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I just read this article on 12 Struggles only people who work from home can truly understand. The article talks about how easy it is to become a bathrobe wearing hermit who rarely interacts with people and spends all day attached to a computer. If you work from home this can be a sad reality, especially if you are your own boss and have no one you must have mandatory regular interactions with. One day you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you look like some bedraggled anemic character from the Walking Dead. Pale skin, dark circles, rats nest hair, t-shirt covered in a weeks worth of food stains and fuzzy pajama pants that have worn spots on the ass from sitting in your desk chair.
It has been so long since you wore make up, your mascara has turned to dust and you don’t even have a clue where any lipstick is. This is not the glamorous work at home life you imagined, lunching with friends and sitting in the park sipping a latte while working.
Before you get way to comfortable in those fuzzy pajama pants and stained t-shirt, I have a few recommendations on how NOT to become that person.
Get dressed everyday. Wake up in the morning and get dressed in real clothes that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to walk around town in.
Set a regular start time and an end time. You don’t have to work 9 to 5 but you do need to have a general time scheduled that you are working and make sure you have an end time. During that time act as if you are on a job. Don’t take personal calls, let them go to voice mail. Don’t clean the house or walk the dog or any of the other thousand things. Honor your work but setting time to focus only on it.
Go to the office. Have a room or a space that is your office. Do all your work from that space and when you leave that space for the day you have left your office. Close the laptop, shut the door and turn off the light. Your work is done for the day. If you think of something during off hours send yourself an email reminder for the next day. It is ok to set boundaries and say these are my work hours and I am working.
Go outside everyday. Rain or shine just go outside for a few minutes. Walk around your neighborhood, sip coffee on your front porch. Say “Hi” to your neighbors. Just get out into the world.