My Top 5 Quarantine Work-From-Home Hacks You Probably Won’t See Anywhere Else.

How often is something useful as well as tongue-in-cheek?

Here are some favourite hacks I currently use in my quarantine life.

1. Plug In USB Correctly The First Time, Every Time.

I’ve got so many devices using USB nowadays it’s crazy. But if you’re in the same boat, you don’t have to let USB drive you crazy.

The side of the USB that is supposed to face UP has an indentation or groove on top as shown in the image below. Just take a look before you plug it in. If you want to do it without looking, run your fingertip across the section to feel if the indentation is there. That’s it, now add this skill to your resume. HR Directors and IT Managers will all be calling you for interviews. Secretly, they just want to see you perform this trick.

And if you’re plugging it into a vertical port or using one of those naked USB sticks……dang it just get a life and/or figure it out yourself.

2. Bring The Forest Right Into Your Home With Hinoki Oil

Hinoki is not the adopted brother of a famous Japanese dog. It is actually Japanese Cypress and many medical studies have shown Hinoki oil to aid in stress relief and relaxation. So since we can’t go outdoors and do forest walks (all the way to Japan, no less!), we can use Hinoki products that will give us similar benefits. Lazada actually has Hinoki essential oils, shampoo, as well as table tennis bats. Why table tennis bats, you ask? Well, some of the studies conclude that touching Hinoki wood also provides the same stress and relaxation benefits. Amazing huh!? But if you plan to multi-use that bat for some virtual Zoom-spanking on your colleagues, well…….that’s on you.

Don’t ask me why the studies that the Japanese male researchers conducted only tested small samples of young female subjects. You can ask, but just not me…

For clarification, I use Hinoki and peppermint at home. Peppermint is also a great pick-me-up. Just dilute it first before rubbing it directly onto your nostrils or skin if you’re not desensitized like me. You can also diffuse in a humidifier but I prefer to use it in my portable sauna. As with all things healthy and Hinoki being high on the list, the stuff doesn’t come cheap.

3. Portable Sauna

My sauna, which I use almost daily, beside my folding bike, which I don’t.

My portable sauna is one of the best things I’ve ever bought for under MYR 250. I blogged about it in my list of home gym equipment, but I might do a more detailed blog post about it in future. For a reasonable amount of money to own and operate, this is something that could save your life. And before we go on, I know what you’re thinking wise-ass. Technically it’s actually a steam room.

Basically, daily sauna use has been scientifically proven for life extension (40% morbidity reduction) and a host of other benefits. The kicker is that it can also potentially help to prevent Covid-19.

Dr Patrick is as unbiased as they come, and all her observations are fully backed by proper research and studies. No pseudoscience here.

Some additional benefits for me have been better workout recovery and sleep after using it. Like I mentioned in #2, I run the sauna with a mix of peppermint oil & Hinoki.

What does this sauna have to do with working from home? The portable sauna usually comes with a folding chair and has slots for your arms. If you place your sauna next to your work table, you can actually work on your laptop while seated in the sauna! Just be forewarned that I won’t be responsible for any damaged laptops. Or warning letters from HR.

4. Upgrade To A Standing Desk For Under MYR 60

As the cliche goes, ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ has a lot of truth to it. But with many of us quarantined and working from home, this gives us more flexibility and control over how we want to optimize our setup for better health.

For around MYR 50, you can turn your regular work table into a standing desk with this. This versatile laptop/reading stand was designed for reading in bed on while sitting on the floor, but there’s no reason why you can’t place it on top of your work table. Use some books if you need elbow support for doing long writing stretches. What are you writing, a blog?!

Another alternative is to work standing from your kitchen island. Think about it, the kitchen island is usually well lit and already set up with electrical sockets. It’s usually a good vantage point to watch the kids as well. Just make sure your island isn’t quite as cluttered as mine. No pics, sorry. It’s bad.

5. Speed Up Your Mouse Pointer

All of us who work with a laptop spend a lot of time using the mouse and/or touchpad. Factor it into an entire career (40 years?!) and that’s why I set the speeds to maximum. If your pointer speed is slower than your swipe speed, then you are lagging, wasting time. It’s why a genius footballer like like Andres Iniesta doesn’t play for Barcelona any more. The body is not responding as fast to the brain’s signals as before. Every microsecond counts.

Here are the relevant Youtube videos for Mac & Windows 10. If you are using Windows 10 you can even speed up the mouse pointer to beyond what the system settings allow. That’s right, GodSpeed. Link at the bottom:

Bonus Tips: 6. Best DIY Meal For WFH Lunch

Do you miss lunch with your co-workers so much that you do Zoom lunches? I won’t judge. You extroverted weirdo. However, anyway you cut it, instant ramen is a bad choice for a working lunch where you want to cut costs, save time and maybe do a little Skyping/Zooming. So is ordering delivery. You waste time either by having to cook the meal or by going to collect it. Furthermore, instant ramen is usually steaming hot, and there is the risk of spilling ramen soup all over the keyboard or on your lap.

My solution? Instant pizza. Less unhealthy than ramen. Super-easy to prepare; just use a large flat plate and throw it in the microwave. It’s designed to fit the microwave perfectly. Continue work until you hear the ding. Then, give it another 5-10 mins to cool down. Retrieve it and continue work. You can eat it with one hand and do other things at the same time – type, take video calls, check documents and operate your phone without looking like you’re running a Mukbang channel. Cause that might not look so professional. Just sayin

And no offence to those who think that microwaves cause serious health issues or zap all the food nutrients….you guys can stick to Maggi Mee.

*Credit to the wife for buying the first instant pizza by Dr Oetker.

That’s all I’ve got for now. So what did you guys think?

*As usual, if you use buy anything from Lazada via my links, I may get an affiliate commission at no cost to you. My personal thanks for reading and for your support.

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