Times are scary at the moment (thank you, Corona), and we're being asked to stay at home more and more, whether you're social distancing or full-on self-isolating. Part of this involves working from home if you can, so I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up as a writer over the past few years.
1. Embrace the Slob
Some of you will start off this working-from-home journey with good intentions. You'll tell yourself you're going to treat working from home as you would going into the office; you're going to dress smartly, put your make-up on, brush your hair. This may happen - for a little while or for the duration of your home-working - but really, what is the point? Nobody is going to see you (not even the postman, if they're still working by the time I hit publish on this. Simply shout through the letterbox that you're self-isolating and they can dump the parcel on the doorstep and run like the wind).
Embrace the slob. Work in your pyjimmies (or jogging bottoms if you really must get dressed). Forget the make-up. Laugh in the face of your hairbrush. When will you get this opportunity again?
Important note: brushing your hair is optional, brushing your teeth is not. You can take the whole Waynetta thing too far.
2. Beware the Fridge
This is a difficult one, because the fridge is right there, just a matter of steps away, with yummy food tempting you throughout the day. It'd be so easy to nip in and grab a snack, over and over again. This isn't so bad if you're self-isolating for 7 days. But 12 weeks? That's a lot of snackage. Of course, this may not be a problem if the crazy stockpiling continues, because your fridge will be bare anyway...
3. Social Media Is Your Friend
If you're used to working with others, it can be a bit of a shock to suddenly be on your own with nobody to chat to about last night's telly, so social media is a godsend. You may not have colleagues within speaking distance, but there are millions of people in the same boat as you. Get on your social media platform of choice and get nattering (just don't forget to do some work as well!)
4. Take a Break
It's tempting to grab something to eat at your laptop, but I always make sure I have a proper break at lunchtime. The laptop is shut and put out of reach for an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to catch up on some telly or Netflix. If you're not a coach potato like me, you could read a book or go for a walk (unless we're on complete lockdown by the time I publish this) or potter around the garden. Now is an ideal opportunity to have a natter with your social media colleagues.
5. Headphones Are Also Your Friend
You may not be the only one in your house while you're trying to work. My husband and I have been working from home together for the past seven years and we haven't killed each yet - and that's partly down to headphones. They come in particular use when I'm listening to festive music; my husband doesn't want to hear Christmas music in December, never mind in March when I'm editing a festive novel and want to set the mood!