My Tips & Tricks for (barely) surviving Working from Home

TL;DR: cook more healthy food; less time on internet; and buy less crap

My Tips & Tricks for (barely) surviving Working from Home
What my old WG (share flat in πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ) looks like 

Just like everyone else, the last year and a half has been challenging to say the least. I am sure everyone has learn some things during this period, so before this will probably all comes to an end scratch that fuck new variant, I just want to write down a few more things that I have learned.

Things that I'm glad that I did

Learn how to cook, and cook more often

Just like most people, my first few months of WFH consists of mostly junk food (instant ramen), followed by a few months of extensive food delivery. And it doesn't took long before I realized that not only have I been spending a lot of money on crap, they are also unhealthy AF.

So in order to combat that, I found a bunch of "simple" recipes on YouTube that I always wanted to try, and give it a shot. And who would have though that the more I practice, the more edible the food becomes (or I just get used to the taste of my shitty cooking, but hey if it works it works). Nowadays I force myself to continue to cook more, by

  1. For every unnecessary food delivery/restaurant visit, I have to put 10x of the amount to my long term savings πŸ’Έ
  2. Get a bunch of microwave-safe lunch boxes (i.e. glass not plastic) to make it easy for me to cook once, eat for days. That means I have less excuses to be lazy and not cook and order
  3. Get a few things to make cooking and re-heating easier: Microwave (50 euros), Rice Cooker (20 euros), and a knife that I don't fear accidentally cutting my hands off every time (30 euros, but I'd argue that it should be priceless) πŸ”ͺ

Spend less time on Social Media

It took me probably a full year before I realized how much time and energy I was spending on Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube. Sure they do provide a great way to escape from the fact that I am stuck at home, and maintain some sense of connection with the outside world. However, it slowly reveals itself to be able to really control my mood. It was hard to focus at anything else.

First there was all the COVID news; then there are how racist US still is with #BlackLiveMatters; and then there are all the HK National Security Law, and the US insurection; and shortly followed by #StopAsianHate

Finally aound 2 months ago, my brain finally clicked, and I have managed to snap out of Twitter and Reddit for the most part. It will still take me a while to get away from YouTube, since it does have an insane amount of educational and other useful content (e.g. all the recipes I mentioned above).

A screenshot of for @louis993546, in which the bar chart of the last 3 months has almost 0 tweets.
Last 2-3 months, I managed to almost completely stop using Twitter

Give myself an isolated space for work

One of the biggest issue I have with my last apartment is that I don't have enough space, and it's almost impossible for me to keep my work life away from my personal life. Like if it's physically impossible to keep your work computer from your peripheral vision, you brain will just drift there automatically. So despite how ridiculously expensive it is, and the fact that the contract is like 50 pages and all in German, I decided to move it to a quickly available newly build apartment building, so that I have a dedicated office space.

After more than a year of this setup, I am very happy to report that yes, it has been an pretty awesome choice. My brain is now able to very easily switch from work mode to not-work mode the second I step outside the room. And the fact that there is just more space in general means that I actually can work on some other space when I feel like it, such as my couch or dining table.

Things that I wish I would have done

Don't isolate yourself

At the beginning, I can justify not going out by a) to reduce transmission, and b) that's literally the law. But after the society is getting used to slightly better personal hygiene, and the start of vaccination, I was still very much just staying home for often 160 hours a week, only go out to get groceries.

Don't buy everything I saw

I do understand that I am definitely in a very privilate and lucky place to be able to bitch about this bad habit of mine, but if you have seen the 2 stupid blog post I wrote in the last 2 years about all the crabs I've bought (1, 2), you can probably see that I have adopted excessive shopping as a coping mechanism. It's not that the things I bought are bad or useless, it's just that 80% of them are "nice to have that make my life 0.0001% easier for now", and I will have to deal with all of them, from where to keep them, to how to transfer/sell them when the time comes to move. Some examples includes

  • A phone tripod and a proper tripod: I have used them a total of 5 times, all inside the house Well I changed my mind (for now). A proper tripod is super useful to help take photo "scan" of film negative that I started taking.
  • Things for hobbies that I don't have a clear plan on how to sustain: Drum set, Analog photography, etc.
  • Things that I though would improve my WFH situation: X-T2 (as Webcam, but the MBP is already stressed to its max), additional Wacom-compatible Stylus for reMarkable (Just carry the orignal stylus around. It's not that hard), etc.
  • Games on Steam that I don't play: Untitled Goose Game (I honestly don't know why I don't play it), DEFCON (war game is not exactly my thing), Overcooked (people are playing Overcooked 2 so why did I bought the first one?)
Panel 1: "Getting a package"; Panel 2: Man rushing to open the box, mumbling "COME ON COME ON", and the content inside is glowing; Panel 3: Zoom in to man's face, he says "OHH BABY THERE IT IS"; Panel 3: A glowing orb in the cardboard box with "5 SECONDS OF DOPAMINE" written on it

Now what

I wrote most of the stuff above before the new variant (guess which one I am talking about 🀣), and I guess I will need to keep what I have written in mind and stay put for the forseeable future πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Stay safe everyone! And have a happy holiday ahead πŸŽ„πŸ•Ž 🎊 πŸ€—