Thoughts On Web Design

Working from home

How To Work From Home

Here is some advice for those who find themselves working from home for the foreseeable future.

Forced from their native work habitat by COVID-19, many employees are now working from home for the first time. Some are adapting well. Some are adapting poorly. Much depends on how suitable the home is for remote working and the self-control of the worker.
- Narration by David Attenborough

I've been working from home for 14 years. I love it. My commute is measured in seconds and feet instead of miles and minutes. I don't have any extraneous noise or interruptions to deal with. Instead of sharing an open office space with co-workers, I share my office with Elwood the dog who curls up in his bed by my desk.

Here is some advice for those who find themselves working from home for the foreseeable future.

1. Act like you are going to an office.

Treat working from home like you would going to an office. Take a shower. Get dressed. Say hi to your imaginary co-workers.

It is tempting to be sloppy and lazy while working from home. Taking a few days between showers. Working in your underwear. Eating snacks and junk food for lunch. Don't give in to temptation. If you're sloppy and lazy, you're work will be as well. It is more important to have discipline while working from home because there isn't anyone around to make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing.

2. Have a routine.

Create a routine, optimize it, and stick with it.

Wake up at the same time each morning. Exercise. Eat breakfast. Start working at the same time every day. Take a break. Work some more. Eat lunch at the same time every day. Take a walk. Work. Take a break. Work some more. Call it a day. Rinse and repeat. Optimize as needed.

If you get out of having a routine, it will make it much harder to go back to working in an office.

3. Create a dedicated work area.

Work in the same space everyday. It doesn't matter if it is a specific chair at your kitchen table or a dedicated home office. Find a space you are comfortable in and use it as your dedicated work area. Don't do anything else in that space. Your mind needs to recognize it as your work area. When you sit down, you are ready to get work done.

4. Use triggers.

Choose your intro music. When you get ready to work play the same song every morning. It creates a trigger in your mind that now it is time to work. I don't recommend picking a song you are likely to hear out in the wild. It will mess with your head if you hear it when you're out socializing.

Pick an outro song as well. A song that indicates that you're done for the day and you can relax after a days work.

I also pick specific albums for large projects that I am working on. I quietly play that album in the background whenever I'm working on that specific project. I have certain albums that I will forever associate with certain projects. It can ruin an album, so be careful with your selection. If you end up not enjoying a project, you'll probably end up hating that album.

5. Go to work. Come home from work.

I go to work and I come home from work. I leave my house and walk around the block to go to work. When I'm done for the day, I walk around the block and come home from work. It's all about creating a mental separation from being at work and being at home when work and home are the same place.

6. Prepare like you're going to watch a 2 hour movie.

Gather all the stuff you could possibly want or need while working before you get started. Use the bathroom. Grab a glass of water or a cup of coffee. Have your snacks at hand. It cuts down on you interrupting yourself by compulsively going to the kitchen or the bathroom. Prepare as though you're going to watch a movie at the theater for a couple hours and you won't want to miss any of the action on screen.

7. Have and enforce boundaries

You have to have boundaries and enforce them to make other people respect your time and space when you are working from home. I have a lot of friends who work in the service industry and are around during the day. Do you want to watch a movie at 14:00? Wanna get a beer at 16:00? I could, but I would never get anything done. You have set boundaries for when you are and are not available.

8. Eliminate distractions

I recommend working in an area without a lot of distractions. Don't choose the couch facing your TV and video games. Silence your phone and put it in a drawer. When you are doing something that doesn't require the internet, disconnect from it. It'll prevent you from compulsively checking your email or the news. Write on a notepad things you want to look up and whatever else pops into your head so you can deal with it later instead of having to do it immediately. Close all the programs on your computer you don't need at the moment. Keep your desk free from clutter. Remove visual distractions. Give yourself the option of doing nothing or your work. Eventually you'll get bored and the choice of doing your work will prevail.

Good luck!

Thank you for reading How To Work From Home. I hope you enjoyed it. You can give me feedback, say hi or yell at me on

Mar 25, 2020 Filed under Tips


The Maltese Falcon

Life and Death in The Andes

Ender's Game

War and Peace


Brewing Up A Business

Latest Tweets

Follow Us On Twitter