Working from Home

 Posted by on 10 June 2009 at 11:01 pm  Life
Jun 102009

I found these observations from a software engineer on the good and bad of working from home fairly apt. However, I was downright intrigued by some of his life/work hacks, particularly given that my work and play isn’t always clearly distinguishable. The blogger writes:

I write code for a living. I also write code as a hobby. This means I often spend all day sitting at a computer writing code; the first part of the day for work, the second part for fun. It’s easy to let the work part of my day extend into what should be the fun part of my day, so I have to set certain boundaries. I’ve evolved a few life hacks that help.

First, I have two laptops: one is my work laptop, one is my personal laptop. I only use the work laptop for work, and I only use the personal laptop for non-work. When I’m done with work for the day, I turn off my work laptop and put it away to avoid the temptation to check my work email or something silly like that, which would likely result in me getting sucked back into work when I should be relaxing.

Second, when I’m working, I work in my home office with the door closed. When I’m not working but am still doing computery things, I either open the door to my office or go sit on the couch with my personal laptop. The open/closed status of my office door helps change the feel of the room from a place of business to a part of my house, and when even that’s not enough, relaxing on the couch usually does the trick. I’m pretty sure the cat has picked up on this too; she rarely bothers me when I’m working, but she seems to know she’s more likely to get attention when I’m not working.

Finally, I don’t work on weekends or holidays, period. No matter what. Even if I’m bored out of my skull and would rather be working. I’ve been tempted, but so far I’ve always managed to resist. I know that as soon as I start letting work intrude on my days off, I’ll launch myself down a slippery slope.

What do you do to make your work — and your play — more productive?

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