My Home Office Life - Kathy Dotson

my home office life

What do you do in your home office? 
With my business partner Steph, we create online courses for individuals to help them share their idea or expertise with the world.  We also create courses for businesses who are creating online courses for their employees.  Along with Steph,  I’m the co-creator and guide for The Home Office Project.   I’m passionate about having the ability to work from home as I’m a results-oriented individual who likes to get to the point, get work done and then have more time to spend OUTSIDE of my office.  There’s also a really exciting new project on the horizon that I can’t wait to share.

How long have you been working from home? 
On and off for over 10 years in a variety of positions, including the current one.

Where is your home office?
Beautiful Northern Colorado

What do you think contributes the most to your success?  
I’m a positive person and see the possibilities rather than focus on the obstacles.  This can also lead to a lack of focus, however, having an accountability partner and someone to reign me in is essential. 

I’m a natural idea generator and I find that energizing.  Brainstorming ideas helps me problem-solve and identify solutions rather than getting stuck. 

Considering my failure or mistakes as learning experiences is also key.  I’ve had a few wonderful mentors throughout my career and believe in the power of mentorship and learning from someone who has “been there”.

Plus, I’m pretty stubborn and don’t give up easily.

What is your top productivity tip for getting things done in your home office?  
Create a routine and stick with it. Base your routine around when you know you are most productive.  Mine is heavily weighted in the mornings and less so as the day progresses. If you feel stuck, take a quick break to clear your mind.  Chances are you’ll get unstuck after a quick walk.

What tool have you recently discovered that has been a game-changer? 
I recently started using Evernote (reluctantly).  I’m slowing shifting to 100% paperless and I’m almost there.  I also love my multiple Google Drive(s) and recently started using Google Photos as a place to store my photos.  And of course, I couldn’t keep organized without Trello.

Do you have a mentor or team you rely upon for advice?  What is the most valuable aspect of that relationship?

Yes.  I’m able to generate and share ideas.  This also keeps me accountable which ultimately makes me more productive.  And, it’s great to be surrounded by positive people who lift you up. Having someone else to check in with creates a sense of reality as sometimes I can make up untrue stories in my head.  

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?  If so, what is it?
I’m typically awaken by my 2 Goldens, Watson and Willie at around 5:30.  I love getting up early before the rest of the world starts spinning.  I fire up the Kuerig and spend time enjoying coffee, researching ideas or focusing on self-improvement.  I also love to workout in the morning but am currently needing help with this!  However, I always get outside to walk Watson and Willie before work.  They’re pretty strict bosses.

On average, how many hours a week do you work?
Right now, too many.  My goal is 30 hours per week so I can spend more time doing other things I love to do.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of your home office?  
Go to the beach! The island of St. John, USVI.  Any beach there is fine with me.  

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 
I'm a self-help junkie.  Part of my morning routine is to read, explore and learn from others who write about this topic or appear to have a more fulfilling life and career.  Lately, I’ve been in overload.  This isn’t necessarily the best advice I’ve ever received (still pondering that); however,  the best advice I’ve read recently (I’ve read so much I can recall from whom this came from) is to “run toward your fear”.  One of my favorite sayings is “everything you want is on the other side of fear”.  This is so true for me and I believe for many of us.  I tend to create untrue stories in my head of what might happen, what people might think.  I’m stopping that and running toward those scary conversations or approaching people who might seem out of my league (in my made-up mind).  I’ll keep you posted.