Working from Home? [Part 2]
For the first half of this list (and the secret to unlocking your inner Tony Stark) hit up this blog post!
8. Use the Pomodoro Technique
No, this isn’t a secret productivity hack that prescribes a diet of strictly tomatoes. What it is though is a way to boost your output through the power of micro-breaks. We have entrepreneur/developer/author/genius-namer-of-things Francesco Cirillo to thank for this lovely little lethargy-lessening technique, and it seriously works, and all you need to get going is an egg timer and pile of work to get done.
Essentially the technique is this: find a task to accomplish, set your timer for 25 minutes, work until 25 minutes are up, take a break. That’s really it -- oh yeah, and after four pomodoros (25-minute blocks), you get a nice loonnngg break (like 15-30 minutes). The idea is to keep your work level at a sprint while also giving you some of that much-needed you-time we all crave throughout the day. If you’re anything like me, even when you’re on a roll at work, there’s still a vague urge to check out /r/babyelephantgifs -- what this technique does is allow you to get your fill of cute pachyderms, and to keep up with the tasks at hand. [Lifehacker goes in-depth on Pomodoro here]
Though it’s primarily used by creatives (i.e. folks working on long-term projects that require a lotta concentration and a lotta time), you’ll find if you start granting yourself little five-minute vacays in the middle of your at-home workday, you’ll be surprised at how many perfect emails you can send, how many boxes in excel you can fill, and just how damn happy you are!
9. Make plans for after work
If you’re spending a lot of time in the house, it’s extremely important for your mental health to get out of the house. Once the work day is done, it’s real easy to say, “Screw the World,” put on your pajamas with the flap in the back, and tumble into bed to re-watch Stranger Things just one more time. But, resisting the urge to stay in is one major key to avoid feeling imprisoned by your home office.
10. Find a Nearby Work Paradise
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to clock in and clock out at your bedroom door -- if you’ve gotten ready for your day, and if you’ve got a hankering for that revelatory sardine-topped avocado toast down the street, and if cleaning up after your most recent Sports Ball-watching event is becoming more and more dreadful, then maybe you should hit the pavement and take a walk outside. If getting your own workspace just right doesn’t seem so doable, there are gaggles of entrepreneurs that have staked a life on building a place where locals can get comfortable, and get shit done (we're big fans of WeWork's stuff, there are hella options for the coworking-inclined). So chase your bliss, get on Yelp, find a spot, and get to work!
11. Remember You don’t have to work an eight hour day
Perhaps the hardest thing about working from home is creating your own work parameters -- at the office, you clock in at 9, sit at your desk, and pass the time either discovering sports you had never thought existed (see /r/theOcho), wondering if your boss would permit you to bring a pillow to mid-afternoon meetings, or actually completing assignments. At home, it’s all on you. Decide what you’re going to do, get it done, and leave work at work. If that means you finish a little before 5 o’clock on the dot, appreciate what a badass you are, and go grab a happy hour brewski.
12. Be uber-grateful you’re not marooned in a cubicle
Finally, is there anything quite so nice as a productive day spent outside sunning with your cat, Rufus? If you can swing it, that home office grind is one of the sweetest you can imagine. Just stay focused, limit distractions, set limits, and you’ll be an ultra-happy, mentally-healthy, and slightly-abnormally shaped cog in the great societal machine.