Working from home for nearly two months, I have come to a few discoveries namely:
Left to my own devices, I tend to forget to eat.
Except if the meal happens to be lunch, for which I will fob off phone calls/requests/work.
“Can’t this wait till after lunch?” is my mantra. If the thing is urgent, I will still steal time to grab a can of tuna and pop out for bread. Or just get takeout duck rice at the stall that’s a few minutes walk from my house. You wouldn’t go for a long drive without fuelling your car, so I refuse to go without at least one decent meal (breakfast/brunch/lunch) in the day.
The thing about working from home is, you need to be even more organised than in an office. Offices have structure and procedures built-in. I have to create my own and after some experimentation, have come up with a hybrid pen & paper/electronic solution.
All my appointments go into my Moleskine pocket diary first. Then they get keyed into my Nokia 5800’s calendar, from which it will be synced to my Google Calendar via the free and wonderful CalSyncS60.Everytime I add a new contact to my phone, I will sync my contacts to my Ovi.com account.
I have one desk-bound journal for jotting down important information that I need at hand in ‘the office’. Two Moleskine cahiers, each dedicated to separate to-do lists, one for Work, one for Personal projects, also desk-bound. And one larger Moleskine for note-taking, which I take along with me with my smaller Moleskine. That sounds like a lot of books but see, it’s easier separating them out than lumping them all together. Also, I never miss an appointment because they’re all backed up on paper and online. Phone, notebook, Gcal. Synced and good to go.
Writing them down on notebooks that DO NOT LEAVE MY DESK are important. So I don’t lose them, and in the case of power failures, my to-do lists are there, on hand, so I’m never left wondering “Oh what shall I do today.” It’s easier to copy out stuff from said notebooks onto my phone/travel notebook than cart them around. And to make my life easier, I find it’s better to prepare most of the to-do list the day before, knowing that I can add on to it in the morning.
My phone, big Moleskine and mini-Moleskines are my travelling companions. Light, portable, functional. On my desktop PC, I have the best bit of software Microsoft’s ever made – OneNote. It is an awesome piece of work which makes taking notes and Web clippings so much easier, allowing you to create multiple virtual notebooks, all which can hold tabs and separate customisable pages.
Yes, I like systems. And structure. But I think my systems are flexible enough to accomodate my planning needs and work schedule, so I can get the things I need done, done. So I can have time to do the things I want to do as opposed to just the things I need to do.
Now I need to sleep.