SUMMARY POINTS

Do your laundry while working from home to get it out of the way and save more free time for yourself.
For most people, doing house chores is annoying as fuck.

There are only so many hours in the day and nobody wants to spend their precious free time vacuuming, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom or any other random chores.

We spend so much time working that it leaves only a few hours in the evening for some downtime. And by the time the weekend rolls around, we’re so damn exhausted from the work week that all we wanna do is relax and have “me-time”, not do chores.

The bad news is that house chores will never go away.

The good news is that with “work from home” you have the freedom and flexibility to knock out some chores while you work. One of the best WFH chores to get out of the way is that dirty pile of laundry.

We’ll explain why this is the best chore to deal with plus share some helpful tips for your next load.

Why Doing Laundry While Working Is Totally Acceptable

Now, some of you that are real corporate sticklers may think that it’s not kosher to be doing your laundry on company time.

We disagree.

Here’s why.

Doing laundry is mostly an automated background task that only requires momentary actions, not consistent on-going attention.

A few minutes of your time loading the washer and dryer takes care of the entire cleaning task. It’s not like you’re living in “Little House On The Prairie” and physically washing the clothes on a washboard and hanging them on a clothesline.

As the majority of the work is being done by the machines, you can continue to focus on your work as the load goes through the cleaning and drying cycles. And even after drying, you can still get work done while folding clothes.

This type of multitasking is the good kind because you’re not doing multiple things simultaneously but rather triggering an automated process while monotasking your work.

Doing laundry takes very little away from company time and provides enormous benefits.

The Benefits Of Doing WFH Laundry

Besides having a clean and fully stocked inventory of your fav clothes, doing your laundry during the day provides several bennies.

They’re not groundbreaking things but when life has got you running around like mad, every little bit that can help you in some way, shape or form will be worth it. And when it builds up to a consistent level, life is so much less of a bitch. 

1) Frees Up Your Evening 

At the end of a busy WFH day, nobody in their right mind wants to do house chores. This is why most people push off these chores until the last minute.

Sometimes, when it’s pushed off for too long, then things reach critical levels. It’s like when you’re forced to reach for the underwear in the back of the drawer that you hate wearing. 
Or worse, you run out completely and have to go “commando” without any underwear at all.

When you take care of your laundry during the day, your evenings remain free and untouched to binge watch your fav series. Plus, you’ve got a fresh clean stockpile of good underwear.

2) Provides More Weekend Time

Normally, doing the laundry is more of a weekend thing. You end up having to devote a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday to take care of that messy pile of clothes.

That means two less hours of personal fun time on the weekends. And we all know how time flies on the weekends. So, not having to do laundry on the weekends is a big bonus.

3) Better Machine Availability (For Apartment Dwellers)

Some folks don’t have the luxury of having a washer and dryer in their home, particularly those that live in urban areas and apartment complexes.

When you have the option to do laundry during the weekday, it’s far easier to get a free machine unlike the weekends, when everyone in the whole damn complex seems to be doing laundry.

For those that have in-home laundry, take this as your signal to really appreciate and be grateful that you don’t have to schlep your laundry around because it’s such a fucking hassle.

4) Gets Your Body Moving

With WFH, you’re sitting on your ass for much longer than in an office. And since everything is online, you don’t have to get up from your desk to walk from meeting to meeting periodically throughout the day.

All of this extended sitting isn’t good for your health. It’s a good idea to get up every once in a while and move your body. In fact, we recommend that you try walking conference calls to stay fit and healthy.

Doing laundry is also one of the activities that will help to get you moving during the day. It’s not going to get you into shape, but it will minimize soreness from sitting.

5) Multitasking Efficiency 

Laundry is one of the few chores that actually meshes well with WFH. You can do your laundry while still working. You can’t say the same for mowing the lawn.

When you’re able to knock out a time-consuming chore while taking care of business, you’re clearing off annoying tasks efficiently.

And when you’re gettin’ shit done, it feels good.

Tips For Doing Laundry While Working From Home

This isn’t going to be about which laundry detergents to use or how to properly pre-treat stains etc. We’ll leave that to the home life blogs.

This is all about how to seamlessly integrate laundry duties during the work day with minimal disruption to your workflow. None of this is rocket-science. It’s all common sense but worth noting.

1) Start Wash/Dry Cycles In Between Emails, Calls or Meetings 

Nobody works non-stop. It’s impossible. We’re not machines.

Every time you complete a task, finish an email, save a Powerpoint, close-out an Excel file, etc., there’s always a brief moment where you’ll take a breather before you take on the next thing.

Sometimes, this break is only a few seconds while other times, it may go on for awhile - kinda like when you’re cyberloafing.

These downtime moments are the perfect opportunity to load up the washing machine or dryer. Everyone’s got a sliver of time that allows for a quick step away to do some laundry.

2) Use Your Phone’s Timer

Some of the newer WiFi enabled washers and dryers can actually ping you a message when the cycle is done. But, most folks still have “dumb” units that can’t do this.

So, use your phone’s countdown timer to keep track of things because when you get in the zone with work, you’ll forget about the laundry and then, you’ll be stuck with having to finish it later in the evening.

3) Multitask While Folding Clothes

This is the one part of doing laundry that is the suckiest - having to fold, organize and put away all the clothes. This part of the process isn’t automated and it’s where you’ve gotta do it.

The good thing is that because of technology, you can still get shit done while folding and putting away the clothes.

Here are several ideas that you can try out during the folding and organizing phases:

Listen/watch industry webinar replays

There’s a good chance that you’ve got at least one webinar reply that you’ve been meaning to get to. So, use this time to catch up on one or more of the industry webinars while folding.

Set-up your laptop nearby and listen to the session while working through the clean pile. Who knows - you could pick up a few good nuggets of information.

Complete internal audio-based trainings

If you work in a larger company with more than 1,000 employees, you’re probably required to complete mandatory trainings like the one on sexual harassment, annual benefits, etc.

Use this time to cross these mandatory training to-do’s off your list and they’ll be out of your hair for the rest of the fiscal year.

Or, if you’ve always had a hard time finding time to take online classes for work, this is a good time to up your skills.

Have a brainstorming call with your teammate or work BFF

It’s always a good idea to get another person’s perspective on things, especially if it’s a complex problem or project. If you can, set-up a conference call with your teammate to hash out some ideas or solutions for the group project.

Alternatively, you can also reach out to your work BFF and explain your current struggles and challenges with the asshole at work, control freak boss, office politics, etc. The list of topics is plentiful.

Do some deep thinking on key projects

If you do your best analysis with deep and uninterrupted thought, this is the perfect stage in which you can separate yourself from the shallow tasks of emails and IMs and go into a meditative state of thinking.

For some, the repetitive nature of folding clothes helps to get the mind thinking deeply about other things, particularly tough problems or situations.

Just be sure to have a notepad and pen nearby because there’s a good possibility that you’ll have a eureka moment as you’re folding your tees.

Mentally scan for key follow-ups

This is another solo thinking session, but it isn’t as deep.

As you’re working your way through the clean pile, think through all of the key projects that you’re working on and what’s holding them back. These are the key items that you need to take action on - like getting answers from unresponsive coworkers.

Again, keep a notepad and pen next to you. You’ll want to jot these down so that you can send out follow ups later.

Tips For Laundromat Users

For those of you who have the unfortunate situation of not having your own washer and dryer in your place and having to schlep your laundry to a local laundromat, we know and feel your pain.

The bright spot is that with a work from home arrangement, you can get this pain-in-the-ass chore out of the way during the daytime while still working.

In fact, the laundromat is one of the best free places to work remotely for some people.

Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

1) Schedule a 2-hour Working Block 

To avoid potential unwanted calls or stupid meetings during your trip to the laundromat, schedule a 2-hour block of time in your work calendar and label it as “Focus Work” or any project name that you’re currently leading or working on.

This will provide you with a solid block of uninterrupted time to do your laundry while staying on top of your key projects and tasks.

2) Check For WiFi Availability

Not all laundromats have WiFi, so be sure to check for internet access. Most of the newer laundromats offer WiFi while older ones still haven’t gotten on the online bandwagon.

Don’t expect big bandwidth either. It’ll probably only suffice for doing emails and accessing the web.

3) Scope Out Workspace Areas With Power Outlets

In addition to WiFi, you’ll need a desk or table of some sort to get set up. Look for a waiting area, lounge or any basic table with a chair. You’ll need at least enough room for your laptop and mouse.

Next, try to be within 3-5 feet of an electrical outlet. You’ll want to be able to plug in your power cord to keep the juice flowing to your laptop.

4) Bring Your Power Cord & Phone Charger

If you’re 100% confident about your laptop’s battery life and can operate on just the battery for a few hours, then you have the flexibility to work from any spot in the laundromat. Just make sure it’s fully charged before you head out.

If your laptop battery is low, don’t risk it. It’s like driving on empty - not worth the risk.

Instead, be sure to pack your power cord and bring it with you. Sames goes for your phone charger. This way, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice while working. 

5) Bring & Use Headphones

If you’ll be listening to webinar replays or training sessions, you’ll need to bring along a pair of headphones. If you’ve got noise cancelling headphones, this would be the perfect situation to really take advantage of them.

Removing the background drone of the laundry machines will go a long way in focusing in a noisy place and clearly hearing the webinars.

6) Get In The Zone With Ambient Noise

For some people, the consistent background noise of the swishing washers and tumbling dryers works really well as a way to get in the zone and focus on your work. It’s kinda like working in a cafe with background noise but only more consistent.

Who knows, if this works out great for you, you just might end up going to the laundromat just to work.

7) Outsource Your Laundry

Most laundromats also offer wash-n-dry services. So, if you’re not wanting to spend a couple of hours at the facility, you can simply drop off your laundry and have them take care of everything from washing, drying and folding.

It’s like getting that “magic hamper” (aka your mom) back from when you were a kid. Only this time, it’s not free. 😉

Doing Laundry While Getting Work Done Rocks

Life can get crazy busy. And when work starts to pile up and you’re struggling to keep pace, what little free time you have will be gone.

Being more efficient with home chores during the week is a great way to take care of those annoying and time-consuming tasks and preserve your evening and weekend time for the fun and relaxing things in life.

And when you can knock off some chores during the week, it can make your weekends feel longer.

Of all the home chores, doing the laundry while working from home is one of the best ways to save more personal time for yourself.

So, before that pile turns into a mountain and you run out of reject underwear, take care of the laundry this week while you’re doing your work thing.

You’ll have one less chore to do this weekend and that’s a beautiful thing.

Feel Better,
[Cubicle|Therapy]

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