Only the third week of November and already it’s getting darker so much earlier. These days when I work from home (actually most days, then) I feel like I’m drawing the curtains and pulling down the blinds only a few short hours after I’ve opened them. Not that I sit at the window all day curtain-twitching or anything but, well, it’s hard to stay focused when your office is also your living room (gets up to adjust wonky picture on wall). So here are my top tips for staying on track if you work from home (makes another cup of tea first):
• Close your browser. If you’re online (and that’s an F for Fail to start with) ditch all social media pages apart from the ones you need. Twitter is fine. Insta is OK in small bursts. Facebook must be closed down first thing in the morning and only opened again after dinner.
• Hold all calls. Only answer the phone if you’re expecting a work call or a pre-arranged Skype, you can natter later. Cafe meetings make good watercooler moments, if you really need them.
• Stay out of the kitchen. This is a safeguard for waistlines as well as minds. The kitchen is open from 07:00-08:00 / 13:00-13:45 / 18:00-20:00, and for the occasional snack emergency. Otherwise, stay firm: la cuisine c'est ferme.
• Paperclips do not need sorting. Photo albums do not need immediately creating. Christmas gifts can be ordered during your lunch break – yes, you should still have lunch breaks, and use them for all the things OfficePeople use lunch breaks for.
• Stop binge-watching. It’s not N for Netflix, it’s N for NO.
• Ignore the cat. It does not need another hug. You know it just wants more wet food. The cat can wait.
• Stop peeping. The neighbour does NOT have too many home deliveries. The neighbour has as many as the next person. And you don’t need to know what’s in the big box, it is the neighbour’s box, not yours.
• NO. Stay off Facebook.
Happy home-working. Now close the curtains.