As one who has operated a home office for several years now, I have gained much expertise and experience on how to make working at home seem successful.  Here are a few suggestions.  Well, ten.

The author, trying to break rule #5, or is it #6? What’s in the mug, eh?
  1. Wake up. I tried not waking up versus waking up, and waking up is the only way to get things done.  Being aware, as opposed to being sentient, is another story altogether.[1]
  2. Make the bed. This helps keep you from not staying awake, and also from going back to bed, which can quickly lead to not staying awake.
  3. Get dressed. Some prefer working in the nude as that can help one remain alert, but it can also be a distraction, especially if you have an office-mate, and you’ll get cold in winter. Plus, your office chair (ew).  Also, putting on PJ’s doesn’t count as getting dressed; see #1 and 2, above.
  4. Eat regular meals. This is important, though it may seem obvious.  In an office, it’s easy during the workday to have just one meal, usually lunch, and maybe a healthy mid-afternoon snack such as a nice piece of fruit.  At home, you can eat non-stop the entire time and no one will ever know, except when you go back to the office in a few weeks.  An entire pan of lasagna for breakfast?  No problem!  Also, see #3 above.  You don’t want to size out of all the clothes you’ll need to get dressed every day in order to stay not-unawake, as in #1, above.
  5. Coffee is fine, but only in moderation. Sure, it won’t kill you, but if you have 5 or more cups in a grouping – and remember, it’s quite difficult to keep track of how many you’ve had at home, especially if you live with someone known as “The Queen of Coffee,” as I do – you’ll be bouncing off the walls.  That said, this does of course help with #1, above, but don’t go nuts with it.
  6. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Especially before lunch, and definitely not on an empty stomach.  Less important for fiction writers and food bloggers.
  7. Get up and move around. This is important for staying awake and alert, and also circulation. In addition, if you have too many drinks (see #6, above), moving around works off some of those extra calories, and also you’ll know immediately, by stumbling or knocking over lamps, if you are too drunk to get on a business call.
  8. Try not to turn on the TV. Not because you’ll get distracted by Hoda and Jenna, or even Ellen, but because everything on TV is depressing now, and who wants to be stuck in the house AND depressed?  No one, that’s who.  Worse, that could lead to problems sticking to #6, above.
  9. Have mercy on your partner/spouse/housemate. If you usually work at home, but your partner doesn’t and now he/she/they is/are, remember that someone is/are now in the room when you produce embarrassing body-function type noises, and the offensive attendant effects thereof.[2]
  10. Do not take phone calls on the toilet. Firstly, that’s gross and also, if you’re worried about viruses, why do you want poop-molecules near your iPhone?  Also, see #9 above.  If you can hear what’s going on in the background on the other end, so can he/she/they.

If you keep these “Ten Commandments of Home Officery,” you should do great at home!  And you don’t need to wash your hands every time you use the copier, since only your germs are on it.  Good luck, everybody!

[1] Please note that being “awake” and being “woke” are two entirely different concepts. The concept herein applies to being not asleep only.

[2] If he/she/they do/does usually work from home, and they still live there, they must be used to it by now.

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