Monday morning… Computer’s running, coffee’s on. I’ve checked my email and logged into the various platforms, but something’s different.
Maybe it’s the pajamas, the Groundhog’s Day feeling of being in the same few rooms for the last couple weeks, the vague existential dread of a worldwide pandemic (and the ensuing pandemonium), or the general isolation from the people I care about… But something’s definitely different.
This is the state of working from home, but it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom.
It’s worth noting right out of the gate that this is not an ideal situation, but because LongerDays is already a web-based operation, it’s not THAT huge of a change in the way things function day to day.
…And because this is such a troubling time for so many people, I’d like to focus on some upsides. Here are a few things I like about working from home that fit with my unique role at LD, and my unorthodox approach to work in general.
1. No Separation
All of the conventional advice will tell you that the key to working from home effectively is to maintain a schedule, to keep up as much normalcy as possible. That means getting up at the same time, getting dressed, creating a workspace dedicated to the job at hand, and so on… But I don’t do that.
I write and edit for LongerDays, and have plenty of my own projects and pursuits. My work as a musician and creative is never done, and in a way, it’s always “on.” Working from home means doing all of those things at once (or at least having them all available at the same time). Instead of trying to create work/life balance, I’m constantly striving for work/life integration.
So, that means that while I adhere to LD’s 9 to 5 hours for communication, I might be working on (or thinking about) any given project at any time of the day – and I like it that way.
2. Drum Breaks
My desk is roughly fifteen feet from my drum set. If I get stuck on a blog or frustrated by a clunky platform, I can step away for a few minutes, play a groove, and recenter my focus. For a couple of years now, I’ve been coming home on lunch to play drums nearly every day – and now that can happen in short spurts multiple times a day.
This isn’t directly related to working at home, but it is adjacent. Since all of this social distancing began, I haven’t had gigs or rehearsals, haven’t gone out with friends, haven’t really had any obligations outside of my apartment… And all of that serves to slow down my chaotic life and provide a little bit of recharge – which directly affects my ability to write good content, to best serve my clients, and to get work done at home without feeling burnt out.
While I’d much rather be gigging, having meetings, and all of that “normal” stuff that seems absent from life right now, there’s the definite upside of being able to dedicate even more mental energy to serving LongerDays clientele.
For me, working from home is just fine. While I’m feeling a little bit of the cabin fever, it doesn’t really have anything to do with work. In fact, doing LD tasks here in my apartment, surrounded by instruments, is as comfortable as the office (if a bit lonelier). I’m figuring out all the time how to better integrate my work, my own creative pursuits, and life’s other necessities into a fluid, productive schedule.
This experience has been a reason to further explore what that looks like, a challenge to stay focused, and an opportunity to learn more about how I best operate… And so far, it’s been working out pretty well.