My Five Self-Imposed Rules for Working from Home

For the last 7 years or so, I’ve worked at the local university that I graduated from, sadly but necessarily taking up a career in administration while holding a degree in English that quietly sobbed in a corner and only felt useful when I was able to churn out an editorial on one of the many websites I run.

Two weeks ago, I unexpectedly found myself without a job. Fortunately for me, I was able to quickly find something new and it was doing something I’d always wanted to do: write.

To celebrate my new job, I did the unthinkable and cleaned my desk. I don’t know why I have a box of beignet mix there.

A new twist to it all was that the job would be done remotely and during my Skype interview, my new boss told me that after a year or so, I could end up being a little weird. I hadn’t though about it before, but isolation is definitely a concern. Mr. Pikko comes home almost every day for lunch so I wouldn’t be totally without company, but still, I could definitely see myself going down the Weird Road.

So for that reason, I’ve come up with a set of rules for myself to help keep myself sane while making this transition to working out of a home office. The hands-down shittiest thing about it will be the lack of air conditioning, but I can always haul my butt off to the library on unbearable days.

Thankfully, it’s almost winter, which in Hawaii just means rain and bearable weather.

Rule #1: Get Dressed for Work

I went out to lunch with my girlfriend last week and told her about the new job and when I told her, “I told myself I have to get dressed.” she busted up laughing. We cracked up imagining me turning into a complete sloth. Images of myself working all day, all week in sweat pants and a sports bra with my hair in a messy bun came to mind, which the laughter die a little in me.

So yeah, I have to get dressed. I’m a blouse and slacks kind of woman and so my general rule is that I need to just wear stuff that I can just leave the house in immediately. I never used to brush my hair for work because I’m already a hair slob, but maybe I’ll have to include the brushing too. Brushing my teeth is also a big priority for when I first get up since I can imagine it’ll be easy to forget.

Rule #2: Go Outside

I just blogged yesterday about our chickens and so one of my other rules will be that I have to occasionally go outside the house. Collecting our daily chicken eggs is a good task to take me outside and I’ll also incorporate “dog breaks” where I got sit on the front steps and just chill with the dogs for a bit.

The main thing to avoid is me being in the house for 8-9 hours straight.

Rule #3: Exercise

I used to bike to work and before that, I used to walk. The point is, I used to get at least SOME kind of daily exercise. With my commute now being reduced to a few yards from my bed to my desk, I have to get in daily exercise somehow. I’d hate to see my bike go to waste so maybe I’ll go out for a leisure biking trek after work. I’ll finish at around 2:30 or 3 PM, which would give me a lot of time to work out too.

I have a lot of workout DVDs, so maybe I’ll bike twice a week and workout the other three days. I can see myself just never doing this, but I’m hoping if I make it one of these rules I’ll be able to motivate myself to stick to it. I’m getting pretty wide as it is, so lack of exercise won’t be doing me any favors in the weight department.

Rule #4: Don’t Eat Lunch at My Desk

I’m really used to eating lunch while I work, but I think if I’m working from home on the computer, I have to do more than take 5 minute breaks now and then. I don’t like an hour long lunch unless I’m going somewhere, so I’ve always taken a 15-30 minute lunch break. I’ll definitely have to make sure I spend those 30 minutes relaxing away from the screen.

Rule #5: Occasionally Don’t Work from Home

As I mentioned earlier, I may have to go to the library or a coffee shop on hot days to stay sane and it was actually a suggestion by my new boss that I go out and work somewhere so that I’m around people. The kids and I go to a public library every week and it’s actually a really nice library so I’ll see about going there once a week with my laptop or Chromebook. If not, there’s a nice Coffee Bean in Manoa I like or I can bike to campus and work in the library.

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