Yesterday I had this conversation:
â€œHello, this is Kathryn.â€
â€œHey, what are you doing?â€
â€œI didnâ€™t know you worked.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m a writer.â€
â€œI knew you did that, but I didnâ€™t know you, like, went to a real job.â€
The most amazing thing about this conversation is that it is not the first time I have had it. Very few people understand that what Iâ€™m doing is a full time job. I have deadlines that have to be met. There is research that requires time and concentration. And please, please donâ€™t interrupt that train of thought.
There is little I can do in my own home to restrict access while Iâ€™m working. My â€œofficeâ€ is smack in the middle of the house (in the corner of the kitchen). Iâ€™m hoping that there may be a few things I can do to help reduce the interruptions.
1. Iâ€™m going to make a sign: Mommy is out while Kathryn works. Please check back in a few minutes or leave a message. Iâ€™ll even add a little message pad and pencil.
2. There has to be a way to record a message on my phone for those times when Iâ€™m working. â€œThis is Kathryn. I am caught in the middle of a special project and can not take your call. Please leave your message and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is an emergency then call the hubby.â€
3. If everyone knew my normal working hours then they might try calling at other times. I could send out some cards to friends and family â€“ like birth announcements. â€œKathryn is pleased to announce that she is a full time writer â€“ getting paid for her endeavor. The hours between 10 â€“ 2 are the best times for the magic to work. Please respect her crafts and LEAVE HER ALONE.â€
4. Since morning is the best time for my mind (and the peace and quiet needed to keep the rhythm flowing), maybe I should start clocking in earlier. I figure if I start at 3 then I could be done with most of my assignments before the chaos ensues.
The reality of working at home is that you are more convenient (which is probably one of the reasons you chose this path in the first place). The kids can get to you, the spouse can get to you, and most everyone who has every met you knows that you are at home. It may not be possible to change every mind that I encounter, but Iâ€™m going to begin the process of changing at least a few.