This happens to each and every one of us who works from home. Someone inevitably asks you to do something which requires you to stop what you’re doing and go do something else.
Why? Because you’re at home, and it’s assumed that you can easily get up off your duff and clean the house, run an errand, walk the dog, etc.
How do you tell these people that you’re not just playing video games or surfing the Internet for 8-14 hours a day? Don’t they realize that you’re working?!
Unfortunately, most people who aren’t in the work-from-home business don’t realize that you’re really working, even when it’s your paycheck that pays the bills. They simply don’t understand that you’re doing your job by sitting on your rear.
Some folks are jealous of this lifestyle, to be sure. They don’t see the hours upon hours of typing, loading, cutting, copying, pasting, color-changing, etc. that makes your day longer than the average Joe’s.
What they see is you sitting on your butt in front of a computer screen, wearing whatever clothes are comfortable, drinking your coffee or soda, and smoking your cigarette while looking at porn. This is a very enviable position to their mind.
So if you’re going to stay home, then you’re going to work. Please feed the dog. Can you do the dishes, please? I need for you to pick up the kids from school today.
How do we get around this? Something’s got to finally give before you go insane. There is a way to get them to leave you alone. Let’s set this straight, both for you and for them.
If you have a room dedicated solely to your computer, like an office, shut the door. Print out a sign that reads, “WORKING HOURS” and list plainly what your typical hours are. Attach this to the front of the door you just closed. Lock the door if you have to. lap on some headphones and crank your favorite working music. You can’t answer the door if you don’t hear it.
Needless to say, at the end of your working day, your family members will be rather pissed off. Good. Let them angrily demand why you wouldn’t answer their calls, answer your door, or do anything that needed to be done.
Point them to your door. Ask them to read to you what’s on the sign. Tell them in no uncertain terms that if you are disturbed, then you lose money. Volunteer to quit the job and do the housework, especially if you make the most money of all the people in your household. Then ask them if a clean house is worth such a drastic cut in the monthly income.
Many family members will become angry or upset at this point. This is when you tell them that even though you are at home all day, you are working a job just as much as they are. You earn money from the work that you do, just like they do.
Don’t be a complete tosser about it, though. Explain that you understand that things need to be done around the house and that you don’t mind sharing that responsibility with them. Make sure “sharing” is the key word here. You want to be able to work until your daily workload is complete. Then and only then will you do the things that everyone is nagging you to do at home.
They chose to work outside the home. You chose to work from your home. Both jobs are real. Both bring in the money. Sharing the housework is fine.
If all else fails, unplug the phones, lock the front door, lock the office door, and erect a sign on the office door for your family to read. “I am WORKING. Do not disturb.” Refuse to answer any disturbance unless it is a real emergency, i.e., life or death. My usual question when I’m about to be disturbed is, “Is someone bleeding? Do they want to be?”
After a while, your friends and family will get the clue that you’ve been desperately trying to give them and they will respect your time. It may take a while, but it will happen. Then you might consider plugging the phones back in. Good luck.
Stay safe and have a prosperous New Year!
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