Working from home is an art, and a lot like art it can be done badly and on the other hand it can be done brilliantly. Naturally our flaw of being human is our very short attention span and concentration levels so low that this alone proves that we do evolve from our banana loving ancestors.
On the very rare occasion that I am granted a days work from home, I suddenly feel the urge to make copious amounts of caffeinated hot drinks and watch re-runs of M*A*S*H. This is bad. Fighting that sudden urge is on par to fighting off the urge to scratch an irritating itch. However like an itch, if you do the pleasurable thing and scratch, the consequences will be a lot worse.
All that said I do pride myself on time-management and making the most of any available time. Whether this is the endless task of uploading content onto my website ready for opening, putting together a lecture or developing competition design entries, I have to do this at home. The good thing about working from home is that you dictate the pace, you dictate the tea and coffee flow and you dictate the speed at which you work.
When I was a student these days were called 'self directed study'. At first this concept was hard to grasp, I was in charge, and the only thing i'd been in charge of before was Preston North End on Premier Manager 98. I thought that this was a good sign at first considering I purchased Roberto Di-Matteo on a free transfer and took them to a mighty win in the Champions League. However my first experience with self-directed study failed miserably. Inevitably during my 1st year I spent these supposed educational enriching days at the 4077th wishing that I too could be chilling in a medical tent drinking homemade booze that would lull me into a drunken coma. The occasional sketch here and there, procrastinating over what colour pen would be best suited for design development sketches, so on and so forth.
There came a time, a time of reckoning, a time of maturity. This time came towards the back end of my 2nd year at uni. I was determined not to work in the living room. I worked on a desk. This may sound obvious but for me this was a big move. I used to do all of my work sprawled out on the floor, it was comforting but equally it was distracting. A desk is designed for order and work-ability, if it was a person it would be a German engineer obsessed with precision and the notion that a clean working environment means a clean mind.
" If a desk were a person, it would be a German engineer. obsessed with precision and the notion that a clean working environment means a clean mind. "
This wondrous ephihany made me think about some working from home ground rules. They are commandments to stick by to make sure you get the most out of all of your time at home.
Working from home should become natural because it is an opportunity to be not interrupted and to cram as much into a day as physically possible. The beauty of being a designer is this; the moment you realise that your projects are not work and that they are opportunities to grow, develop and become creative, then you will never see it as work. Treat it like a hobby, your passion and purpose in life. Design is easy if it is enjoyed.