Thoughts on Working From Home

I’ve been working from home for, like, eight years—and that encompasses “working from a home that includes four roommates,” “working from the home where my parents live,” “working from hospital waiting rooms,” and so on. I have not worked from home while simultaneously caring for young children, which I know a lot of people are doing right now, but I have filed copy, conducted interviews, attended virtual meetings, etc. from all kinds of different locations and situations, some much more stressful than others. (The day after I got hit by a car. The day when my apartment flooded. Days in which I needed to drop nearly everything else to help somebody out.)

So I know all of the tips and tricks, if people are curious. (Get dressed before you start working, so you can put your brain in work mode. Work from a specific designated area, so your entire home doesn’t feel like a work zone. Take real breaks. Wear noise-canceling headphones or earbuds even if you don’t like listening to music while you work.)

I also know the tips and tricks to help you keep working even when you are anxious about what might happen in the future. (Stay off Twitter. Limit the amount of time you spend reading news sites. Stop looking for articles that will give you a definitive account of what might happen, because they don’t exist. Remember what is currently reality, what is currently speculation, and what actions you can take right now to care for yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Break up your work into small discrete tasks and complete them one at a time.)

I don’t have any answers for you—and looking for answers is actually one of the bigger wastes of time right now, since you won’t find them—but I can speak to the importance of keeping the work going, if that’s something that’s important to you.

It’s always been important to me, first because I am my only income source and second because work grounds me. Work is something I can do; it’ll help me right now, it’ll help me in the future, it’s made up of a series of tiny tasks that I know I can tackle because I’ve done it all before, and it’s something that gets my mind off other unsolvable problems.

So those are my thoughts on working from home during periods of heightened uncertainty or anxiety.

Don’t know if they’re helpful, but they’re all I’ve got. ❤️

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