Like most introverts, I adore being home.

And I love many, many things about my home.

I love that it contains an excellent espresso machine, Apple TV, Netflix and Stan subscriptions, heaps of books, a cosy bed, a well-equipped home office.

I love that I can walk to restaurants, the gym, a large library, and a wide range of fashion, book, and department stores.

But there’s a particular aspect of my apartment that I’ve come to appreciate deeply, almost passionately. Funnily enough, it’s something that barely registered when I first moved in. But now I use it daily, and with gratitude.

What is this thing that has come to hold such a warm place in my cold, cold heart?

It’s the off switch on my video intercom buzzer.

This tiny device is like a drawbridge to the outside world.

There are times with the drawbridge is lowered and the buzzer turned on. If friends are expected. If a delivery is imminent. Most seriously, if pizza has been ordered.

But the rest of the time the drawbridge remains securely raised and the buzzer turned off.

This means I can work from home without being interrupted by a life-changing offer to switch gas supplier. I can dodge any and all religious door-knockers and keep my recycle bin free of their reading material.

When we first moved into the apartment the buzzer was always on. But in those days we both worked long hours in offices, plus I was still clueless about my deep-seated misanthropy introversion, so it just wasn’t that big a deal.

But when I left corporate and started working, later studying, later working again from home, I was constantly getting interrupted.

There seemed a never-ending pilgrimage of hawkers, canvassers and proselytisers.

Their buzzing would pierce the fragile net of my motivation and concentration – elusive habits I was struggling to develop in my new home-based work-space.

No sooner would I dispense with my highly original and numerous forms of procrastination and finally get down to work, than the buzzer would blare.

Invariably a stressful interchange would follow. They would push, argue, coax. I would try to be assertive yet polite and fail miserably (I’m much better at it now).

Finally I would close my door, exhausted, new gas contract in hand, and turn to the calmative salve of copious Tim Tams and episodes of Friends. After such an ordeal work was out of the question.

Even more challenging were friends who knew I worked from home and would drop by if they were in the area, or just felt like a chat.

This did not work for me at all.

Not only was I frustrated to be interrupted and lose my hard-won focus, but after being with a friend it would be especially difficult to motivate myself back to work once they left. Especially in those early days of establishing a work routine and discipline, a social pop-in could write off an entire afternoon of work.

But I simply couldn’t bring myself to say, ‘This is my work time. It’s like a job, just, you know, here.’

The buzzer off switch changed everything.

When people found me ‘not home’ they simply made other arrangements.

If someone wanted to come over, we made a plan in advance. For me, a lover of boundaries and structures, this worked so much better.

If someone wanted to sell me something, they couldn’t. Huzzah!

With my buzzer drawbridge in place I was able to develop my own unique work routine. I learned how to be productive and creative in my home office.

Turns out that for an easily distracted, boundary-loving, socially-minimal introvert like me, working from home is the ideal. I’ve never been more effective, creative, or happy at work.

And as an aside, I’ve also never stayed so long with the same gas supplier.

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