What I’ve learned about working from home in 10 years

Work from Home Avice

Working from home is tough. I know it, I’ve been doing it for over 10 years. I’ve seen all the bad advice provided lately by people who, in my opinion, don’t work from home because if they did, they wouldn’t be giving such bad and random advice. Here is what’s worked for me, what I’ve learned and what I’m still trying to figure out.

Dress for success is BS

This is why…laundry. Whoever gave this advice was not probably doing their own laundry and as you know, dressing for success costs money and time. If you have to take your clothes to the laundry, which are closed right now, you would pay per shirt, pants, skirts, blouses, dresses, you name it. Instead, here is better advice. Be comfortable. Nothing replaces comfort and whatever that means to you. I’m sure three is a psychological study for both sides, the dressers and the athleisure wearers so do whatever makes you comfortable. Yes, if you have to get on a video call, wear a business shirt but when you are done, go and hang it again for the next one. Your laundry will thank you.

Set up a separate area in the house.

Yes, it’s true to an extent. If you don’t have a mega mansion, in which case it will probably have an office a library and servants’ quarters, you have a room, a closet and it’ will probably be multiuse. If you are lucky you can put your exercise bike, treadmill or yoga mat in the same room.

Have a good pair of headphones, preferably noise canceling.

Yes, that’s your office, your private space, your quiet heaven. Having a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones will definitely isolate you from the noises of a household with kids, spouses, pets and any other noises that will allow you to feel like you are in your own private heaven no matter if you are in a crazy Livingroom.

Get a todo list software

We’ve tried a few, now we are converting to todoist after using wunderslist for a while. It’s important to have your pending tasks created and it’s even more important and satisfying to cross them off. In the void, we were using a white board, emails with todos and I can tell you that these don’t work as well.

Beware of distractions.

Time suckers are everywhere, and social media is the time vacuum of the century. Unless your work really depends on it, try to set some time to stay away from it. The same with e-mail, since you are working remotely, now you are going to have to deal with an increased amount of needed and unnecessary emails and it’s important for you to balance them. Dealing with the CYA emails and the CCs and the BCCs require their own chapter in a book dedicated to the office survival wilderness code that someone will write one day. It’s probably already written. The reality is that you have to be able to triage and distinguish between what’s important, not important and urgent and address them accordingly. I’ve always been pretty bad about this but Cosette is the best in the business so to complete this advice if you can’t determine, ask your spouse, he or she will give you a distanced perspective that will allow you to conserve your sanity a little bit longer.

Don’t fall for the need for motivation

You are an adult, if you need to be motivated so you can create work and provide for your family, you have other issues that probably need professional help beyond the scope of this article. Get to work, get busy and do what you can. It’s never going to be perfect but all you can do is try.

Here is a recent clip from my Despierta America segment about working from home sites and apps. (In spanish)

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