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14 tips for ruling the work-from-home game

Contrary to popular beliefs about productivity, it is ok to mix your work and personal lives. They are your lives, after all! Mixing things up can help you achieve unexpected efficiency and a deepened sense of fulfillment. Independent type designers are masters of this discipline. Here are some ground rules from the best.

  1. Work a bit before breakfast. That will make the rest of the workday shorter.
  2. Mornings are not for catching up on new episodes of the latest mystery thriller. Studies by Czech researchers show a 32% higher chance of binge watching if you turn Netflix on in the morning.
  3. Work in pyjamas (or naked!) for as long as you can. It makes for better blood flow, which is good for all kinds of mental processes.
  4. If you are emphatically against pyjamas, invest in some comfortable loungewear. Whatever you do, say no to smart casual!
  5. Avoid socks at all costs. Slippers are okay. The fluffier the better.
  6. There is definitely no need for a suit. Unless you are having a conference call with a client. In that case, it is sufficient to wear only the top bits – and shorts. Do not stand up during a call. That’s why office chairs have wheels.
  7. Be creative with your working places and positions. You can work virtually anywhere! Use your kitchen desk, use your sofa, sit on the floor, lie on the floor. It is better than any of the fancy startup offices and it is only yours. You can also work on a bed with the computer on the floor. Thoroughly tested.
  8. Go out for lunch. Make the mid-day break longer. Enjoy the outside. It is ok to work outside too, btw. it is ok to work when you have just finished lunch and there is a small beer next to your laptop. Post a picture on social media to make the office workers’ lives miserable.
  9. Work out when everyone else is working. The gym will still have some fresh air, and the swimming pool will be emptier and cleaner. Worst case, it might be packed with retired people, but they are usually easy to lunge past or swim around (though beware, some of them might present surprisingly fierce competition). Post all your achievements online. Collegial envy is the new love.
  10. Complain about your commute. Why not!
  11. Remember to go outside. But if you do not, it is ok too. Just play some music and it will do. Human contact is overrated.
  12. You probably do not want to work full eight hours. No one does.
  13. Make use of the post-napping guilt. If you’re tired, take a nap. The guilt you feel afterwards will fuel your most productive hours yet, and you’ll catch up on lost working minutes in no time.
  14. Make use of your bedtime. It is ideal for catching up on emails, tweets and the like. The trick is simple: if you read something upsetting, go to sleep! Immediately. No replies. Chances are, someone else will get upset instead of you. Or you will forget. Either way, you’ll have started a new day before it can get to you.

This article was written around midnight when everyone else was asleep. As a result there was more time for a slow breakfast with pancakes, forest fruits, and maple syrup, sprinkled with chia seeds for a healthy kick.

Edited by Andrea Churchill Wong.

28 April 2020