Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home office rituals and habits

There's an interesting post at Kits and Mortar about designing your home office and homeworking rituals. Here's what Suw says:
"In thinking about where to put the office, I was reminded of how important it is to have rituals around the beginning and end of your day when you work from home. I believe that creating a space that enables me to have an opening and closing ritual to bookend my working day would really help me get going in the morning and switch off at night. Some people go for a walk around the block (with or without dog) to simulate the sense of “going to work”. Shedworkers obviously leave their house to walk to their shed, which gives them a leaving and returning ritual to observe."
I wondered what homeworking rituals readers have? Please share them in the comments below. Here's one to start you off: I always make sure I am wearing shoes and socks in the garden office as it makes me feel more workmanlike. Slippers, while comfortable, encourage me to selfdistract.
Photo of USB slippers via


  1. I go for a swim most mornings before I sit down at my pc, it sets me up for the day and reminds me how lucky I am to be able to spend half an hour doing that rather than half an hour (or more !) in a car stuck in traffic :) I don't start work any earlier than if I was working outside the home but I certainly have a more enjoyable journey getting there via the sea on my bike and back to the house :)

  2. Gosh I'm so jealous of swimming in the sea person. Particularly cos they must have the constitution of an ox. Unless they live in Barbados.

    I have to admit I have got into the habit lately of a half an hour walk (at top speed) "with my imaginary dog"; either in the morning before work, or at about six. I have to admit I quite often work much after I get back from the walk, but it does help you to have a bit of "commute" time to put your head in order.

  3. Personally, I wake up every morning about 6, read the newspaper, shower, have a breakfast of bacon and eggs, put my suit and tie on, then go into the other room where my office lives and begin the day promptly at eight. At five in the evening I get the dog, go outside, get in the car, and drive to a park for a walk. Then back home at 6 p.m. for dinner, change back into jeans...

    Just kidding! My home office is in the spare bedroom. Quite often I'll work until two or three in the morning, crash for a few hours on the "guest bed" (it's a crouton or futon or whatever those things are called), then roll over, drink some leftover coffee, and hit the computer 'bout 5:30 or 6 a.m. When my wife comes home from her job at 5 p.m. she forces me to leave my office at least long enough to eat and make ten minutes' polite conversation before I head back into the office...

    If I didn't have to tend to "carbon necessities," eating, peeing, etc., I'd probably never leave the room. (Except for the summer months when I occasionally take the bicycle or motorcycle out for an hour or two in the afternoons.)

    But on those rare occasions when I have a photo shoot or a meeting with a customer I truly relish being outdoors!

  4. The school run starts my day and then I head back to the office and make sure I go straight to my desk. (There's no point trying to get an hour in before then because the kids always need something.) Then I pick up my son at 3, so that handily imposes structure to the whole day, every day.

    A friend asked me recently how I have the discipline to work from home and I told her that one key for me is being really firm (to the point of rudeness) with people who think that because you're at 'home' you have more free time and they can drop by or expect you to hang out during the day. Resist the temptation!