Some of these things I learned from other people. Some I learned the hard way. Most are tips I don’t even follow, but just think I should.
1. You know that sign in the employee break room that said “Your mother doesn’t work here – clean up after yourself”? It applies here too. Don’t leave dirty dishes and coffee cups all over your desk. They get in the way and you might spill old cereal milk on your keyboard. (Not that that has happened to me.)
2. Just as they tell you to “get dressed as if you’re going to work” to stave off postpartum depression when you have a new baby, you should do that. After all. You are going to work. It just happens to be downstairs, or in your bedroom, or on the couch. Getting dressed…okay at least brushing your teeth…will make you feel more professional.
3. If you are a writer, remember, it’s 5:00 somewhere. Sometimes a little booze makes the wheels turn faster, catch my drift. If you are not a drinker, substitute that saying with “It’s _____-time somewhere” using whatever truly floats your boat to fill in that blank. A nice pick-me-up is only going to come from you, not your funny co-worker in the next cubicle or your office crush. Because remember, they don’t exist anymore.
4. If you really have to concentrate to make a deadline, close down your email, your Facebook page, your Twitter client, and anything that pings when you have a message or an update. Otherwise you’re going to click away from your work “just to see who it’s from.” Please. Then 2 hours later you’ll realize you didn’t get any work done and it’s time to freshen up to go pick up the kids.
5. Freshen up to go pick up the kids. Take the time, you’ll feel much better about yourself. And by all means, pick them up on time. That’s why you work at home, right? So you can be there for your children? Don’t be that harried, disheveled woman who runs up to the school 5 minutes late, hair flying in all directions, ketchup stains on the pajama shirt that sort of matches the yoga pants she’s wearing. For God’s sake, at least change your shirt.