Working from home: an adventure

My friend, Chris Murphy, shared some thoughts about working from home. I added a few of my own. Hope these are useful to y’all.

1) Create a schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible. That sounds pretty basic, but it is vital. Creating a daily triage always makes me more productive and feel accomplished at the end of the day. However, family dance parties are legit schedule breakers!

2) Do not work in the same space that you sleep. If you live in a small studio apartment, that can be difficult… but do what you can to separate your work space(s) from your sleep space.  Note that pets rarely follow this rule as everywhere in the house is a sleep-&-work space.

3) Work at keeping your home clean. A messy and cluttered room slowly saps my energy and fills me with a slight sense of tension that can have severe ramifications part way through the day. So do your best to do a 15-30 minute power clean first thing in the morning when you wake up (or before you go to bed if that’s your thing.) I will literally set a timer on the microwave each morning and clean stuff as fast as I can.  This will keep you from considering homocide when the kids “forgot” to clean the kitchen the night before.

4) Open windows and get in some natural light and fresh air.  Take the dog outside yourself this time!

5) Take a shower in the morning and get dressed like you would be going out. This is so so so important. I know everyone jokes about working from home in your pajamas and not showering all day. HAHAHA… so funny, it’s the best… yeah, I get it. BUT, that wears off REALLY REALLY quickly. You work from home now, take it serious. Showering and getting dressed does this weird mental shift in your brain which tells your mind and body it is ready for work. You will be more productive, and more importantly you will feel better.  When the cat sniffs you and does that weird-smell-cat-face, you know it’s been too long.

6) Get your emotions in check. If you’re like me and you need to be around people… working from home can get really lonely and leave you feeling weird. Feel the feelings, that is fine… but, don’t let your feelings make decisions for you. Drink water. Stretch your legs. Put on music. Go for a walk. Depression hits at random times when you are extroverted and work from home.  Remember they are your spouse/partner/child/UberEats driver and NOT the enemy.

7) Sit at a table more often then you sit on your couch or a comfy chair… your body will thank you for it, plus… the moments you decide to reward yourself by sitting on the couch with your laptop for an hour or so, will feel so much better.  The dog will disagree. Do not listen. The dog is compelling. DO NOT LIS...and we’re on the couch.

8) Mute conversations on Facebook messenger. SLACK however can save your life! Check it out

9) Stop checking your email all day (unless you have to). If possible set times for when you deal with your emails.  You don’t OWN me!

10) Instrumental music is your friend. YouTube has some great coffee house music mixes which is really awesome for background noise.  All Classical 89.9 is my jam!

11) If you are hopping on Zoom meetings, give yourself 5 minute buffers to join the room. With so many people working from home, Zoom and other conferencing tools are being a lot slower than normal. Expect it to happen.  Remember: they aren’t trying to mess up your day. Their dog HAD to go out NOW!

Remember: stay home, stay safe, love each other!