Focus is Hard

There are many people that don’t understand what I do for a living. They assume that I can start and stop at any time, and that I am free to go with them to do the things they want me to do. They don’t understand my long hours or why I need things to be structured a certain way, but it all comes down to focus.

If you want to succeed at working from home and making a living online, be it from blogging or something else, you need to have focus, and you need to find ways to make others understand that the focus to do your job well isn’t easy.

Right now my focus is really messed up. My wife is only working casually right now which means she is hope a lot more. I am used to her working between eight and twelve hours a day, and so having her home all of the time has absolutely destroyed my normal daily flow and disturbed my focus immensely.

It isn’t that she is always bothering me, or getting in my way, but she does take advantage of the fact that I am home, no matter how plainly I explain to her that I need to work. She doesn’t understand that I need to take many short breaks between projects to unwind, as well as having uninterrupted periods of time, sometimes for many hours, where I can be productive.

Without being able to focus on my work, certain extra projects that I used to have time for fall by the wayside. Everything takes longer because I am not getting into that “groove” where I reach my peak productivity, and certain tasks that would normally take me three or four hours, now seem to stretch on for an entire day, only making me feel more stressed, further behind and a little annoyed.

It definitely makes me want to have an office outside of home, and it is taking a huge amount of time to re-adjust how I get into my focused state so that I can produce quality content in a timely manner.

So if you have been wondering why this blog has been a little slow lately, now you know. If anyone has any tips to increase my focus, work from home while the wife is home and making the most of such close quarters, I would love to hear them. Please let me know in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Focus is Hard

  1. Abhijeet

    Work nights ! That’s what I do and that’s how you’ll be able to focus too. If you can’t do that then get an office outside home.

  2. WTL

    It certainly can be an challenge. With regards to your wife, it’s a question of training. We *both* work from home, so it can be a real challenge for both of us to get into the groove.

    My schedule is time-shifted into the late night, when she’s sleeping, but we’ve pretty much learned the signs that the other is focused and busy.

    You may have to sit down and talk with her about it. If you aren’t making money, you aren’t paying the mortgage, and if you aren’t paying the mortgage, you are living in your car, if it hasn’t been taken away, and if it has… it into your parent’s basement with you two.

    As you know, I have an arrangement with a nearby pub, and I’m sure you could work out something like that with a local coffee shop / restaurant / pub.

    That said, I have a friend who in exchange for a small office at a local business, he supports their Macs and local network. Again, an option.

  3. Michael

    I agree with Abhijeet, working at night has helped me out. Since everyone is up all day and needing my attention for this and that. So just try to set a time in the evening that is like: This is my work time, do not disturb. Or something like that.

  4. Beeler

    Two words: Tony Danza. I had the same problem with my wife and we used to fight about it. At a party I was exaggerating how bad it was by saying that she would interrupt me working to see if I wanted to watch something as stupid as a biography of Tony Danza if it was on. “Tony Danza” became our signal to each other that we needed our space and because it’s funny (at least to us), it takes some of the confrontational edge off of it. I can ask my wife, “is Tony Danza on?” and I’m pretty much assured to take my break or work uninterrupted the way I’d like.

  5. Robin

    That was the hardest thing to me and sometime still is. I used to work at nights. That solve the problem for a while but i guess it will lead to health problems in the long run. Therefore, not every projects can be done at nights.

    I guess the most effective way to do it is like what WTL said, starting a conversation with your family.

    Even if it’s not the easiest thing to do, it pays in the long term and everyone wins.

  6. Votre

    I’m not sure I can add much to the above suggestions for how to reach an accommodation with friends and family. But I can strongly recommend you get an outside office only as a last resort.

    My business went from rented office space to being totally virtual about five years ago.The biggest single factor (both financial and psychological) that kept us going during several difficult times was not worrying about that rent check. I doubt we’d still be here if we were renting during that period. Just a thought! 🙂

  7. David Peralty Post author

    It is definitely hard to separate my schedule from her own. Hopefully something good will come of all of this soon.

    I will definitely look at finding spots where I can spend at least two hours a day in solitude in hopes of finding the focus I need to really hammer out an immense amount of work.

    Thank you all for your thoughts, and experiences. I love hearing how other people have solved their work/life/wife issues. 😉

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