confined to my headphones. I feel so much freer, and because of that feeling I can focus more on my work. I also probably work for more hours when I’m at home as well because I’ll take breaks to throw a load of laundry in or to watch a clip of the news and by doing that I feel like I need to work more, so instead of putting in an 8-4 workday, I’ll more than likely put in an 8-6 or 8-7 day with a few intermittent breaks.

You know, I really don’t see much of a reason for me to have to drive to work every day. All I need access to is the manual I’m writing and the test server so I can play with the program. I can put the manual on my microdrive and bring it home and I can access the server from home. Done and done—I have everything I need accessible from my house. I might try to work a few days every now and then from home, but I’m not going to ask until I have a stable job here because I don’t want to make it look as if I’m lazy and just want to stay home and pretend to work. For some reason kids who just got out of college have a somewhat lazy stigma attached to them. Go figure.

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