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Working from Home: How Your Dog Can Improve Productivity

Mat Coulton

As bloggers, most of us work from home for at least part of our work week. Of course, staying on track with productivity targets and keeping up with the goals we set for ourselves can sometimes be a special challenge when our office is the living room and the distractions of everyday life are ever-present.

 

Adding a dog to the mix doesn’t have to be one more reason the social media posts get put off for one more day. Those of us with furry friends reap many intangible rewards – companionship, joy, and a reminder of what all this work is really about. But the relationship doesn’t have to end there.

Why not invite your pet to be an integral part of your team by being thoughtful about how he can contribute to increased productivity? Here are some tips on how Fluffy might be a “value added” member of your blogging team:

Personalize Your Content

Depending on the nature of your blog, adding the occasional pet-focused content can create a personal connection with your readers, helping to boost repeat visits to your site. You can do this with explicit stories that include your dog, or simply by making sure they are featured in some the images and captions that you choose to supplement your written content.

Another bonus of pet-related content? Animal lovers enjoy sharing about their companions. By talking about your dog, you are inviting engagement in the form of authentic comments from your readership and helping to create a sense of community on your blog. Loyal readers will come back for more and are more likely to share your posts on social media.

Mindfulness Breaks

Being your own boss means handling all of the loose ends that inevitably make up the bulk of the workday. Shifting your focus from one task to the next is taxing on your mental focus. Allow your dog to be an excuse to step away from your desk for 2-3 short breaks throughout the day.

To make the most of your time, make a commitment to let go of the pressing tasks waiting for you to really get present with your canine. Show up and toss the ball in the yard, breath in some fresh air, and really pay attention to the joy in each moment. Remind yourself that life is all around you, right now.

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By giving your system a chance to reset from stress, and getting grounded in the moment, you will make up for this well spent doggy time with improved focus and a boost of energy. It is better than another cup of coffee to combat the afternoon blahs.

Accountability

One of the biggest adjustments from working in an office to working from home is getting a schedule in place that works for you. Many of us left the corporate world because of the rigid nature of the work – so making a schedule that matches your lifestyle is important.

Your pet’s needs can work as a “scheduling touchstone.” You have to get out of bed to let them go potty and get their breakfast. You are already up so you might as well get the coffee started. An afternoon mindfulness break? No problem….Fido knows when the time is right.

When your workday is over, don’t forget to build in some canine-friendly time to transition to a relaxing evening. By making your evening walk together a habit and ritual to signify the end of the day, you will find it becomes second nature to let go of the work day so that you can give tomorrow your best.

Inspiration

Do you remember what it was that drew you to blogging in the first place? At various stages of growing your online business, you may find yourself hitting a motivation wall. If you let it go on too long, chances are you will start to drop off your content development targets or let the less desirable aspects of the job slip away.

Motivation is key to doing what you love, well. Take a moment and remind yourself to be grateful for the benefits of working from home, one of which is having lots of time to spend with your most loyal friend.

Your dog already knows what life is all about – fun, joy and love. Let her give you a refresher course daily so you don’t lose track of the blessings that are right in front of you!

Mathew Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of WileyPup.com, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.

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12 comments on “Working from Home: How Your Dog Can Improve Productivity”

  1. Great post, Matthew.

    I'm a dog lover.

    Our dog Waggles, is a huge part of our household. When I'm writing Waggles comes over to where I'm writing and DEMANDS attention. But that's OK because a dog's life is shorter, their time is valuable too. Their mission is to keep us happy no matter what we're doing, so I do appreciate how she takes her responsibilities so serious.

    You're right, writing about your pet is a real good way to draw in readers. I remember my wife and I went to visit my sister, and the main topic was all about our dogs. I swear sometimes I think that's all we talked about. (The dogs probably think their owners are crazy for talking about them like they're human or something.)

    Sometimes I wonder who the most important member of the family is.

    Hey, if you want to write about dogs, here's a few facts that'll help you out:

    Dogs poop in alignment with Earth's magnetic field.

    A guy is 3 times more likely to get a girl's phone number if he has a dog with him.

    Humans and dogs first became best friends 30,000 years ago.

    Dogs recognize about 200 words.

    Dogs only sweat from their foot-pads and nose. (LIke cats.)

    A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans.

    Humans and dogs are the only two species known to seek visual clues from another's eyes-and dogs only do it with humans.

    Google prefers dogs to cats. Their official code of conduct specifically states they are a dog company.

    Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs.

    Trained Dogs can sniff out prostate cancer with 98% accuracy.

    The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

    About one million dogs are the primary beneficiary in their owners' wills in the U.S.

    Dogs are as smart as a 2-year-old baby.

    Dogs and elephants are the only animals that seem to instinctively understand pointing.

    Dogs wag their tails to the right when they're happy and to the left when they're frightened.

    Dogs have only recently been able to watch TV, since they need about 70 images per second, which older TVs couldn't deliver.

    One "dog year" is not equivalent to 7 human years. Dogs age at various rates, depending on their size.

    Dogs and cats tend to be right-pawed or left-pawed.

    Large dogs age faster and die younger.

    Dogs can tell the difference between happy and angry human faces.

    Dogs can tell when people are untrustworthy and will stop listening to a person if they prove unreliable.

    Dogs may look ashamed, but they can't feel guilt, experts say, just submission.

    And here's one I definitely know to be true:

    93% of dog owners in the U.S. say their dog has made them a better person in at least one way, a study found.

    Anyway, great post and much appreciated, Matthew!

  2. Hi Mat,

    Totally love this post dude.

    Me and my wife house sit all over the globe. 99% of the time we watch dogs, in exotic locales of course. I think our Cyprus and Qatar sits were the only cat only sits. All other sits involved 1-2 dogs or more.

    Right now we are watching 2 rocking dogs in New Zealand. Great point on doggy breaks; just returned from a doggy run in the South Pacific, tossing sticks in the pristine waters for these guys. So much fun and it also helps me detach from work regularly; big time factor in me being prolific and enjoying the blogging ride.

    Ryan

  3. Hey Matt,

    I have had a dog before and I really became fun of it. It grew to be a companion and yes, contents about these animals trigger a lot of emotions.

    Yesterday on Facebook, I asked a question to know why some people get so attached to dogs. You need to see the discussions on the post. It's still getting hot 😉

    My wife is unlike Ryan's wife who enjoys the dog scene. She (My wife) is just the contrary. I made an attempt to buy a puppy last year. Her reaction was so revealing. I'm sure if I bought the animal, she would leave the house 😉

    Happy week to you all.

    1. Hi Enstine,

      Dogs are certainly amazing and I think when you own one and are responsible for them is when you truly get the whole range of emotions and growth that they provide. I think baby steps with your wife, find someone that's got a super relaxed, easy going and affectionate dog and introduce them to your wife briefly, positive associations.

  4. Thanks so much Ryan,

    Sounds like you and your wife have a pretty epic lifestyle! Might have to get you both over to Australia where I'm from and get you to look after my monster :).

  5. Hi Mat,

    It's nice to work from home. Your recommendations are really meaningful. I hope these will work for me. Thanks for this article.

    Regards

    Sadhan Pal

  6. Ryan,

    You must not have doggies yourselves, right, because the big question is what do you do with your dogs while you’re watching other people’s dogs? Ha! Sounds like a fantastic gig! You’re doing a good thing.

  7. What a great idea! I never thought about "featuring" my pooch in my blog posts, but I guess time came for my baby to be introduced to the world. I am owned by a Vizsla who takes me out for walks two times a day. In relationship to my blog, I have only seen her as a distraction, but from now on she is going to be my muse, hahaha!

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