Working at home can be really awesome, but it’s not without it’s challenges. In fact, it can make you feel a little crazy. Managing multiple hats and taking care of work and home under the same roof can feel a lot like plate spinning. Fortunately, these work-at-home professions have great tips to helping you stay sane and avoid burnout.
Meghan Khaitan, founder of the MyBuckleMate seat belt buckling solution
- Get Up and Get Dressed Every Day—Even though you have the luxury of working in your pajamas, try not to make it a habit. When you make a point of getting up, taking a shower, and investing in yourself, you’ll feel the difference. Yes, it’s nice to be comfy, but you’ll feel more confident, self-assured, and ready for work when you’re pulled together. Make-up and shoes are optional, of course!
- Keep a Running To Do List—Start each day with a to-do list of what you need to get done that day. Being able to visually see at a glance what needs to get accomplished helps you to stay motivated throughout the day.
- Just Say “No To Calls and Visits—Yes, you’re home. No, you’re not available—you’re working. It’s sometimes hard for people to understand the concept of “work from home.” For you this means you can’t accept visitors, personal calls to chat, and are not available to watch your neighbor’s kids because daycare cancelled. Tell people to always call first before stopping by and when they do call, don’t answer if it’s not a good time.
1. Make sure to have a dedicated work space. Really create a space that you will feel at peace, safe, loved, respected and in balance. The energy
and intention, when creating and putting your sacred desk (or space) together is what matters most.
2. Something that I find always enhances and brings a sense of life to a desk or work space is some greenery and if possible some natural light. If you are working in an office where you don’t have a choice about a window even just a potted plant or succulent can breathe life.
3. Keeping your work space and desk clean and as tidy as possible will add to the vibration. Clean space opens up for clean mind. This is crucial so that we are working with an openness.
Max Robinson, Ace Work Gear
One of the easiest ways to stay sane is to work in 20 minute ‘sprints’. There is considerable scientific evidence to suggest that the human brain can only work effectively for 20 minutes at one time, and after that time period you become more liable to become distracted or get frustrated with your work. I feel that this temptation to avoid work is amplified when you’re working from home. So before I get started with my work, I’ll set a timer on my phone for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, I’ll take a 7 minute break and do something else for a while. This has helped me immensely to feel sane while I work from home, which ensures that I stay productive!”
Thoughts from Leslie:
Depending on what you do from home, your circumstances while working from home (i.e. if you have kids there too), and the general craziness of life, it’s hard to never overwhelmed or like you’re going to pull your hair out. However, the ideas that these experts have shared can reduce the frequency and lessen the emotional impact of overwhelm. My ideas are:
- Have a plan. A schedule, routine and to-do list help you stay focused and organized on what needs to be done.
- Ask yourself what’s most important. The most difficult insane moments often come out of blue. For example, your boss asks you send something today, that you thought wasn’t due until tomorrow. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to prioritize and make conscious decisions about what needs to be done now as opposed to running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to do it all at once.
- Ask yourself do you need to do it? Anything that you can delegate to someone else is one less thing you need to do.
- Have fun at least once a day. Even when you’re not working, you might be expending mental energy on work. This can make you feel even more tired and lead to burnout quicker. So make sure you take time for yourself at least once a day. Go for a walk, read a leisure book (as opposed to a business book), call a friend, go out for coffee…whatever relaxes you and refills your energy tanks.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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