Monday, 11 October 2010

A 'Spinning Plates' Morning

There's nothing like combining family life with running a small business from home, to keep you on your toes. Top of my C.V. (not that I've written one for over eighteen years) should be the words 'keeping plates spinning in the air, a speciality'

We had a busy weekend, so this morning has found me manically ironing various items of school uniform, constructing nutritious packed lunches from the almost bare contents of the bread bin and fridge and then racing round two local supermarkets, stocking up on the essentials for the week. I've managed to put all the shopping away, wash up the breakfast crocks and do a superficial 'tidy-up', so now, with a strong black coffee at my side, I'm finally ready to start work.

When I commuted, there was the drive to the office to give me time to adjust from one role to another, now that I work from home, I have to achieve the same transition between the kitchen and the dining room/office. I don't think my brain works at quite that speed, which is why I end up sitting in front of the computer with a rather vague notion of what to do first, or indeed on bad days, what to do at all.

Part of my brain is still trawling the shelves of Waitrose and wondering what I forgot to buy this week, but now I'm going to make a strenuous effort to stop thinking 'home' and start thinking 'work'. Has anyone out there got any useful tips for doing this?

And of course in a few hours time, I'll have to abandon the 'work' hat and put on the 'taxi-driver' hat when the children come home from school. Followed by the 'cook' hat and then probably the 'taxi' hat again.

I think the potential for schizophrenia exists in all work-from-home mums, but as the children are getting older it's becoming worse - or perhaps my brain just can't take the pace. Before the children arrived, I always considered myself to be a very well organised person, it's not business planning I have a problem with, it's combining the business with home.

I have tried using various time-management techniques; the seven part file, the calendar on the computer, post it notes, you name it, but on the whole, with little success in this environment. I know that my nirvana, would be to slip effortlessly from one persona to another, without allowing any interference from the person I've just been, or the one I'll soon become, but as yet I remain unenlightened.

So now I'm off now to clean the desk. I'm not sure if that's work or home related, but I'll plan what to do next while I polish!

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