Working from home conjures up a range of emotions such as frustration and excitement, or it can make you plain angry like our friend Bruce Banner, the Hulk. Here are five tips on how you can make working from home more fun to keep from turning into the Hulk.
1. Slide in your socks! If you slide in your socks, you are guaranteed to smile like Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail. If you want to make sliding more fun, then make it a group acrtivity by challenge your kids, roommate, or significant other to see who can slide the furthest. My wife has never slid further. However, make sure to practice safety because I can't have anyone getting hurt. (This is the future dad speaking since my wife is due with our first in August 2020) You will smile when you slide, and research shows that when you smile, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are released, which fight stress. Endorphins serve as a natural pain reliever, and serotonin is a natural anti-depressant. Smiles are lovely, but occasionally they can be creepy. Yes, I'm referring to Joaquin Phoenix in the movie, Joker. We love you, Joaquin, but that smile releases 'terror' hormones.
2. Use the Mullet Principle. What is one major benefit of working from home? You have a ton of freedom in terms of how you can dress. People recommend dressing like you're going to work. That is ridiculous! Treat working from home like a mullet. Mullets are business in the front and party in the back. Working from home attire should be business on the top and pajama party on the bottom. On calls, you should look professional on camera, but that doesn't mean you can't be in pajamas from the waist down. This funny outfit mix might put a smile on your face, and a smile is one of the best outfits you can wear on a virtual call. Plus we already covered the benefits of smiling.
3. You should multi-task on phone calls that don't require intense attention. This only applies to calls where you are a passive listener and your attention isn't required. You shouldn't be on many of these calls and if you are then getting out of these calls will be a great way to free up time in your calendar. During these calls I put away dishes, dust the house, or other mindless chores, but make sure to put that phone on mute. P.S. Don't tell your boss I gave you this tip because I don't want to get in trouble. Shhhhh.
4. Get the blood flow going by doing ten push-ups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks in between calls or meetings. Exercise resets the attention span and will put you in a better mood. Look for ways to inject short burst exercises throughout the day. Plus, if you are an extroverted non-stop pacer like me, it will tire you out. Therefore, you can sit in one place and keep from driving your family and roommates insane.
5. Have fun experimenting with your voice. Your voice is a fantastic tool, and we take it for granted. Practice your vocal range and experiment with your voice. This activity provides a mental break, which is essential to survive working from home. Vocal experimentation might be quirky for some, but you should try it. Talk to your kids, your pets, your significant other, or yourself in a unique voice. You can try a range of quirky sounds, such as the list below. During stressful times make sure not to take yourself too seriously and talking in a unique voice helps in this area. Not taking yourself as serioulsly will free up brain space so you can tackle challenging work
Go out and experiment with making working from home enjoyable. If you are having fun, you lose track of time and can work for extended periods of time. I have never heard someone say, "I am having fun, and this needs to stop!" Best of luck with your experimentation!