Working From Home: Dealing With Natural Disasters

When you work in an office, you leave your house, go to your desk and you are there.  Most times, you can’t take cell phone calls, you can’t be on social media (unless it’s part of your job), and you can’t go out and go food shopping when you feel like it.  However, when you work from home all of those things are possible and more.  That said, life has a funny way of throwing little challenges at you.  In the last month alone, I have been stranded at an airport thanks to a strike, injured my back, had my computer completely meltdown (which lead to me having to clean sweep, and reinstall everything), all while planning a wedding and living life like a normal person.  At the end of all of this (after a slight break down) I came to one conclusion.  I need to schedule time into my day for natural disasters.

natural-disasterStep 1 – Take a break from the natural disasters

I had become so stressed that I didn’t even want to think of work or studying or see my computer by this point.  So, I didn’t.  I sent an email to my clients that I was taking a personal day and if they needed anything urgent to message me on Facebook.  I then did what I do.  I cleaned the house and baked a cake.  Cleaning and baking help to calm me down.  This is different for everyone.  For you, it may be that you go read a book, watch a movie, play in the garden.  Whatever it is, take a break.  Step away from it all and clear your head.  My problem wasn’t the things that were happening around me, but my mental state.  And that’s what needed fixing immediately.

Step 2 – Accept the natural disasters

Cars break down, water heaters stop working, as do most of the electrical appliances in any house (especially mine).  Natural disasters will happen.  You have to accept them.  You cannot predict them much like I couldn’t predict a strike at the airport.  But by accepting that they will happen, there is something you can do to plan for them.

Step 3 – Make time for natural disasters

After a long review of my schedule (and a long talk with my soon-to-be husband), I decided to schedule a time for my disasters.  I was no longer going to work in the mornings and that would be my time for natural disasters.  As a result, I was not so freaked out when the town hall here in Italy told us we had to do another 3 documents for our wedding.  I accepted it and it was easier to handle the news knowing that I had time in my day to deal with it.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is there is no one looking over your shoulder and giving you deadlines.  You are responsible for how you plan your day and what gets done.  Don’t let natural disasters and other things that come up in life distract you from your work.  Plan for them.