By Alice Austin
Working from home is, for many people, a daily struggle. It’s you vs. you. You are battling only with yourself. No one is watching as you stop doing that important work at 10am and find your head tilting upwards and right as your mind accesses the subconscious part of your brain. Nobody shouts HALT as one socked foot cautiously emerges out from under your desk. No one protests as the rest of your pajama-clothed body slinks along with it, padding lightly over to the cupboard above the sink. There is no one there to bat an eyelid as you take out the jar.
A sigh; a pause. You take this moment to face up to the fact that you are, through and through, a total piece of shit, and with a deft, practiced movement, like a fox catching its prey, you grab the unwashed spoon you left on the side and shove it wildly into the peanut butter, making sure you really get in there, and you cram it into your mouth. Do you even bother chewing? Who cares, as we’ve established, no one’s watching.
You slink back to your desk, a piece of nut inevitably stuck to the side of your face. The immediate gratification slowly turns to shame and you get back to doing that important thing you were doing and you vow it will never happen again. Only, 30 minutes later, the socked foot once again furtively emerges from under the table.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry. I’ve been working from home for 21 days now, and I can confirm that I’ve definitely found a way to crack this cycle of self-loathing and destruction. Whether or not I’ll stick to this regime, I don’t know, but here’s how to work from home without losing your marbles.
(Also, should add here, that I have quit my job in marketing without any job to go to because I finally reached the point where I literally could not spend another moment pretending I give a shit about Google Web Analytics. So I’m trying to be a freelancer. Freelance what? Writer I guess, I dno, stop asking questions.)
Stick to a sleep routine
Go to bed between 11 and midnight every night during the week and get up at a normal adult time which is 8:30am. No later than 9am, if you must.
Get your face outside
You need to go outside on at least 3 separate occasions every day. This is very important. As soon as you get up, get dressed and put your face in fresh air. Go for a short walk, get a banana from the shop or just stick your head out the window for five minutes. It’s important to start the day outside of your home office for best marble-maintenance practice.
You need to exercise at least 3 times a week
I don’t mean to make you feel like the piece of shit that you are, but if you work from home you have no excuse not to exercise. The best time to exercise is before lunch and you should do it at least 3 times a week. This sounds boring but it’s a very good way of breaking up your day. Meetup.com is really good for joining sports teams and it’s usually free.
I personally am a member or Urban Sports Club in Berlin which means I can do any sport I want. I usually do Cross Fit (smug), yoga and I’ve recently started bouldering. I love bouldering. I might write a separate article/essay/lecture about why I love bouldering.
Don’t watch Netflix
Don’t do it. It needs to be a rule, just like drinking alcohol, that you don’t watch Netflix before 6pm. If you do you have just bought yourself a one-way ticket to Nomarblesland and it’s hard to get back, because you bought yourself a one-way ticket and the trains don’t come that often. Capiche?
Work somewhere different in the afternoons
I find that spending all day in one place leads to my marbles slowly, slowly rolling out of reach. It’s important to split up the day. You can go to a nice café and invite a fellow freelancing friend to join you which lessens your chances of losing your marbles drastically.
But if, like me, you have quit your job and don’t actually have another job and you’ve told everyone you’re freelancing, and have even written a post on your zine about it (it’s not a blog), but actually you don’t have any prospects JUST YET, it’s important you don’t spend loads of money so maybe ask your friend if they will let you work at their apartment or go to a library where there’s free wifi.
Alright I’ll probs write something about why I quit my job and wtf I’m doing with my life at some point but until then enjoy these tips and stay away from the peanut butter.