How to Make WFH Your B*&#@
Ever since I started working, the idea of working from home sounded like an absolute dream. I get an extra 2 hours of sleep, avoid any and all interactions with the MTA, and bypass the whole concept of a bra. Not too shabby, right? Right. That is until you have to do it for days on end, and you keep getting emails at 8:47 a.m.
You now have to rewire your brain to make it understand that, yes, your home is your temple and we do not work where we play, buuuuuut, if Lisa from billing doesn’t get an answer in 20 minutes, she’ll lose it. That, along with the lack of a second screen, plus your newly developed carpal tunnel (because you haven’t been able to plug anything into your USB port since something lodged in there during your sophomore year of college, and you don’t understand Bluetooth technology), are quickly turning your seemingly magical day(s) into a bad vibe that even lighting sage couldn’t fix.
The thought of working from home was starting to give me soul-crushing heartburn. But now, as I enter my third week of it, as a result of COVID-19, I feel like I finally got the hang of it.
Here are the ways I turned my stressful WFH situation to a minimally painful one. Let’s dive in kids:
Your Work Space
I find it extremely difficult to work around people because I just want to play like all the time. Throw in my mom screaming to clean the house, or my brothers pretending every room is a boxing ring, and they’re both Mohammed Ali, and it’s almost impossible to focus. I managed to isolate myself from any and all distractions by getting a desk in my room and working only from there. I aimed to make it look just like my desk at work. Fake plant and all.
I invested in a real keyboard, made my little brother connect my wireless mouse, and found a (magical) mousepad with memory foam. Side note: we’re too young to be getting wrist pain so let’s start showing some loooove to our wrists. In the absence of a double-monitor, I’ve been using my personal laptop as a makeshift second monitor and it’s been extremely helpful, too.
Your Head Space
The most important part of making WFH your bitch is your mindset. Yes, you’re home: you’re in sweats and your hair is greasy, I get it. But you’re still working and you can’t lose sight of that. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than crawling out of bed at 8:50 a.m. and sending the daily email that I’m “Logged on and ready to work! :)” When I am, in fact, not. But hey, nobody knows that, right? Well, your boss might not know, but you’ll still be rocked into next week once the emails start coming in and your eye is still doing that thing where it’s half-closed and making your vision blurry.
As corny as it sounds, it’s crucial that you start the day on the right foot. Get up earlier, wash your face, brush your hair, open the curtains, make your bed, rap A Milli by Lil Wayne - whatever you have to do. In the words of Shia LaBeouf, JUST DO IT. The sooner you create a functional mindset, the easier it will be to meet your deadlines. And you STILL don’t have to wear makeup or a bra. It’s a win-win.
Another thing I found extremely helpful is creating a schedule. I try to get up and stretch every hour or so, just to remind my legs that they’re still attached to me and they still have a function. I also try to avoid being too frequent a visitor to my pantry because I’m never actually hungry, I’m just procrastinating.
I try and keep a somewhat constant schedule because without it, I’d spiral into an abyss of ramen noodles, murder-mystery docuseries, and scrolling on Instagram until my thumb cramps up. All before 10 a.m. Not ideal.
What we’re living through right now is tough. Nobody knows what they’re doing or what’s going to happen and we’re all just trying to get by. I am fortunate enough that I am still working at all, but, let’s be honest, everyone is scared and on edge, and sometimes it is clear from the passive aggressive “quick reminder!” emails because they’re less passive than usual.
Surrounding yourself with positive constants is the only thing that’ll keep us sane during all of this. Yes, work sucks. I’m not gonna lie to you. But, if you can make the time you are working a little less miserable, it’ll make it a whole lot better. Stay safe and spread love, people.
Are we okay? For now, but check back in 2-3 business days.