…without succumbing to the XBox
Contrary to popular belief, the life of a home office worker is not all onion dip baths, Phineas & Ferb marathons, and pantsless solo reenactments of the Battle of Hoth. Working where you live requires great discipline, organizational skills, and the mental acuity of a chess grand master. …or maybe it’s checkers. The onion dip is affecting my memory.
Never give in. Never surrender.
The toughest part of working from home is resisting temptation. You are surrounded by goods and devices that constantly vie for your attention. That half a leftover moonpie from last Wednesday is just begging you to wrap your lips around its velvety chocolateness while your Facebook status–unchanged for almost ten (TEN!) minutes–is causing your Klout rating to plummet like Todd Akin on his way to the Tenth Circle of Hell. Here are five ways to keep the focus on productivity and away from goat pr0n.
- Wear pants (skirt, culottes…). You may think you can write five financial reports before noon without taking a break every two minutes to scratch your junk or practice your sumo moves with the neighbor’s yorkie, but unless you were raised by fakirs and are about to graduate from the Navy SEALS, your resolve is worth about as much as Charlie Sheen’s promise to keep his pants on at a stripper’s wake.
- Make a schedule. The time between when your spouse leaves for work and the kids come home from school may seem like enough time to power through your To-Do list, but without the rigid rhythm of officemates marching to the tick of the second hand, it is easy to lose track of time. Sometimes, it seems as though aliens abduct you every stinking day without even giving you the common courtesy of a probe. Use an “app,” a white board, Google glasses, or a tattoo parlour–whatever method works for you, create a daily schedule and stick to it.
- Set goals. Before you finish that third bowl of Quisp and power up the old desktop, make a list of your goals for the day. Be realistic–overreaching will only lead to low self-esteem and hives. Aiming too low will allow that devil temptation to get a firm grip on your soul and lead you to the crossroads, where you’ll practice your guitar while wages fly out the window and the kids freeze their toes off at the bus stop. Try for 40%-60% of what you think you can do on a perfect work day. That way, you’ll almost definitely get something done, and you might even leave a little time for a few choruses of “Whipping Post” with Beelzebub.
- Pain. You’ve dressed for success and you have your schedule laid out. You may now begin your day as a productive member of society. Should you not meet your goals or should you deviate from your schedule, give yourself a little negative feedback. Look–if you catch a puppy peeing on the rug and don’t yell or shake a can of pennies at him, he’s just going to assume that your home is his toilet. Whacking yourself on the buttocks with a rolled up newspaper may or may not be effective self-discipline, but deleting Grand Theft Auto high scores just may connect with your inner peeing pup.
- Pleasure. You’ve done it! You set a goal to cold-call 40 grocery stores to engage in the soul-crushing futility of trying to get them to carry yet another over-sweetened “sports” beverage. It is time to reward yourself. Take those pants/culottes off. Fling a few disgruntled birds at unsuspecting swine. Take a hike to the local bodega for a loosie and a fresh moonpie. You have contributed to society and you deserve a little something for your efforts. Go on–those goats ain’t gonna stare at themselves!
*Tubgoat and its parent corporation condemn the use of tobacco products and only refer to said products as a tool for engaging in levity.