Home Office Rituals, Revisited

Among all the changed habits of working from a home office, there are a couple that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit.

I miss a (short, walkable) commute! I miss eating out with more, different people! I miss having an office to leave office-y stuff at (who wants those folders at home…)

But here’s a few things I’ve really enjoyed and consciously try to foster as a habit:

  • A brief walk in lieu of a commute in the morning, with a freshly brewed coffee and sometimes a podcast.
  • Eating lunch out and taking a walk afterwards. Again, sometimes with a podcast, sometimes with my mind more on a current problem that needs tome thought.
  • And, a bit to my own surprise, sometimes a gaming session after lunch: I hadn’t been making the time to play a lot of video games over the last couple of years, but a quick game after lunch has been quite refreshing for these last few weeks. (It has to be a reaction-driven, fast-paced game, nothing that needs thinking. Pure cognition/reaction is what seems to do the trick for me.* Probably because my work consists of slow analysis and this is the opposite mode.)

* Writing this reminds me of the clear-headedness after playing a pinball machine. As a teenager I had gotten one off of a local yard sale and it did the same thing. So maybe there’s something there to explore.

So: I can heartily recommend giving it a shot if that’s your jam. It feels indulgent (it is!) and it can be very refreshing.


I’ve developed a habit of walking down the street to the local coffee shop to pick up a cup of tea every Monday morning before I start my work date. It’s less about the tea–I could make that, far less expensively, at home–as it is about starting the work week with some contact with humans who are not my son. Inevitably I will meet someone I know on the way, or at the shop, and we’ll exchange a few pleasantries; that turns out to be an excellent contribution to my mental health.

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