This post was written by Mike over at https://www.poochingaround.co.uk
Now I am not about to complain about working from home; but, as I am sure many of you reading this will agree – while there are numerous advantages to working from home, there are some rather unfortunate downsides too.
Since I gave up my full time job and devoted my time to running my own business from the comfort of my own home, I’ve realized how easily unfocused and distracted I can actually get. It’s something that many of the people I work alongside and many of my friends who are also self-employed have to deal with on the regular.
I’d make plans, even write up on my own little white board and although that kept me in line a little, there were always distractions that would lead me off-piste.
When Things Changed – Enter Luna The Cockapoo
That was how things used to be though. What changed?
Taking on the responsibility of a little energetic ball of fur, otherwise known as Luna the cockapoo. That’s what changed. While I realized I’d benefit fitness-wise from having a dog that required a lot of walks, I didn’t fully appreciate the positive effect it’d have on my work life too. That’s what I wanted to share in this post – how my productivity increased significantly after Luna entered my life and how the same could work for you, if you have a dog and work from home too.
Your Dog Is Your Excuse To Be Mindful And Take Breaks
When you are your own boss, you generally don’t have anyone else to rely on to handle all those loose end type jobs that are supposed to be small, but end up taking half the day to complete. It can be draining mentally when you have to shift from one particular task to the next, trust me – been there, done that, got the headache.
When you have a dog though, I discovered, you have a bulletproof excuse to take a break from the computer and spend some time outside. Not only does this help you to fulfil your responsibilities as a dog owner, it helps you to be mindful and give your brain a rest for a while, even if it is just a few minutes.
What I’ve found works, depending on how busy I am, is that it is often between to just take a number of short breaks throughout the day, rather than one big long one halfway through. That way you can work hard a little bit, then take a break, and then come back rejuvenated to work through to the next break.
Spending Quality Time With Your Dog, Actively Participating
It’s important to actually make the most of your time with your dog, though. Don’t take your phone or tablet along, so that you are not checking for messages or emails every five minutes. Breathe in the fresh air. By doing this often with my dog Luna, I was able to head back into the house after our short walks with a greater sense of purpose as to how I was going to spend the next hour or so working.
Gives You Accountability Again
One of the biggest changes I had to adjust to when I started working from home was finding a schedule that worked and sticking to it. The funny thing is, like most people, I left my 9 to 5 to have a more free and easy work schedule. However, the reality of that kind of attitude is that it’s all fun and games until you get to Friday and you are wondering why you haven’t done half the things you were supposed to.
I missed the ingrained accountability I got from my 9 to 5. If I didn’t complete the tasks I was supposed to, or meet the deadlines I was supposed to, I was toast.
What I discovered pretty early on after Luna moved in, was that I had to schedule my day around Luna. Although I was only accountable from a work perspective to myself, I now was responsible for ensuring Luna got out and was fed etc. This gave me extra motivation to be more productive when I wasn’t doing things with Luna because I knew I’d have to do those things with the dog.
What was the result? Well although I wouldn’t want to try and put a figure or percentage on how much my productivity increased post-Luna compared to how it was pre-Luna; I can wholeheartedly say that I am more fully motivated and productivity is at an all time high since I welcomed my lovely cockapoo into my life.
As thankful as I am in general for the companionship Luna has brought to me and my partner; I am particularly grateful for the fact I can now plan out my days better and stick to getting what I plan to, when I plan to.