As many of you will agree with me, if you are now working from home or have tried it before after a spell in a 9 to 5 or similar shift pattern, along with the various benefits there are a great deal of downsides too to working from home.
I fond the transition from being employed to being self-employed easy and very enjoyable to begin with, and it was really going well….or I thought it was. It’s taken me several years later to fully understand just how easily distracted and unfocused I can actually be, when I don’t have actual deadlines for a manager or supervisor to stick to.
What I’ve also discovered is that I am not alone – there are countless people out there that I’ve spoken to, that I know personally and many others I don’t that have had similar experiences to mine.
I love whiteboards and either at the end or start of the day I would plan out what I was going to do the next day and write it up on the whiteboard. That worked for a while, it was never really that consistent – eventually, some way or another, I would find a distraction and allow myself to be distracted.
When Things Changed – Enter Luna The Cockapoo
I imagine things would have stayed the same, if it hadn’t been for a big change in my life and household – Luna, a lovable cockapoo full of fur and energy.
Although I figured I’d benefit from owning a dog because I’d exercise and get out and about more, I didn’t really consider that it might benefit my business and productivity too.
That is what motivated me to write this post, to show how Luna helped to improve my home and work life as a self employed person and to show how having a dog could help you too.
Having a Dog Gives You an Excuse to Take Breaks
When you decide to become self employed, you have to oversee all of the work, including those annoying and frustrating admin-related tasks that you think will only take a few minutes but end of taking up half your working day. Switching back and forth between different jobs can be a drain mentally.
Owning a dog though, as I discovered, has its perks. When you have a dog you see, you have a cast-iron excuse to stop doing work and take your canine pal out for a walk. Whereas, without the dog, you may have struggled to justify a walk around the park – with a dog, it’s part of being a good owner.
But the upshot is that it not only gives your dog the chance to stretch their legs and get some fresh air, but it encourages you to do the same and to take a step away from the computer – even if it is just for 10 minutes. After your walk with your dog, you will feel better able to handle the next bit of work you have to complete.
Make It Quality Time
With the above in mind, another piece of advice I’d give is that it’s crucial that you make the most of those breaks with your dog. Don’t bring your tablet or phone along so you can continue to do work. Leave them at home or keep them on silent in a pocket tucked away and give yourself and your dog time to enjoy each other’s company. Not only will they appreciate the undivided attention, but you will feel even more refreshed and feel like you’ve actually taken a proper break.
Having A Dog Means You Are Accountable
One of the main challenges I faced when I gave up my 9 to 5 and worked from home, was finding a solid schedule and keeping to it. Ironically, and I’m sure I am not the only one, I left my full time position so that I had a more flexible and easy schedule. The problem is that a free and easy schedule without boundaries is all well and good, until you are approaching deadlines that you can’t possibly meet or having to work extra to keep clients happy.
I realized that as much as I am glad I left that 9 to 5, I missed out on not having the accountability of answering to a supervisor or manager etc.
However, Luna helped me to get that back. Even in the earliest days of her living with us, I knew I had to build my workday around her rather than just trying to fit my responsibilities towards her whenever I had a spare minute.
This meant I had to be more productive in the times I had to work between doing Luna-related activities.
What was the result? Because of Luna, I now have a schedule that I can easily stick to that gives me plenty of time away from the computer that stops me getting overworked or too stressed, while encouraging me to not waste the time and be as productive as possible.
Luna benefits too from an owner who takes her out for lots of walks throughout the day.
This guest post was written by Mike from PoochingAround.