Viking Cats and Working From Home

I’m still working on my Viking cat story, inspired by a cat documentary that revealed that ginger cats are the result of Vikings favoring them and breeding them for that fluffy orange coat. I pointed out to Steve that it would be nice to own a ginger cat, for research purposes. Alas, allergies.

More people work from home now and find this disruptive and difficult during the social distancing we must practice to slow the spread of the corona virus.

My tip: It’s not working at home that is disruptive and difficult. It is living through a time of non-stop news and uncertainty coupled with a distant but real mortal threat. I felt the same thing working at my office after 911. And I feel the same today despite doing ok working at home normally.

Self-structuring takes time and it requires re-arranging space as well as schedules to be an effective work-at-home person. It took me about a year to figure out what works for me.

This can be harder for extroverts and here’s where social media, especially Slack or Discord channels, can really help. I belong to two groups that will write with me (or do other tasks) with little sprints. In between the sprints we ask each other how we did, encourage each other, and solve problems collaboratively if that’s what someone needs. Then we get back to work.

In addition, I have a friend who also encourages me and sometimes works with me virtually. That helps, too. This is how social media can work for you rather than against you. Even Facebook, which is normally death to productivity, can help if you are part of a Facebook group that operates as an accountability group.

Of course small children make all of this much harder, especially if you are trying to write or program or do something else where an interruption in your thoughts means starting over. I don’t have suggestions for dealing with children while working from home and being productive. Also I doubt that anyone who is the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 4 can expect to make much progress. If this is your situation, know that I am a fan of what you are trying to do. I don’t underestimate it.

If you are freshly home and trying to work, please don’t consider this period of grand distruption to be how work-at-home always is. Once I got the hang of it, I loved it. I don’t want to return to working from a cube with my life structured by others. This suits me down to my toes.

If you are home due to this virus, I hope you are finding a sweetness in being able to work from home. Be well, friends. And stay well!

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