how to work from home when you never have before

with the coronavirus pandemic upon us and the push to socially isolate, many of us are working from home for the first time ever. working from home can be exciting – you can work in your underwear! you can look at porn in the middle of the day! it can also be daunting – how are you supposed to stay focused? what if you get caught up in tv or talking to the folks you live with, who are also home?

i own my own business and i’ve worked from home for almost 5 years. in that time, i’ve learned how to keep myself organized and focused so i can get my work done while also enjoying some of the small benefits (no commute!) that come from working from home. if you’re new to working at home, i’ve assembled these 8 tips that helped me and i think will help you have a positive experience!

TIP 1: go to bed and get up at the same time that you used to. this helps you keep your routine. if you normally have a long commute that you no longer have to do, you get a little bit of sleeping in time! you also can make coffee at home and save yourself time standing in line and dropping 7 dollars on your latte.

TIP 2: take your morning shower and get dressed. doing your morning routine cues your mind and helps make it easier to sit down and get to work when it’s time. the nice thing here is that you can wear whatever makes you comfortable. for me, that’s generally a pair of gym shorts and maybe a shirt if i’m cold.

TIP 3: make a schedule of your day. this is key in helping you structure your day and stay on task. figure out when you’ll start work and end work, and allot time to work on specific tasks to keep yourself organized. i find 90 minute blocks of time work well when i plan my day.

TIP 4: don’t forget to take breaks. when you’re working from home, it can be tempting to keep going to finish up one more task or work through your lunch time to prove you’re productive. don’t do this. when you’re making your schedule, plan a mid-morning break, a lunch break, and a mid-afternoon break. breaks give you multiple physical and mental benefits such as reduced eye strain and time to release stress.

TIP 5: set limits and stick to them. remember when i said to decide when you’ll end work? that’s so you won’t get into the habit of working all the time. overworking starts with an extra hour catching up on this or that and the next thing you know, you’re checking email and making spreadsheets at 7am on the weekends. choose your end time and when it comes, stop working.

TIP 6: if you’re sick, don’t be a hero. don’t keep working because you’re working from home and nobody is around. if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re only punishing yourself and you don’t even get to be a martyr by going to work when you’re half-dead. (speaking of which, cut that shit out, too)

TIP 7: if you enjoy working from home, say so. tell your boss. do a great job. you might be able to negotiate getting to work from home, even some of the time, after all of this is done. if you don’t like it, still do a good job. what you do now will be noticed and remembered and you don’t want your boss thinking that you’re a shitty employee.

TIP 8: don’t forget your co-workers. chances are there are some folks in the office that you get along with. you’ll find soon that social isolation is really hard and the mental effects of it show up in weird ways. try having video meetings, coffee chats, or happy hours. this can help you feel less alone and keeps you connected.

BONUS TIP: at some point around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you might find yourself getting horny. this is dick o’clock. enjoy it whenever you can. taking a break to masturbate (whether you have a dick or not) can be just what you need so you don’t yell during the next conference call and it can give you enough time away from that spreadsheet to come back to it with fresh eyes. it also feels great!

please do take care of yourself during this uncertain time. be sure to talk to others about how you’re feeling – none of us can do this alone. let me know if these tips help and if you have other tips, be sure to include them in the comments!