There are people who look at my life and think I’m incredibly lucky: I get to travel to amazing places—sometimes with my family, sometimes without, hosted by resorts or visitor’s bureaus who want me to write about the experience and tell others what they should know if they want to visit…I have a great job in TV news that I love, a job that fulfills my need to learn something new every day…I have an amazing family which, although they aren’t always easy or without challenges, fills my heart with love and pride, kids who know I will be there for them in a heartbeat…so those people who think I’m lucky, well, they’re right.
But I also work hard. Very hard.
A lot of people aren’t aware of all the balls I juggle in a day to live the life I want.
It’s a bunch. I’d be a great circus act. And trust me, I drop those balls every now and then. But I am good at picking them right back up and doing better the next time.
An essential part of being able to do all this is the fact that I work from home.
My office is wherever I am based at the moment.
So, if I’m doing a travel review, you can bet I’m going to be sitting up in the bed until the wee hours, working on my laptop while others sleep.
And when I’m home, you can bet I’ll be on the computer before 9am and well after 5.
I may stop for a bit to handle dinner or errands, but then I’ll be back on later that night.
That’s the price I pay for the flexibility of leaving my ‘work’ for a few hours in the middle of the day to watch a movie with my kids, or have lunch with a friend, or whatever else the schedule demands.
It’s a delicate balance and I don’t always get it right. But the ability to work from home has opened up so many opportunities, I can’t imagine ever going back into an office.
You think you want that same option?
I suggest you read this book before you start: Out of Office, by Simon Salt.
It’s a great guide for anyone even considering the life I’ve learned to love.
The work from home life…it’s not for everyone.
I remember when I first started—13 years ago!!—my mother told me she privately thought it would never work. She thought I was way too social to find happiness being alone all day long. She didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be alone…I’d have my friends on the Internet…on the phone…and I’d still create a social life with my friends and neighbors.
Working from home requires initiative—and discipline. If you are prone to sleeping until noon, you probably won’t do well getting yourself up at 8am, or earlier, to tackle your to-do list of the day.
Salt outlines all of this in his book.
He spells out ‘how to work from home, telecommute or workshift successfully’.
Salt points out the challenges of working from home, or on the road (as I tend to do), shows you how to get organized, and shows you tools—and tech–to help (I will say the tech part is my downfall…it’s easy to get help with computer issues when you’re in an office…but having someone walk me through a problem over the phone is essentially useless—I am not a techie…not by a long shot).
He shares stories of people who have ‘been there, done that’. And the book is balanced in its approach, because, in all honesty, as great as this work from home thing can be, it is absolutely not for everyone.
I realize I am very lucky to be able to do all I do, but even that luck is balanced by a whole lot of very hard work…from wherever I may be on any given day.