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.
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.
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.
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.
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.