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Adventures In Freelancing Comic #4 "Professional Homebody"

AiF-4-Professional Homebody-WEBCOMIC


Working from home is every bit as awesome as it seems. No strife of a daily commute, no expense of unavoidable meals out, fuel, or rented office space. And perhaps best of all, all the comforts of your own, personalized office, maybe even shared with your significant other. I know for myself, spending about 80% of my working time in my home office this past year has been a dream come true.

Especially with winter coming on, though, there’s the inherent danger to have too much of a good thing, so here’s some simple productivity tips to keep in mind for the shut-ins, the introverts, and self-employed slipper wearers.

1. Punch-Out!

Sorry to shatter your hopes if you expected a section on the NES classic. If you’re finally working from home and doing what you love, chances are you’re no longer a clock-watching salary man.

Your work doesn’t feel like work anymore, instead you love it, and that’s awesome. Late nights may start to feel effortless, and at times they may be necessary to meet the odd deadline. Still, be careful not to make a habit of the 18-20 hour workday.

Remember to set your own boundaries and clock out before the witching hour every once in a blue moon. Either plan to keep a certain day or days of the week free of overtime, or make sure to follow up long days with a regular or even abbreviated work day.

2. Remember me? I’m your husband!

There’s a good chance your significant other likes you, and may even like spending time with you! Make sure to stay in communication when it comes to overwork. If things are going to be late for awhile, there’s nothing worse than not letting them know an end-date. The light at the end of the tunnel is the best thing to keep you both sane.

If you’re both working from home, doubled tunnel vision tends to leave a few more dishes in the sink and unlaundered hampers. Team up and switch off that housework so neither of you feels overburdened.

3. They were once called “legs”, and they carried us, like Segways.

Ok, so maybe someone published a study about how sitting 8 hours a day would kill you, and then that study was found to be grossly exaggerative. But if you power through a sit-session with no breaks for exercise, you’re actually doing the productivity you think you’re helping a disservice.

Standing every hour, stretching, doing a brief bout of exercise, perhaps take a magical journey to the mailbox. Flex your spine forward and back to increase blood flow, and do some deep breathing. This is not only a good way to stay alive, it revives your focus to begin work anew.

4. Why do we go outside, Master Bruce? To go back inside again.

Hate to break it to you, but pinboards, the same four walls, and your admittedly adorable pet bunny will eventually fail to inspire you. In order to maintain some perspective, you’ll eventually need to take a journey to the miserable hive we call society. And that’s actually a good thing.

Inspiration often comes from discomfort. Imagination is like a fiery forge that greatness is honed in. Getting stuck in the occasional traffic jam, helping get your friend’s 85” couch up a 22” wide stairway, or braving the checkout line is actually giving your brain-clam the tiny agitating grains of sand that pearls come from.

5. “Leaf of absence.” Because walks in the forest.

Sometimes brief respites aren’t enough to restore color to the face of your humanity. There has to be something that inspired you to start doing what you do now, so you’ll want to go to there.

For me, any amount of time I can spend in the forest is a complete restorative power. For you, it may be the beach, the mountains, a weekend in the city, or a day trip to a museum. Take a day at a time, or save up for a week. The important thing is that it’s restorative, relaxing, and perhaps social. Best of all, it’s a great way to thank your supportive spouse for their long-suffering endurance of your freelancing blitz.

I read what you said, and the only thing is, I really… don’t want to do any of it.

I know that personally, I can’t rest until I’ve gotten the things I want to done. Some of us develop this sort of neurosis until we can never truly be “done”. It may take some adjustment, but the personal project/piles of freelance work/theme park will still be there when you get back. Better yet, you’ll be a better person when you take it on again.

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