Putting on my Writing Pants
I have been working from home for nearly eight months now (and counting). And, as usually happens to those who are new to working remotely, I am having quite a bit of trouble setting boundaries between work and my personal life.
It doesn’t help that my day job — software development — and my main hobby — writing — both consist mainly of sitting in front of a computer screen and typing for hours.
As a result, my mind never fully disconnects from work. Even when my working hours are over and I am trying to work on one of my stories, I will constantly stop to check my work e-mail, set reminders for the next day’s meetings, and jot down solutions for problems I have been working on.
Work has taken over my life.
I have tried setting up several alarms on my phone to remind me of when it is time to stop, but I quickly learned to ignore them.
I have tried logging out of all my work accounts by 5 PM, but it turned out to be quite easy to log back into them.
I briefly considered shutting down my computer when not working, but there is no pen-and-paper equivalent of Medium.
My latest strategy in search of work-life balance is less drastic than all of the above but might be just silly enough to work.
I bought myself a pair of writing pants.
For an outside observer, they look like your ordinary checkered sweatpants, but these are special. They are my designated pants for writing.
The moment the clock hits 5 PM, my work pants go back to the closet and I jump into my writing pants. It is a sophisticated neuroscience-based ritual to trick my brain into avoiding work-related distractions.
I put on my writing pants right before starting this post and I must say it works. I have only checked Slack five times in the past 30 minutes.
Only five times.
The writing pants are a game-changer. I can already feel their power.