In a world where everything we do seems to be happening at home, feeling “burnt-out” is becoming an all too common problem. If you think that your home/work environment is becoming stagnant and unproductive, here are some tips to reverse the troubling trend.
Do not forget your days off
The problem with working from home is that you are always in your workplace. This dilemma can lead to a feeling that you need to be working all the time.
Back when we all went to a different workplace location, shared workspace, or office, most of us did not work seven days a week. Even though you may be working from home now, do not forget that this is supposed to be the space you spend time escaping the work environment. If possible, set up a schedule to fit in off-days and off-hours where absolutely no work gets done.
Get some exercise
There are obvious benefits to both the body and mind with regular exercise. These benefits are more valuable than ever in these trying times.
An excellent reason for exercise, beyond the health benefits, is that it can break up a sometimes monotonous workday. You will be amazed at how focused you will be when you return to work after a brisk, midday workout. If not a full workout, at least a walk around the block a couple of times a day will do wonders.
You should still take vacations
Remember the days when you got two weeks of vacation per year? Chances are when you took those days you were not working remotely from a beach or a ski slope.
Even though the choices of where you may go on a vacation may be limited these days, it does not mean you should stop taking vacations. Make a plan for just a weekend getaway to some type of open, outdoor space to get your mind off of work and recharge your mind and spirit. Even if you can’t go anywhere, you can still use the vacation days and just hang out at home, work-free. It’ll refresh and reset you more than you can imagine.
Make a time for the workday to be over
One of the real traps that people fall into working from home is finishing their day and then settling into a nighttime routine only to decide that some more work needs to be done right away. Then instead of having a real delineation between work and home life, work becomes your entire day.
Be honest with yourself and stop thinking that something has to be done at 10 or 11 p.m. There is probably a very good chance that it can wait until the morning and your next workday. Do your best to shut your work mind off at the end of the workday and do not obsess on thinking about that one thing that needs to be done first thing in the morning all night. Set a time each day when you stop checking emails, unplug the laptop, and if you really want to go for it, put the phone away until the next day.
Set up your own rewards system
For some, the downside of working at home is a lack of motivation. Without a typical work environment with a boss and co-workers surrounding you, it can be tough to get started and keep going.
One way to combat this is to set up your own rewards program for yourself. Did you hit your sales quota for the week? Then go ahead and binge-watch that show you have wanted to catch up with all week. Got through all your email correspondence for the day? Go ahead and treat yourself to some ice cream after dinner.
The trick is to come up with things that motivate you and then stick to them. If you achieve your goals, reward yourself but don’t cheat and take the reward no matter what.
Use the buddy system
As much as co-workers may have at times gotten on your nerves in the past, one thing people seem to miss working from home is interaction with co-workers. One way to combat this is to find a person in a similar situation as yours and strike up a relationship.
This person does not need to be somebody that works at the same company as you or even in your field. It can just be somebody you communicate with occasionally to express your frustrations to that hopefully knows exactly how you feel.
We are all dealing with the challenges of working at home while still doing all the things we always did at home, like raising kids or spending time with our significant others. Do not let your work life overwhelm everything else. Use these steps to create a balance and stop work-from home-burnout from happening.
Charles Davenport is a writer and frequent collaborator with Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Senior Planning offers free care-finding services for seniors and the disabled as well as reduced-cost legal and estate services.
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