Tips for working at home aka how to survive being a shut-in #WriterWednesday #QuarantineLife #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Work from home. No boss breathing down your neck. No need to get dressed in business clothes. Hell, no need to shower or get out of your pj’s if you don’t want to. But as I’ve learned over the years as a work-at-home writer, it’s not as easy as it seems. And now many of you are forced to work at home, too.

Do not panic! I’m here to help with some tips and tricks for working at home. Because – despite initially missing colleagues and some gossip by the water cooler – I can’t even imagine ever having to go into an office. Blech!

Anyway, there are things you can do to make working at home not feel like you’re a prisoner in your own home. Here they are:

  1. Have a schedule. I know. I know. Isn’t not having a schedule the best part of working at home? But seriously, having a schedule (a time to start working, times to have breaks, and a set time to stop working) helps to make working at home feel like a ‘normal’ work day and not ‘oh my god, I’m stuck at home’.
  2. Get out of your pj’s! You weren’t expecting that one were you? Those of you who follow me know I love me some pj’s. But – trust me on this – wearing pj’s all day every day will only lead to you down the path to depression.
  3. Make a separate work area. If possible, work in a space you don’t use on a daily basis. Even better, set up in a room away from the social areas of your house. At the end of the day, you can walk away from your work and not be constantly reminded of work whenever your glance happens upon your dining room table (or wherever you set up).
  4. Get out of the house. I know we’re all supposed to be socially isolating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk, a bike ride, or even a jog. Walk around the neighborhood, go to the park, whatever tickles your fancy, just get outside. And yeah – keep your distance!
  5. Get some exercise. All sport facilities are closed now in the Netherlands, which means my usual means of working out – playing tennis – isn’t possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t get some movement in. There are a ton of apps out there with home workout solutions. Many of the gyms also have apps for working out at home. I imagine they’ll be offering free sign-ups and lots of goodies if you join now.
  6. Keep communication lines open. Sure, you can’t run down to the café to have a coffee with a friend or close out the day with a beer with your colleagues, but you don’t have to be stuck all by your lonesome either. Videochat, whatsapp, plain old telephone calls – they all still exist! Feeling lonely or experiencing cabin fever? I bet a friend is too. Reach out!
  7. Bonus. I don’t have time for that. Remember all those projects – cleaning out your closet, organizing your financial paperwork, or painting your bedroom – you didn’t have time for before? Now is the time. There’s not much better than the feeling of accomplishment when you tick something off your to-do list.

And remember, the government of wherever you are is not forcing you into social isolation because they are big ol’ meanies and they are certainly not overreacting. We are doing this for the greater good. I don’t know about you but I can stay at home for a heck of a long time if it means 400,000 people don’t have to die [1/2% of 8,000,000 people (half of the population living in the Netherlands)].

stay calm


This blog post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. This is a monthly blog hop hosted by @raimeygallant. Make sure to stop by the other author blog posts in this month’s blog hop to fill up your author toolbox! Just click on the graphic to take you to the list.

authortoolbox 5

23 thoughts on “Tips for working at home aka how to survive being a shut-in #WriterWednesday #QuarantineLife #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

  1. S.E. White says:

    Definite yes on the schedule. When I first started working from home I nearly drowned under a bewildering torrent of “time”. I had no boundaries between work and family and home. It took some adjusting, and creating a schedule, to get my head back above water.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raimeygallant says:

    I wanted to touch my face so much while reading this post. Why is my face so itchy all of a sudden? It’s so hard not to touch it! This is all some really good advice. When you put it that way, I can see the benefits to having a space for work that doesn’t overlap with spaces for non-work. And thanks for social distancing. I’m at risk, and it makes me feel better knowing people are trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D.E. Haggerty says:

      I’m at risk as well, so social distancing is totally my jam. I wash my hands constantly, so I don’t worry too much about touching my face. There’s only so much mental capacity left over right now!


  3. Drew says:

    So, tomorrow is the first day that I’ll be working from home and I can definitely see myself using some of these hints, particularly about having a designated work-space. I think keeping to a schedule will help too. Thank you for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World and commented:
    Thanks to author Abbie Johnson Taylor for turning me onto this post.
    I agree especially with getting out of your PJS, Making a Schedule, and going for Walks.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.