Irina Sozonova – the importance of self-discipline when working remotely

December 9, 2019

Much has been written on the importance of self-discipline when working from home, but how can these good tips be applied practically and consistently?

Let’s learn how Irina Sozonova, who has been working at OnTheGoSystems since 2013, handles this important aspect in her work and in her family life. This is the third time she has been voted Employee of the Month! 

Irina, you are a mother of 3 and with a newborn. If anyone wakes up to a busy day, it’s you. How important is self-discipline in your life?

In the Giant’s house

Self-discipline is very important when working from home, but at the same time, I need to take into consideration the needs of my family. I try to have my own specific routine. Although the daytime flies by amazingly quickly, I usually don’t believe it when people say “I didn’t have time”, because, in my opinion, we can always find time for things we consider important enough.

I believe that improving my daily habits is key to successful time management. I hate being late or causing my kids to be late. That’s why meticulous time organization is a must, especially when it comes to going to bed at night and waking up at the same hour every day rested and ready to go. My aim is to work when I am personally most productive. Breaking old habits is hard, but worth trying.

OTGS is my best tutor. Thanks to OTGS I grew up, got more organized and started thinking ahead.

Surely there must be some distractions raising a young family and working full-time, especially as you work from home.

Irina’s husband puts their watch on a tower

There certainly are! From time to time, the realization that kids are a huge responsibility rushes on me. I already have three, and all three must have a good education, eat healthy food, wear neat clothes, be able to visit good doctors and be safe in general. These things cost money and I become quite anxious. It makes me want to work more :) It’s like flying in a plane and being scared to look down. 

However, I have great support from my very patient husband so I can focus on my work at OTGS. We work well together in training the girls. Since the baby is still only 3 months old, I am also grateful to my mother who comes over every day to help – a real Nanny.

As a wife and mother, how do you manage to stay disciplined enough to accomplish everything? 

In the Giant’s house – Forbes

By staying focused. When my baby was born, I strongly felt that I needed to change my daily habits so as to get my work tasks done and at the same time help my girls grow into diligent and trustworthy young ladies. Luckily, my newborn daughter can lay quietly for an hour or so and that lets me get on with my work at times when Nanny is not around. She even falls asleep in my husband’s arms. When she’s awake, she amuses herself by looking around at everything and waits until I can pick her up. I even think she was sent to me in order for me not to overlook some aspects of my work and life.

I am incredibly thankful to OTGS for its broadminded and flexible outlook that allowed me to have a family, otherwise, I would never have decided to have more than 1 kid :D

To stay focused on my work tasks, I make a TO-DO list every day. If I don’t manage it all, I don’t feel good. Luckily, work at OTGS comes naturally to me. I fell in love with ICanLocalize when I was a translator. I took to it like a duck to water.  It feels great to work in a friendly environment at ICL. Also, handling WPML showcases became my hobby as I relaxed from everything, exploring beautiful sites.

I enjoy covering WPML and Toolset support. I also enjoy working closely with Laura de Figueiredo, our General Manager, who keeps me in shape! Her drive is present even when she’s away for some days!

I’m amazed that you are able to maintain such self-discipline.

Well, it’s not easy, but I can do it by giving myself some breaks. A while ago I became interested in Feng Shui which is believed to balance the powerful lines of energy. As per the Tibetian formula I placed ears of wheat in a blue vase in the north of the apartment, a crystal in the east, a cow in the west and a dollar tree in the south. I think the energy has since improved. My inner voice is telling me the right things to do but in order to keep up with that voice I need to do things really quickly, at the speed of light :) So the key to success is to listen to my inner voice and follow its advice immediately, in order to avoid complicating things. I even feel it when someone writes me an email or calls me on the phone as I am often thinking about that person and an email/call comes at the same time. 

I usually find time for self-education, webinars, changing the mindset and going to the next level. I read books on self-development, how to improve relations with clients and books on financial literacy. There are so many opportunities and techniques to apply! 

Irina’s husband making the ‘Moving apostles’

I also understand that life is short and I only have a few more years of being young – this probably sounds funny. That’s why I need to spend this time smartly to achieve almost everything I dream of and also make my family happy. Such things as to learn to dance, to dress, to speak, win over more clients… so many things to bring happiness! Actually being happy means for me that everything is normal, the kids are healthy, and I’m successfully working at my favorite job.

Thank you, Irina, for helping us to understand how remote workers at home can apply self-discipline in a practical way. Remember the 3 keys that help Irina – improving her daily habits, staying focused and giving herself some breaks.

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