How NOT To Work From Home Successfully

Yeah, right. Move it, productivity. I have friend requests to approve.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen at least half a dozen articles about how to work from home and be productive. I’ve read every post I’ve come across because, even though there are some points that seem to be universal for work-from-homers, each post presents some unique ideas and gives a fresh perspective, which I like.

But, I was going to write one of those posts and now I can’t. I mean, I could. But if I’ve seen so many posts on the topic, you probably have, too. Do you need to see another one? Meh. I doubt it.

So, I present you with some brilliant ideas for being totally unsuccessfully when working from home. As if it’s not hard enough managing your own time and work space/living space, let’s throw these tips into the mix, too.

  1. Do all chores & errands first. Work later. Maybe. Because being too tired to do you work is always useful. And if you have to caffeinate yourself deep into the night, so be it. Stop being a whiner and suck down that venti espresso.
  2. Treat your job like a hobby. I have hobbies, like knitting, which I do only during the winter months and only a few times a week until I get bored with a project. Very conducive to success. You should see all the half-finished scarves and purses I have in a huge plastic bin in my basement.
  3. Never leave the house. I know this contradicts with the first tip, but this list is bogus (hopefully you’ve realized that by now. If not… maybe it’s time you got out. Seriously. Go call a friend to meet up for coffee or something). Anyway– don’t leave the house. The more hermit-esque you become, the more your work will flourish. Who needs human interaction anyway? Isn’t that what they made Twitter for?
  4. Try not to exercise too much or too often. Ugh. Physical activity is for people who leave the house daily. The rest of us don’t have to worry about exercise; less is more. Channel that unused energy into… work energy. Ok? Just put the yoga mat down and no one gets hurt. Don’t do anything crazy, like stretch or crunch. Quit it, alright?!
  5. Schedule nothing. Wing everything. You’re a busy person. You have a Twitter account to manage, Facebook friends to amuse with witty posts, blogs to read and comment on, emails to browse, YouTube videos to upvote. A schedule simply impedes the organic nature of web-surfing. Throw that crap out and wing your work schedule. You’ll get to the important stuff… after you retweet that hilarious link.

What are your best tips for remaining totally unproductive and sucking at working from home? Share them in the comments!


13 thoughts on “How NOT To Work From Home Successfully”

  1. What motivates me while working from home? My keys to success include never changing out of my pajamas. I mean really, how unprofessional to wear clothes while working at home. It is almost an insult to get dressed and appear pulled together. Also, it really pays to listen to incredibly uplifting ballads, like David Grays’s Forgetting, and of course any Radiohead. Nothing says achievement like an early dose of melancholy right after my bagel. Lastly, I make sure that I turn on the DVR’d shows from the night before, to get the brain juices flowing fast, so that by my mid-afternoon nap, I am bursting with new ideas for poems and projects.


    1. Oh my gosh, you crack me up. I particularly like your method for getting the brain juices flowing. I, too, catch up on my shows first thing in the morning. I need to know what’s going on with Bethenny Ever After or those addictive Teen Moms before I can jump into any kind of meaningful writing.

      (I wish this was an exaggeration. In fact, it’s quite literal. Ha.)


  2. Great advice Kristin! I think I’m definitely guilty of #5. But will be changing my ways. Another time zapper? Reading and researching too much about what other people are doing and spending less time focusing on your own goals.


    1. Oh gosh, Brandi, I spend SO much time researching what other people are doing! It’s useful to a point, I think. I’ve learned a ton from getting informed, but when it starts to impede on your own writing, it has to be reigned in. I need to work on that one for sure!


  3. Here’s a great tip from my first few months as a work-from-home-er: Turn on the TV while you’re having breakfast, then watch movies, like that one where Antonio Banderas teaches high school students to dance, simply because it’s on and you’re trying to procrastinate. 😉


    1. That’s a solid tip, Natalia. My proudest work-at-home moment was when, during a rainy, cold day, instead of writing, I got sucked into a Pretty Little Liars marathon on ABC Family.

      I mean, seriously? I don’t even watch that show. I had no idea what was going on even up until the finale 7 hours later. *clears throat* Yup. Proudest moment.


      1. I totally understand. Those marathons are the worst. I’m so glad I got rid of my cable, otherwise I’d still be watching entire seasons of America’s Next Top Model in one day!


  4. I’m totally guilty of abusing part of rule #1. Well, not that much. I tried to ignore cleaning until the weekends for almost a year, but I couldn’t focus during the day. Those dirty dishes kept calling me to clean them. It didn’t matter what part of the house I worked in. So, I revised my schedule to knock them out before writing start, or I’d end up breaking rule #3. Actually, I spend more time trying to force myself to break rule #3 when the walls start closing in on me.


    1. I’m the same way about cleaning. I can ignore messes for a little while, but when I get distracted by a pile of laundry, dishes, or a messy coffee table, I have to do something before I can concentrate. Sometimes I clean as a break from work… which is actually not much of a break, haha.


  5. I find that what helps me the most is a nice long lunch at the bar. Nothing says “motivation” like a noon margarita (or three) followed by vigorous rejuvinating napping (or passing out, whatever) to get me into the ideal writing mode.


  6. Following on from the fabulous margarita idea. I find it very productive going out mid-week and waking up with such a bad headache that all I can do is loll about in bed thinking about all those suckers who are at work…and getting paid for it. Ha! This is the life! 😉


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