Work Hygiene

Not that kind of hygiene.

One of the ways that you can get better sleep is by practicing good Sleep Hygiene – part of the Big Idea is that you need a space that is optimized for sleep. You keep your bedroom for sleeping and restful activity, mostly, which helps to keep your sleep restful and fulfilling.

As a remote worker, it’s easy to carry my work around with me – to the kitchen, into the living room, even out on the porch during the warmer months. My wife, a professor, also tends to do quite a lot of work at home, grading, lecture prepping, etc. We found ourselves in a place where the living room, the kitchen table, and even our bedroom had papers to be graded, power cords, and legal pads covering any available surface.

Starting this week, inspired by the idea of Sleep Hygiene, we’ve started to institute better Work Hygiene – to keep work from encroaching on our non-work spaces, to prevent it from being a constant visual and physical reminder, any time we are doing work in the house, we are doing it in our shared office space. We have two desks, a couch, and plenty of room for both of us to spread out. In fact, we’re both working in here right now. So far, it’s been great – simply pushing all of our physical Work Stuff into one room has reduced mental clutter and distraction from other parts of our life, and also helps us to maintain focus while we’re in the office.

Especially for remote workers, it’s up to you to define your own idea of Work Space – and you should define it with hard edges to avoid work creep, both mentally and physically.

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