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  1. #26
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    Hi guys, nice thread!

    I started out life as a full time self employed web developer working from home which I really enjoyed at first. I would break up the day by going to the gym at lunch time which was a ten minute walk from my city centre house and end up finishing work at around 7pm.

    I decided that as got more clients a more professional office was needed and I rented a space at my local business centre - a 5 miinute walk from my house, I have found that my productivity has definitely increased as there is now more of a psychological seperation of "work time" and "home time" and the more professional surroundings certainly help when meeting customers.

    The office means I can prepare for meetings using my own office space and computers without the need to worry about things going wrong on site visits. I'm lucky as I live in the town centre and it's easy for clients to visit so I fon't need to own a car - the small cost of rent is more than made up for by the positives!

    Also with the world cup just about to start I can take all the time off I want as I'm the boss!!!

    I still work pretty much in isolation but have regular contact with my business partners (who are based around the UK) through Skype which is a godsend and keeps my social skills in as well as saving on my phone bill!!!!

    Neil

  2. #27
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    Excellent thread.
    I was going nuts for awhile going through some cabin fever.
    I keep a schedule and a steady routine.
    -work an 8 hour day. keep tabs on your time or you will feel like you are
    working forever. example I like to start at 9 end at 5. Unless I have a fun project
    -Try and get ready as you would for 'regular' work.
    -Take your breaks 2 coffee and 1 lunch.
    -take a walk, bike ride walk the dog, sleep for 10 min when tired.
    -try working in different areas in your home (outside, deck, couch etc)

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    Talash- I've heard alot of good things about GTD. You are the umpteenth person to have mentioned this recently. Maybe I should go out and get this book too. I know it's a bestseller but I got the perception that it was another one of those time management books. Bleah

    Perhaps I should get the Audiobook version on Itunes?
    Just because you second mentioned his comment with what you said Im probably going to end up buying this book, haha..

    Is this the right book? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014...Fencoding=UTF8

    I tend to get the wrong books because Im stupid haha.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostseed
    Just because you second mentioned his comment with what you said Im probably going to end up buying this book, haha..

    Is this the right book? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014...Fencoding=UTF8

    I tend to get the wrong books because Im stupid haha.
    Yep- that's the one. I think I might go with the audiobook on Itunes. it cost $10.


  5. #30
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    i bought that book awhile back....never finished reading it ;-o

  6. #31
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    As a developer that has been working at home for over a year now, when I saw this thread and read many of the posts, I have to say I feel like a "kindred spirit" to those of you who know what it's like to feel "shut in" and jailed by your own home. While I love working at home, there are some big downers involved, some of which I have tried to cure for the past year with little luck.

    My biggest obstacle is going into trances at the computer... and most of the time I don't realize I do it. I have a horrible habit of coding, looking to the side and then going blank for a minute or more. This happen frequently throughout an hour's work. At the end of the day, I probably lose an hour's work from these blank outs. Maybe they are a good thing, who knows. But I never did this at offices.

    Before I worked at home, I would have considered my physical conditioning as "very good", as I went to the gym frequently and ate right. After a year of working at home, I would consider my physical shape borderline unacceptable and highly deteriorated. While this has more to do with my increased workload, there is something about working at home that drains you incredibly. I think it is the lack of scenery.

    My social life is non-existent to say the least and that is taking a major toll. I have aches and pains in my neck and my eyes fall victim to monitor strain. It hurts my eyes to go outside in the sun. All of this tends to produce a state of depression, which I am sure a lot of us home workers can relate too.

    The worst part of it all, because I own my own business, whenever I do take a break and toss work a side for a day, or an hour or two and go "get away", I rarely have fun because I keep thinking I should be at home working and getting more done. And then it is at this time that I realize that I really don't get as much done as home as I make my mind believe, then it's a double dose of depression... if this makes any sense to you.

    I think the best tip I have read in here was getting a dog. I love dogs but have never had one in my life, and I think that if I did have one, it would really help break up my day and provide some breaks in such a heavily regimented routine. I always shower and get dressed after I wake up, which is a huge help. Maybe I need to run a TV in my home office during the day... perhaps that would help lift my spirits a bit.

    Well I guess I have some things to work on... but at least I know I'm not the only one here.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    Can anyone relate? If so, what do you do to break the monotny of working at home by yourself?
    I know it sounds funny but putting a fountain in the area I work really helped. When your suffering from designers block, start organizing your workspace and trying to zen out your area. I have found that while I can work in a disfunctionally busy envoronment with the best of them, I created a very nice space here and it helps me produce higher quality work.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Zealot amberstar702's Avatar
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    Great thread! When I first started working at home after moving to Las Vegas from Miami, I loved the idea of freedom from a routine set by other people and really enjoyed content writing. I live in a townhouse and my desk faces the backyard/patio with flowering trees, shrubs and plants.

    Over time, people tend to get complacent and take good things for granted - which I have done. I still enjoy my work but I miss working with others - the exchange of ideas, the social aspect and the activity in the workplace. I was a Psychotherapist and worked with female felons in a work release setting. Needless to say, each day brought new excitement and I had a respected position. I also liked the idea of dressing for work.

    I see that many of you follow a routine which I do not do and it seems like a good idea. This forum - in this category - is mentally stimulating and looks like a good place to hang out. Also, I just joined a gym and I think that will improve my mental outlook.

  9. #34
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seodevhead
    My biggest obstacle is going into trances at the computer... and most of the time I don't realize I do it. I have a horrible habit of coding, looking to the side and then going blank for a minute or more. This happen frequently throughout an hour's work. At the end of the day, I probably lose an hour's work from these blank outs. Maybe they are a good thing, who knows. But I never did this at offices.
    Is it possible that you might have A.D.D- Attention Deficit Disorder ?




    My social life is non-existent to say the least and that is taking a major toll. I have aches and pains in my neck and my eyes fall victim to monitor strain. It hurts my eyes to go outside in the sun. All of this tends to produce a state of depression, which I am sure a lot of us home workers can relate too.
    I find getting an ergonomic chair might help a little bit. Also consider ergonomic keyboards and such as well.


    And then it is at this time that I realize that I really don't get as much done as home as I make my mind believe, then it's a double dose of depression... if this makes any sense to you.
    You may want to consider Robert Allen's Getting Things Done book. In the book, he talks about how some people feel guilty or always have "stuff" on their mind and this keeps them from being productive.


  10. #35
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    I went to a coffee shop today at around 7:30. 5 hours, one muffin, and two cups of tea later, I'm amazed at how much work I got done. I will likely do this at least twice a week.

  11. #36
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pergesu
    I went to a coffee shop today at around 7:30. 5 hours, one muffin, and two cups of tea later, I'm amazed at how much work I got done. I will likely do this at least twice a week.
    That's excellent to hear!!
    Sara

  12. #37
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Great to hear Pergesu! But in some respects, isn't this sort of contracditory? I mean, if you go to a place like a cafe where there is more people, won't you be distracted and less productive than working at home?


  13. #38
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCsolas
    I know it sounds funny but putting a fountain in the area I work really helped. When your suffering from designers block, start organizing your workspace and trying to zen out your area. I have found that while I can work in a disfunctionally busy envoronment with the best of them, I created a very nice space here and it helps me produce higher quality work.
    No- that doesn't sound funny at all. I'm well aware of the zen like effects of having a water fountain and the feng shui affects as well. I'd really like to buy new furniture for my basement and such but not at that point yet. It's kinda dull and boring working in the basement even when I let sun shine through.


  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    No- that doesn't sound funny at all. I'm well aware of the zen like effects of having a water fountain and the feng shui affects as well. I'd really like to buy new furniture for my basement and such but not at that point yet. It's kinda dull and boring working in the basement even when I let sun shine through.
    I found that its not really about what you buy, but just working on it a little every day. Its kind of like the dog who walks in a circle 3 times before they lay down. I sweep the office, clean up the desk, make sure the day-befores thoughts are filed away or dealt with quickly.. leaving a clean slate on which to forge ahead with brilliant new ideas.

    My advice - look around the next time you sit down and spend 10 minutes getting organized and plan out how to spend your time.
    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    Great to hear Pergesu! But in some respects, isn't this sort of contracditory? I mean, if you go to a place like a cafe where there is more people, won't you be distracted and less productive than working at home?
    Some people find human interaction stimulating. Mixing it up cant hurt, especially if your current formula isnt working too well.

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    Breaks!

    To break monotony, I find it helps to have a skeleton schedule to keep. That keeps me busy enough so that I don't notice that I'm alone so much.

    I take as many breaks as I can -- for example, after 4 hours, I generally do yoga stretches for around 10 minutes.

    I use lunch time to work out and sometimes take a walk after or at the end of it. Then I grab something quickly to eat while working... unless I have a lunch date. I've let everyone know I'm here, so if they're in the neighborhood, they can arrange to have lunch with me. It sounds silly, but that really seems to be working well.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    1. Is it possible that you might have A.D.D- Attention Deficit Disorder ?

    2. I find getting an ergonomic chair might help a little bit. Also consider ergonomic keyboards and such as well.

    3. You may want to consider Robert Allen's Getting Things Done book. In the book, he talks about how some people feel guilty or always have "stuff" on their mind and this keeps them from being productive.
    Hey SG1... it's funny you ask if I have ADD... as a matter of fact I was diagnosed w/ adult adhd couple years ago. They put me on adderall and believe it or not, it not only did nothing, but I felt nothing either. They even had me try taking the max allowable dosage, and I wouldn't feel a thing. It made my heart race and if anything made things worse. I didn't feel like I had it that bad... I have more of the "restless leg syndrome" than that add stuff. I thought I "shook it off" by doing some self-hypnosis for awhile and learned to not be so uptight. But that is a really good point you make and that could definitely be why I zone out so much. Guess I need to catch myself quicker... I don't want to go on meds again.

    I really think I need one of those ergo chairs. I have never seen one in person before.. but the chair I have is all of $150 and doesnt reach my neck. I have a bad habit of leaning in on the monitor. Any specific chair recommendations?

    I actually read that book a couple years back when it came out. I had an Audible subscription and thought it would be worth the read. It's got some great pointers and I remember trying to carry them out (I remember writing things down I had to do so I wouldn't have them on my mind) but like with a lot of thing I start.. never followed through . I'll actually start re-reading (or listening rather) tonight and do it right this time.

    The best part of this thread is that it has gotten me thinking about what my life has become physically and emotionally inside this small dungeon I work in... and it's time to break out and start living a more healthy life. Thanks.

  17. #42
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Something to break up the monotony......(thinking).....I know, anybody ever throw a pie in some stranger's face. Or even a friend's. That's even better. Definitely would break up the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linkin99
    Something to break up the monotony......(thinking).....I know, anybody ever throw a pie in some stranger's face. Or even a friend's. That's even better. Definitely would break up the day.
    Where do you live
    Sara

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    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linkin99
    Something to break up the monotony......(thinking).....I know, anybody ever throw a pie in some stranger's face. Or even a friend's. That's even better. Definitely would break up the day.
    For this, all I have to do is just paddle out and go surfing. Between the weather, waves, tides, kooks, dolphins and sharks.. you never know what might happen and thats the way I like it.

    Then I go chill in front of a computer.
    Still a little bit in awe of the world around me.

    Monotony .. lol whats that .......

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    Great to hear Pergesu! But in some respects, isn't this sort of contracditory? I mean, if you go to a place like a cafe where there is more people, won't you be distracted and less productive than working at home?
    I can see how it'd be counterintuitive, but I'm content measuring the results, rather than what I think is logical.

    I suppose that when I'm home, I have a tendency to read a book for too long, talk to my cat, etc...

    Also, hopefully without making myself sound too weird, usually people meet up with friends at a cafe so it's a place of comfortable, positive energy. Maybe that has an effect, maybe not.

  21. #46
    am I a Guru? guk6kk's Avatar
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    I think some people here should go out and have some fun. If you need to meet up some friends go play some sports, participate in charity projects, and some other activities that can be done as a group.

    Moreover, enjoy the money that you earn .

  22. #47
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by pergesu

    I suppose that when I'm home, I have a tendency to read a book for too long, talk to my cat, etc...
    Well yeah, I guess talking to your cat would be counterproductive


  23. #48
    SitePoint Enthusiast forumbulge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seodevhead
    As a developer that has been working at home for over a year now, when I saw this thread and read many of the posts, I have to say I feel like a "kindred spirit" to those of you who know what it's like to feel "shut in" and jailed by your own home. While I love working at home, there are some big downers involved, some of which I have tried to cure for the past year with little luck.

    My biggest obstacle is going into trances at the computer... and most of the time I don't realize I do it. I have a horrible habit of coding, looking to the side and then going blank for a minute or more. This happen frequently throughout an hour's work. At the end of the day, I probably lose an hour's work from these blank outs. Maybe they are a good thing, who knows. But I never did this at offices.

    Before I worked at home, I would have considered my physical conditioning as "very good", as I went to the gym frequently and ate right. After a year of working at home, I would consider my physical shape borderline unacceptable and highly deteriorated. While this has more to do with my increased workload, there is something about working at home that drains you incredibly. I think it is the lack of scenery.

    My social life is non-existent to say the least and that is taking a major toll. I have aches and pains in my neck and my eyes fall victim to monitor strain. It hurts my eyes to go outside in the sun. All of this tends to produce a state of depression, which I am sure a lot of us home workers can relate too.

    The worst part of it all, because I own my own business, whenever I do take a break and toss work a side for a day, or an hour or two and go "get away", I rarely have fun because I keep thinking I should be at home working and getting more done. And then it is at this time that I realize that I really don't get as much done as home as I make my mind believe, then it's a double dose of depression... if this makes any sense to you.

    I think the best tip I have read in here was getting a dog. I love dogs but have never had one in my life, and I think that if I did have one, it would really help break up my day and provide some breaks in such a heavily regimented routine. I always shower and get dressed after I wake up, which is a huge help. Maybe I need to run a TV in my home office during the day... perhaps that would help lift my spirits a bit.

    Well I guess I have some things to work on... but at least I know I'm not the only one here.
    This is pretty much me all over.
    I always thought that working at home would bring greater health benefits, and it can if you put in the work, but it seems most of us simply don't.
    I know I get too tied up in what I am doing, and I too feel that sense of guilt if I take a day off or even a few hours off during the day.

    I find there is no seperation of work and free time at home, as I constantly think of work even at night.

    I have a dog and cat and I cant say they are a magic cure. The grass is always greener on the other side, but dont jump into buying pets.. they are fantastic dont get me wrong, but they also require maintenance and $$.

    Great thread!
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  24. #49
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    I'm not sure what it is but lately I'm feeling a bit confined in my home office. I'm not sure if other designers can relate, but I'm starting to feel the same ol, same ol when working at home. In order to break this habit, I'm going to go out for a walk or to a nearby starbucks or anything for that matter to just break the monotony from the daily routine of being a designer who works at home.

    Can anyone relate? If so, what do you do to break the monotny of working at home by yourself?
    You should be careful about some of this (working at home). I do it sometimes, and although I've handled it better than most (monotony), it becomes stressful and sometimes even depressing as it becomes your life at times. If I were you, I would try to do what some people have already said on here...

    Get out, get some coffee or go to a book store. Sometimes I get out and jog or walk. I even go to the park and or visit family when I get like this. One more thing... Try to get into reading books about things that you LIKE to read about, and not just books about something work related or whatever. See me? Good luck.

  25. #50
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    I guess what I was trying to say is...have some fun. Integrate that into your work day somehow, or just have someone hypnotize you so that you believe your not bored or something.


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