As a writer, I know what it’s like to work from home. I don’t set time aside for writing as often as I’d like, and certainly not as often as other people do, who work from home for their full- or part-time career. However, I do attempt working from home enough to know that I am not good at it. Here’s why:
1. Too many humans live there: Even if my husband is home and we’ve decided that it’s time for me to work while he watches the kids, it is very difficult to focus when children keep barging in and asking for help with things, or to confirm with me that they do, in fact, need to listen to Daddy. (As you can probably guess, it’s also harder for Daddy to parent when I’m hiding downstairs in the rec room with a computer on my lap.)
2. It’s too noisy … or too quiet: When my family is home, their noise is distracting and annoying. But when they are NOT home, it’s too quiet! I work best when there is just enough going on around me to provide a background noise, but not so much that I am distracted by it. Also, if it’s too quiet ….
3. I fall asleep: Know what else is at my house? My bed. Also? My couch. I have four small children; you’ll be shocked to hear that I could really use a nap most days. And napping is FINE. It’s GOOD. I SHOULD get time to nap every day. But it doesn’t help me get work done.
4. My house is messy: I find it very difficult to focus on any kind of work when I’m surrounded by other things I should be doing. So before I work, I have to quickly tidy the kitchen and the living room, and maybe put away some of that folded laundry and sweep all the cheerios of the floor. This is all good stuff, but it takes a lot of time. Sometimes all the time I have set aside to write gets used up by everyday chores.
5. My pyjamas are too comfy: I feel lazy all day if I don’t get dressed into actual pants. And I don’t NEED to put on actual pants if I’m not doing anything but staying home, but I don’t accomplish anything if I feel lazy. It’s a real conundrum.
6-19+. The internet. More specifically: 6. Facebook 7. Buzzfeed 8. Upworthy 9. Instagram 10. Pinterest 11. Twitter 12. The New York Times Blog 13. One Million Parenting Blogs 14. Youtube 15. Songza 16. The Huffington Post 17. All the NPR Podcasts 18. Trendfrenzy 19. Sporcle. Basically, when left to my own devices while sitting at a computer all by myself, it’s very very very difficult to not get sucked into an internet wormhole.
BUT I HAVE JUST DISCOVERED MY DREAM SOLUTION! A SHARED CO-WORKING SPACE!
Basically, if I go into an “office” setting to work, there is just the right amount of background noise, present but ignorable, there are a few people milling about so I’m not going to fall asleep like a crazy person, but they are not people who want to interrupt me every five minutes because they have their own work to do. I’m not at home, so I am required to wear pants. My messy kitchen is far away, and therefore I am not distracted by it. Basically, if I leave the house and go somewhere to get work done, I am MUCH more inclined to, you know, get work done. I am much less likely to waste three hours doing internet trivia quizzes if I’m sitting at a desk in an office.
Introducing Work Here, a professional coworking space in my very own city! It’s at the corner of 227th and Dewdney in Maple Ridge, which you should know is directly across the street from Starbucks.
So you can rent space here, full-time, part-time, or as a drop-in, and then you get access to a desk with power outlets, wifi, a printer, coffee, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Oh, and did I mention that it’s gorgeous?
If you are a regular, you can keep stuff in a locked cubby in your desk, or on top of your workspace. This is the desk of my cousin when he’s not around. He owns a travel business and started coming to Work Here when he found that staying home all day made him constantly restless, and also that he didn’t like telling his family to be quiet every time he wanted to talk to a client. I don’t think they liked it much, either.
And speaking of meetings, there’s also a beautiful and well-equipped conference room you can use:
It’s really the perfect solution for me if I want to actually focus and get things done. There’s a friendly but professional atmosphere, access to all the office-y things I might need, a great location if I want to head downtown for lunch, and no distracting toddlers making a sticky mess out of everything with their enormous lollipops (except that one time when I stopped by for a quick visit and thought the lollipops would make them better behaved, which I was very wrong about and they were an embarrassing sticky disaster … but that’s another story).
If you’re interested in checking out this great facility, get in touch with them! Here’s a link to their Facebook page, and their Twitter account. Or you can just pop by for a visit during business hours (200-22674 Dewdney Tr Road, Maple Ridge, BC).
Work Here gave me several visits to their space in exchange for writing this post. But I think it’s probably all a ploy to get me to love it here and become a member. Well played, Work Here. Well played.