The Hero Guide to Working From Home (ft. Iron Man and Thor)

We live in an interesting world where we have to adapt to different things quickly.

This guide will help you with tips on working from home. And will also make you smile. Staying positive will help us get through this.

Some Backstory

I started working from home more than 2 years ago. It wasn’t my choice, I just had to. 

At first, I worked remotely after moving to Canada from Belarus. It was very hard as I suddenly found myself isolated, mostly due to the 8 hours time difference. I could work any time but I tried to start as early as 5 am to make sure I spent more time with my team.

Then I joined an agency in Toronto and worked from home 4 out of 5 days a week for more than a year. The 5th day was an office day and it was my favourite because I got to actually talk in person with my colleagues. But I also realized that I was more productive working from home. I could complete at least 2-3 times more during the 4 WFH days.

Finally, after quitting the agency job and starting my own company MarketingSyrup, I continued working from home. But that time it was different as I was the one creating my schedule. Which seems great but comes at a huge cost. 

So I was ‘thrown’ into a WFH environment by circumstances, hated it, then was OK with it and finally found the way to use it effectively. 

I wanted to make a ‘Work from Home’ guide based on the things I’ve learned along the way so that you don’t have to go through the typical mistakes people make when they first start working from home. Especially in this situation where you don’t have a choice. 

Then I thought that I want my guide to be helpful but fun at the same time. So it should feature a Marvel character. I remembered one funny video with Thor who was bored while staying on the Earth and waiting for his next mission. Check it out:

I also ran a poll on Twitter to see which Marvel character people like most (yes, I actually did it 😀 ). It helped me decide who to use for my Hero WFH Guide:

Thor and Iron Man won so I’ll use both of them in the Guide. Because why not? 

Side note: I’d appreciate it if you share this guide in your social media, with your friends and/or link to it from your website! Also, you can download the infographics.

How to Efficiently Work from Home. Iron Man Edition

1. Wake up at least 1 hour before your working day begins

Wake up at least 1 hour before your working day begins

If you’re Iron Man,  you can expect to work irregular hours. But if you have at least some insights into your schedule, it should be easy to wake up before your working day starts.

Why you need it

This helps you stay in control of your life. You have an opportunity to start your day on your terms rather than just react on what’s going on with your work. 

2. Have a good breakfast

Have a good breakfast

Tony Stark has Pepper who can assist him with getting his breakfast served. If you have an assistant, ask them to help you. If you don’t, you’ll have to cook your breakfast yourself.

Why you need it

Breakfast is one of the main meals, it sets the tone for the whole day. So you’d better get it right and instead of nothing or just coffee, eat porridge, eggs or something like that. 

3. Make a to-do list of things you intend to complete

Make a to-do list of things you intend to complete

Your to-do list might be different from Iron Man’s (it’s actually better for your safety if it is). But you still need to create it. 

Why you need it

A to-do list makes you more efficient. It helps you to concentrate on what’s important right now (and put away what’s not that important). Don’t overload your list though, keep it realistic.

4. Plan your day ahead

Plan your day ahead

Are you going to hang out with other Avengers on Zoom? That’s a great way to spend an evening after hard work. 

This point accounts for your to-do list but goes beyond it as it also includes some household chores and leisure activities (Thor has some suggestions for them below).

Why you need it

It’s all about being in control of your life. Now, it doesn’t mean that you need to be efficient every single minute. It’s more about not missing out on some important and fun things you want to do beyond your work tasks (or saving the world).

5. Dress up. Don’t work in your pyjamas

Dress up. Don’t work in your pyjamas

Ok ok, I know that Tony does not always wear his Iron costume. But he doesn’t wear pyjamas either. He dresses up. Be like Tony.

Why you need it

There’s actually nothing bad about working in pyjamas, it might feel ok for some time. But I feel (and I’m pretty sure you will do too) so much more productive when I’m wearing a t-shirt and pants instead. 

The way you’re dressed influences how you’re making decisions and how you’re feeling. Your brain associates pyjamas with rest and being calm (even lazy). That’s natural and very helpful when you need to go to sleep. But it’s not helpful at all when you need to work productively.

6. Work only in your working place

Work only in your working place

Iron Man works from his lab, from a space ship, from another planet. But never from his bed. Have you noticed that? As this is crucial. 

Why you need it

As with pyjamas, your brain needs a clear distinction between your work, play and sleep time. The worst thing you can do is to try to complete all of this from a single place. I know, I’ve been there.

As a result, I started feeling that my condo is my jail: all the tables, the couch were my ‘work’ places. So the distinction between work and free time disappeared. I turned the situation back by setting clear boundaries between the places where I work and spaces where I have fun (even if they’re a few feet away from each other).

7. Set up work intervals to improve your efficiency

Set up work intervals to improve your efficiency

I’m not sure if Tony has ever heard about the Pomodoro technique. But if he did, he would be even greater (if that’s possible).

The Pomodoro technique suggests breaking down your working time into intervals, 25 minutes each. After the interval, you have a short break. After a few intervals, you have a longer break.

Why you need it

Some tasks can be finished in 2 hours but we spend 8 hours trying to finish them. An interval imposes a ‘deadline feeling’ which helps you be more productive and check your IG less frequently.

8. Stand up from your computer every hour

Set up work intervals to improve your efficiency

Iron Man gets some rest between helping to save the world. Usually, it’s a few hours of work followed by about a year of rest. Though I don’t suggest the same periodization, the idea is the same: alternate periods of work with periods of rest.

Why you need it

You need a change of activity to stay productive. And you also need movement to make sure your body stays healthy (trust the person who used to work sitting on a couch for a few hours straight. Her back still hurts).

9. Drink water to stay hydrated

Drink water to stay hydrated

I’ve never seen it but I’m pretty sure that the Iron Man costume should have some water storage and a straw for Tony to drink water, right? Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to survive, especially on other planets. Yeah, everyone knows it.

Why you need it

A human body needs water to live. We need to maintain the water balance throughout a day, and in most situations, it means drinking water even when you don’t feel thirsty. In fact, if you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

10. Decide when the work is done and step out of your computer

Decide when the work is done and step out of your computer

‘When I’m done with my work, I just shut everything down and go to enjoy myself’ (c) Iron Man. 

I’m not sure in which part Tony said that. But I think we should listen to his wise advice. 

Why you need it

If you don’t know where the endpoint is, you can end up working or thinking about working all the time. Which doesn’t help. 

Instead, set a point in time (it’s easier if you have a fixed schedule) or task, and once you reach it, pat yourself on the shoulder and check out Thor’s list of leisure time ideas. 

Iron Man Infographics You Can Download and Share

(hint: click the image to enlarge)

Work from home guide from Iron Man

Things to Do to Not Get Bored. Thor’s Work from Home Edition

Self-isolation and quarantine can give you a positive side effect: you can finally do something you have been aiming to do forever. Just make sure it’s social distancing approved.

The main aim of these activities is to have some fun during these hard times, get closer with your family and virtual friends and build a foundation for your better post-self-isolation life. 

1. Read books


2. Watch movies


3. Take courses to learn a new skill


4. Play games


5. Cook


6. Do your hobby, whatever it is: knitting, scrapbooking, making jewellery, painting 


7. Spend quality time with your family and pets


8. Clean the house


9. Help your local community (virtually)


10. Calm, breathe out and stay In the now


Thor Infographics You Can Download and Share

(hint: click the image to enlarge)

Thor shows how to spend your free time

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed the guides! Feel free to share them with attribution to MarketingSyrup.

Also, if you need help with your SEO strategy and implementation, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll do my best to assist you or can refer you to other professionals.

If you want to follow one of Thor’s tips and learn a new skill, start with my SEO Challenge Course, it will be opened soon!

All the illustrations in this post are done by an amazing designer Alexunder Hess.