Working from home has always appealed to me, and to many others I know. I always had this image of people working from home who had plenty of time they had saved not commuting to work, and not getting prepped to leave home to go to work. They would have enough time to do their work at a leisurely pace while handling other household related chores and personal work. Then I started working from home.
I tried the leisurely paced working, but that meant I was working in parts all throughout the day - and sometimes night. I tried managing house and personal work with the work I was getting paid for but I just ended up doing most of the things half-way because of lack of time. To top it all, I didn't have colleagues I could bitch about work with. I realized that even though I was saving on commute and having to 'dress up' for work, that was just about an hour or two at the most that I gained. And work was still work - it had to be done whether in a cubicle or your desk at home.
It has been almost 2 years since I started working from home. I've learnt to set a timetable for myself. I now work only during office hours and take a lunch and coffee break as any office would allow. I have taken on more work as it comes along so I've also learnt to prioritize. I try to manage house work as best I can, but if I can't make dinner one night I don't fret anymore - I have a few good places I can order in from on speed dial. It was hard to explain to myself that even though I am at home all day, I do have a paying job that I need to do so I should stop feeling guilty about store-bought food. I do have flexibility to take care of personal work as long as I deliver work on time. In between projects, weekends, or when the workload is not too heavy I also get time to indulge in hobbies.
There was a time when I was struggling to find some work I could do from home, but once I committed to doing only that, I've had work flowing in from all corners. Ex-colleagues, friends, and others who have referred my work keep getting in touch for some article they need written, or some document they need edited. Now the problem is that every time I think, "Oh good! I'll have some free time next month to take it easy", I get loaded with more work. Now I need to start working on how to say No.