Hey cHEwY gum gums

People often tell me that I’m lucky to work from home as a writer. I can wake up late. I can work in my PJs. I can have Netflix on in the background. All of those perks are true but it’s not all roses.

As many people settle into Working From Home (WFH) as part of their social isolation, there’s been a ton of tips being shared around. I’ve read them and realise I’ve been doing WFH wrong haha. So let’s go through the list. I’ve only selected a few main ones.

Have a dedicated working space

Check!

It’s been fascinating to hear friends say that they’ve had to buy a desk, chair or even a printer to set up their new home office. I thought everybody had them but unless you have kids/are studying, why would you have them?

My desk is in the spare room of my place, and it’s where I get into the writing zone.

If space is a restraint, then even setting up your dining table to look like an office will help you prepare mentally for work.

Limit social media/mobile phone use

Um…I’m really hopeless at this.

What I normally do is write for 5 minutes, then check my socials on my phone, go back to writing for another 5 minutes and then do something else. It’s the worst way to be productive.

I get it, having full access to your phone and Internet may seem like a cool thing at first, but they can be major distractions for your own work. Work out what is your ‘distraction’ limit. You may have to do something drastic like leaving your phone on aerophone mode if that helps.

Don’t do any housework

Yeah, fail for me here too.

I’ve always tried to do the laundry, wash the dishes, prepare dinner, thinking that I can splice that into my own writing time. But what happens is that I end up going overboard and that 15 minute allocation for sweeping the floor becomes half an hour. Sometimes I willingly give in to doing the housework because let’s face it, it’s a neater way of saying procrastination hehe.

I know the idea of doing housework as a break between tasks seems cool. But you’ll end up doing things half-baked. So it’s either a clean house or work being done.

Set boundaries between work and home

They say you shouldn’t bring your work home, so what happens now?

I get it, you think you’ve saved yourself some time because you’re not having to commute. But it’s likely you’ll use that extra time to do more work. Leaving the workplace is a signal for your brain to say ‘work is done’ but the lines are blurred in WFH life. Having that dedicated work space helps, so when you leave that room, you can say ‘Honey, I’m home!’

WFH also creates this illusion that you’re available all the time. I know work has already crept into our own personal lives thanks to being available through our phones. I often email librarians or answer queries on my BlackBerry before bedtime. It’s a struggle for me.

Trust me, the novelty of working from home will wear out. You’ll realise how quickly time flies and you’ll feel like you haven’t done much at all. It may be fine to work in your PJs or home clothes, but soon you’ll feel like a sloth. It’s okay because I think everybody will find their own groove. It took awhile to find mine 🙂

So good luck! And please, share some your Working From Home tips here 🙂

O.W

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree