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Don’t let working at home lead to burnout.
Working from home can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but there are some pitfalls as well. At some point, you may find yourself feeling lonely or burned out. Today these experts are sharing their tips and suggestions for avoiding these situations.
Tip 1) Make a commute in the mornings when you’re feeling down or unmotivated. I walk to get a coffee and breakfast at least 5 blocks away, grab it to go and then walk back. It breaks up the habit of not leaving and gives you some human interaction.
Tip 2) Set off a piece of your home for office only. I live in a condo so space is limited. I sectioned off an area which is work only and I never take my computer to the couch, the bedroom or other spaces. By making that work space, it alleviates the isolation feeling and the rest of my home stays home. It sounds weird but it works.
Tip 3) Join a networking/happy hour niche group. Chances are there are other people who work from home and work in the same industry. Create a monthly or weekly meetup at a local restaurant or bar for a networking happy hour. Coffee shops work too. Everyone can gain some interaction and you can have a topic where a presenter speaks or you do a round table mastermind so everyone can learn something.
1) Get out of the office: Make sure you plan lunches or coffees with colleagues you enjoy getting together with. Attend meetings of professional organizations on a regular basis. Plan pockets of time when you can go run errands or take a walk. Just be sure not to sit alone in your office all day, every day. Not only is that liable to contribute to your isolation but it isn’t good for your business. You need to be out meeting and talking to folks to stay fresh and even find new prospects and clients.
2) Also, another way to avoid this type of burnout is to participate in social media, such as Twitter chats. There are chats scheduled on a weekly basis in many industries. If you attend on a regular basis, you’ll get to know folks. This is a great way to meet new people, learn something, contribute your knowledge and have some fun.
3) You can also plan calls with clients or colleagues. Use Skype, if you feel the need to see the person you’re talking with. I sometimes find it’s good to schedule a call or two a month with someone who does work that dovetails with the services I provide. It helps me get to know them better, should I want to refer business to them in the future, and I also learn something that might be helpful as I work with my clients.
1) Set specific times to work when you can focus uninterrupted. Otherwise, I feel like I am working all the time but not accomplishing anything.
2) Make time to get out of the house at least 2-3 times a week. Even if it is just running to the grocery store.
3) Maintain contact with friends. Make it a point to meet up with friends at least twice a month, even if it’s just lunch.
Tip 1) The biggest mistake you can make when you work at home is to push yourself to a point where your work/life balance is so off-kilter that you start to forget why you work so hard in the first place.
Set yourself boundaries and while it’s fine to allow yourself to put in overtime once or twice a week if it becomes an everyday occurrence you will suffer the consequences.
Tip 2) If you not only work at home but also without any interaction from co-workers the silence can be deafening.
While it’s not wise to introduce too many distractions and there’s a lot to be said for peace and quiet, I have found playing constructive podcasts in the background can help to reduce cabin fever and loneliness of being a solopreneur.
Tip 3) Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of burnout and give your brain a break while you work out the rest of your body.
Chances are if you work at home your role is fairly sedentary and it’s been well publicized that sitting too much is extremely bad for you.
Why not try a standing-desk, get an exercise bike in the office or even better go outside and take regular walks or bike rides to break up your day.
Tip 1) Join a networking group, gym, or club that allows you to pursue outside interests and interact with other people, get out of the house, and burn restless energy.
Tip 2) Avoid working around the clock by setting times and limits, much like you would do at an office.
Tip 3) Stay off of social media and sites that take your energy away from your work during your set work hours.
Note from Leslie
The biggest burn I ever felt from working at home was when I was doing work I didn’t enjoy or didn’t inspire me. This is why I’m also advocating for people to consider their interests and passions when deciding on a home based career. Beyond that, avoiding burnout requires:
- Having a schedule and sticking to it. People who work at home are often at risk of working to much.
- Learn to turn off your working brain. Too often, even when you’re not working, you’re thinking of work, which can feel like working.
- Take time to move every day. You don’t have to spend a lot of time at the gym. Go for a walk, do yoga, play tag with the kids, etc.
- Get an office plant. I recently wrote an article for The Balance on office plants and discovered they can increase creativity, boost mood, and more.
- Do something you love every day. Even if it’s not part of work, nurture your soul by indulging in something you enjoy.