The commute is the walk from your bed to your living room. Lunch is whenever you want it to be. Your co-workers are your two best friends: Fido, and whatever you’ve named your bong. Sound familiar? Whether you’re a freelancer or a part-time telecommuter, working from home can be a joyous oasis of flexibility and personal space. Unfortunately, it can also be a Herculean test of your self-discipline, especially if you are a cannabis user. Following these basic steps will allow you to productively get through your work day…without going through your whole stash.
Start Your Day With Exercise
As soon as you wake up, change into your work out clothes, eat a small breakfast, and get out the door for some physical activity before you even check Twitter or your email inbox. Exercise has been proven to offer a myriad of mental benefits, from increased focused to heightened creativity. Getting a good sweat in before you begin your day will improve the quality of your work, and make you feel less inclined to turn to cannabis early on to boost your mood.
As an added benefit, a healthy dose of cardio will also mean that you’ll have to take a shower and actually get dressed, thus avoiding the dreaded "how is it 2pm and I’m still in my pajamas?" moment. Even if the mailman is the only human who will see you today, putting on some semblance of an outfit helps create mental boundaries and signify to yourself that you are "at work."
Segment Your Tasks and Schedule Smoke Breaks
If you are a daytime smoker and find that cannabis helps you focus, decide in the beginning of the day when your smoke breaks will be, so that they are actually helping you, rather than becoming a way for you to avoid work. Make a list of all of the things you hope to accomplish today, and set timers for each task. While the timer is running, try to stay focused on only the action that you’ve designated this segment for. When the timer dings, reward yourself with a quick smoke break.
Get Out of the House
Even if you’re not the type of person who enjoys working in coffee shops, try to bring your laptop into the outside world at least a couple times a week. Free WiFi is plentiful, so get creative about where to set up your "office." Is there a hotel nearby with a cool lobby? A diner with great crappy coffee? Mixing up your surroundings will keep you from getting in a funk. It will also keep you from dipping a little too often into your cannabis supply.
Save The Strong Stuff For Quitting Time
If you find yourself taking naps, zoning out, or unable to complete the tasks you give yourself, take a break or cut way back on the amount of cannabis you are consuming. Be mindful of the moments when you have the urge to smoke, and ask yourself why. Are you bored? Stressed out about an upcoming deadline? Just need something to do with your hands? Try to address these issues without cannabis. Instead of smoking to alleviate stress, for example, try taking a few moments to stretch or meditate instead.
Avoid indica and high-THC strains during the day, as these will likely leave you feeling sleepy or unmotivated. Opt instead for sativas or low-dose edibles. Saving the heavier strains for T.V. time will help you unwind at the end of the day, and establish a clear difference between work and recreation hours.
Have a Quitting Time
One of the most challenging feats of self control when working from home is knowing when to call it a day. (Hint: The answer is likely not midnight.) Setting a clear stop time will help keep you from getting burned out, and prevent you from letting work interfere too much with your personal life. Decide every day what time you’re going to stop working, and stick to it. If possible, keep your computer in a different room from where you relax at the end of the day, and, just as you did at the beginning of the day, avoid checking emails on your phone. Allow your mind to take itself away from work by meeting a friend for happy hour or walking the dog. If you’re having a hard time unwinding, remind yourself that at least you’re not stuck in traffic right now. Then pack yourself a nice big bowl in that beloved bong.