After a decade working without pants, I offer this assistance to my displaced friends. May it guide you in your time of need. And I hope it makes you laugh, too. A smile goes a long way in tough times.
Working From Home: 17 Tips
1. Prioritize Fitness
You still need to work out. Your gym might be closed and you might be going stir crazy, but a good workout can help a lot. Need an idea? Check out the workouts here. They were designed for cottages and hotels, so they’re perfect for isolation at home during the coronavirus crisis. If you’d like to talk to us about how you can start training online with a coach today, click here.
2. Dress for Success
You need more than one bathrobe. I recommend one for each day of the week. I actually have bathrobes that help me address specific tasks. The Lumberjack is for grinding days. The Sith Lord Hooded Fang is for days when people need to be reprimanded. I borrow my wife’s Mystic Ice Princess robes for days when I feel stuck in a rut. And so on. But you’re going to smell if you only have one robe. Your days of trying to keep your dress shirt tucked in are over, and you never have to feel your feet go to sleep because your fitted dress pants have been tightly bunched up around your knees for six hours.
3. Do the Dishes
You know that sickeningly dirty coffee cup you’ve been drinking out of for 5 years straight at the office? Forget about it. Use a new cup each day. I recommend you acquire some special cups that might not be suitable for the sensitivities of the modern workplace.
4. Quote Seinfeld
“I know it doesn’t seem like work to you.” —Seinfeld. You’re going to need this quote. I’ve used it thousands of times when people see me lying on the couch in my underwear while using a cell phone. Some think I’m playing Candy Crush. In reality, my heart rate is at 160 because I’m about to send an email to 100,000 people.
5. Crush Work
Your productivity should increase. When you work in an office, “time vampires,” meetings and stupid schedules slow you down. Many people can get “8 hours” of office work done in 3 at home. When I realized this, I started a small business on the side. There is no speed limit at home. You’re on the autobahn now.
6. Be an Early Bird
Get up early. If you let the day slip away, you’ll never survive working at home. Get up two hours earlier than you normally do, slay “8 hours” of work in 3 and then enjoy your spare time.
7. Take Short Breaks
Blow off steam regularly but on a time limit. All your toys are at home. I get it. But two hours on Red Dead Redemption will kill your productivity. Use toys as “coffee breaks” that recharge you. If I spend 15 minutes on basement archery or guitar shredding, I’m much more productive when I go back to work.
8. Stop Before You’re Exhausted
Set a limit on work. Some of you are going to find productivity addicting, and it’s tempting to work all the time. Don’t. At some point, turn the screens off for the day.
9. Be Creative
Your pet might be eligible for a tax deduction as a business animal. My cat once walked on my keyboard and typed the word “poop” into a post meant for a major publication. I considered her editorial suggestion and ultimately deleted it, but she definitely performed work that day. Similarly, I don’t need an alarm system. My mastiffs are on duty guarding trade secrets, business property and essential C-suite staff for 12 hours daily. Sounds a lot like a business expense to me. Your accountant might disagree. But now is not the time to think inside the box.
10. Be Respectful
Your spouse is not your assistant. I must emphasize this point. The intern will get you coffee on demand. Your spouse will not. Sacrifices must be made.
11. Try New Things
Explore your space. You might be more productive in certain rooms and positions. No one is going to frown on you if you take your laptop into the bathroom. Similarly, working on the back porch can be very refreshing. Desks are stupid.
Crush housework as you labour. Heading to the kitchen to grab a snack? Why not push the vacuum on your way there? Need to think about whether your co-worker is being passive-aggressive on Slack? Fold some towels. Your house should be spotless by the end of the day.
13. Don’t Be Scared
Your lunch is likely safe. The dude who always takes your stuff isn’t in your house. You don’t need to hide your lasagna at the back behind the condiments that are only used once a year at the staff barbecue.
14. Crank It Up
Play it loud. Your co-workers have bad taste in music. We all know it. Now is the time to crank your jams.
15. Promote Yourself
Give yourself “CEO Parking.” I recommend you even put up a sign. This simple act will make you feel amazing every time you see it.
16. Recharge as Needed
Nap if and when you need to. Dozing at a desk carries stigma for literally no good reason. If you wake up fired up, don’t sweat a snooze. But don’t sleep for six hours and waste your day, either.
17. Go Your Own Way
Finally, there are no rules. There is only productivity. Do whatever it takes to be productive and don’t let anyone judge you. If you do weird stuff to become productive, make sure the blinds are closed. And don’t tell anyone about it.
You can do this.