Many people list procrastination and distractibility as the two biggest obstacles to overcome when working from home. While I agree that these are challenges I face as well – there are some days when even ironing, a task I loathe, is more appealing than working on whatever project I happen to have on my desk – these are not my primary problems. For me, the biggest challenge of running my home business is being able to do it without gaining weight.
In the five years that I have been working almost exclusively from home, I have gained at least ten pounds. When I think about it, I don’t think that my eating habits have changed significantly, although I must admit that I do snack a little more than I probably should. For me the biggest problem is lack of activity. It’s a double-edged sword: I try to remain at my desk to keep myself from being distracted by household tasks, but in the end, I wind up being a little too sedentary.
My theory proved to be correct when late last year I spent a great deal of time working on-site for one of my clients. Just being in an office setting forced me to move around a little more and the end result was that I lost five pounds that month without making a significant change in my eating habits.
The lesson learned here is that you need to take frequent breaks during the work day to move around and keep your metabolism working. For my part, I am trying to remember to get up at least every thirty minutes to move around. A quick trip up the steps to retrieve something I need or a walk to the mailbox is all I need to get my blood moving again.
Regular sustained exercise is also important. Whether you belong to a gym, go jogging, take a yoga class or exercise at home, you need to take the time to do it consistently. Not only will it help you keep your weight down, it may help keep your productivity up.