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5 Tips for Working from Home Without Going Insane

#2. Clean the House

Anyone who's had housemates has had arguments about cleaning. But they're worth it because they force you to tidy up after yourself through shame, shouting, or the disturbing silence as the newly evolved life-form picks people off one by one.

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"I wonder if the filthbeast wants some cake. Eh, I'll just eat the whole thing so it can have some later."

Living alone is much more dangerous. You're either constantly cleaning your environment or assembling your own Sarlacc pit to slowly digest your standards and social life. If you have to ask yourself if the place needs cleaning before guests arrive, the place needs cleaning before guests arrive. Smell is the worst offender. You get used to it, so trusting your own sense of smell is like trusting your own opinion of your poetry: Anyone exposed to it will try to be polite but will want the experience to end as quickly as possible.

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"Shall I expose thee to a rancid pizza's box? Thou art disgusted by my evolving sink fluids."

The most contentious case is a working couple where one has to labor in the Outdoors Zone. The danger is that the person who leaves the house thinks that the one still pantsless in the bedroom isn't doing any work. People often joke that freelancers get to set their own hours, and we do. All of them. But commuting alone cancels that out. The commuter needs to spend time in horrible cramped conditions just to go somewhere worse. Cleaning means getting to stay in your favorite place to make it even better.

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"I am jealous of hamster wheels."

Cleaning is often incorrectly described as Sisyphean, an eternal battle against entropy whose results are always undone. But the point of Sisyphean tasks is that they don't have a point. They don't make things better for the worker. Cleaning the house is better described by the Krebs cycle: Yes, it repeats over and over, but it's something you have to do if you want to live in an environment with breathable oxygen.

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Or attract any other aerobic life-forms to your home.

It's also an excellent change of mental gear. The human brain simply needs to stop staring at the same damn thing once in a while, but in regular workplaces your only break from work is actively anti-working. There are no other useful tasks to break the cycle. Cleaning the toilets at work is a horror, an arrest, or worst of all a new job requirement freeing up some of your company's budget for a weekly chili night. So instead, you actively try to not do anything useful, and this rearrangement of your internal wiring pisses off your brain more than connecting it to your kidneys.

#1. Learn Your True Nature

In any science-fiction series, a character will eventually be locked into their own mind to face their own failings by alien abilities, telepathic attack, or a particularly lazy holodeck episode. Freelancers manage that every day. An Internet connection and a lack of co-workers is more than enough to reveal all your deepest secrets. You might think your co-workers have been holding you back from achieving your true glory, but they've also been restraining your sub-ego's darkest desires.

Michael Barrick/iStock/Getty Images
"No longer shall Jenkins stand against my pregnant male ponies, except in this part of my fanfic!"

Working from home replaces your co-workers with the seven deadly sins, then levels them up to nine by resurrecting old ones like acedia and vainglory. Acedia is not doing something that you should be doing. That's not just a word the Internet needs, that's a word the Internet is. Vainglory is unjustified boasting, pride in something you haven't actually done, aka "every tough person and most of the 'experts' you've ever met online." I think these two deadly sins were retired in 590 because Pope Gregory knew we'd need at least a millennium of buildup to power the Internet. Developing transistors was just a way of venting the backlog.

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
"Way to longball all the pornography, Gregory. Appreciate it."

Sloth is comfortable, greed is only a fridge door away, and the Internet makes lust less difficult to indulge in than flipping a light switch. Many people online have been surprised to find the room around them dark. No one has ever been been surprised to find their computer screen full of filthy bodies. One of the most important aspects of working from home is not sitting around all day jerking off, metaphorically and literally.

Forget magical mirrors -- being in charge of your own schedule is when you really find out everything that's wrong with you. Working from home self-employs you as the Ghost of Christmas Present 365 days a year, revealing everything you do wrong. And sometimes requiring supernatural assistance to leave the house.

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty
Like I say, all the best jobs wear bathrobes.

Your home becomes a psychic echo chamber, teaching you more about your limitations and abilities than a dozen remote mountain monasteries could. And you'd better learn to access your secret abilities, or you're screwed. Get things done, whether it counts as work, cleaning the house, or assembling your army of minions when you decide to be a supervillain after all.

It's better than his last box
Or all three.

But the prize is worth it. Instead of enduring the clock until it's time to get home, you get to wrestle your demons in a palace of comfort to triumph in your chosen profession.

Then you can jerk off.

So if you'll excuse me.

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Behold, my most powerful dick joke! Or, as I call it, my "Lava Cannon."

Improve yourself further with The Future of Drinking and Nipple Regulations (SFW) .

Feel our joy and pain with 6 Reasons Writing For the Internet Is the Best Job Ever and The 4 Worst Things About Writing For The Internet.

Luke has a website, tweets, and tumbles.

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