Having the option to work from home is definitely a privilege. But, it is also one that comes with a lot of added responsibilities. While being able to make your own hours, choose what work you take on, and essentially being your own boss is great. You also have to make sure that you’re constantly holding yourself accountable to a high standard.
Having worked full-time in a more traditional office setting and as a full-time home office worker, I can safely say that one of the biggest complications that come from working at home is the inevitable burnout. While many people fear that working from home will diminish their productivity, what usually happens is often the exact opposite. Too much work, too little off-time, and an impossible amount of stress can leave you mentally exhausted and completely burnt out on work. In an effort to curb this, I have compiled a list of six steps that I take to avoid burnout when working from home.
1. Set Actual Work Hours
Typically, when you’re working in an office you have relatively strict starting and ending times. While there may be times that you have to take your home with you, you can typically expect for your workday to end when you go home for the day. When you work from home, these lines are not so carefully drawn. It can be easy to work sun up to sun down, desperate to get as much done as possible. This is bad for both your mental health and your productivity.
Make a schedule. Even if it has to be adjusted from time to time due to other obligations, your personal work hours should be set. Doing this will ensure that you aren’t spending all of your free time working.
2. Take Plenty Of Breaks
Foregoing your breaks may seem like a good way to get a lot of work done, but it can actually have the opposite effect. Even taking short, 5-10 minute breaks every hour you work can yield a serious boost of productivity. It is important to give your brain a rest and your body a break as often as you can while you work.
3. Have A Plan For Your Work Week
Feeling overwhelmed is a large part of burnout. While plentiful work means good things for your bank account, it can also mean that your mental health is about to take a decline. A great way to combat this is by making a plan. At the beginning of each week, have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. Schedule out your activities according to your preferences and stick to that plan as much as possible. Knowing exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be finished will keep a bit of the stress at bay. Switching up your plan every other week or so to change the order of your priorities will keep things exciting. We’ve got some great ways to stay organized as a work from home mom in this article.
4. Reward Yourself
Everyone needs to treat themselves every once in a while. Being in a constant state of working without receiving any rewards for the fruits of your labor isn’t good for anyone. Rewarding yourself can be as simple as spending a Monday that you’d normally spend working relaxing on the couch or as big as planning a large family vacation at the end of the year. Even if it’s a special expensive coffee or a couple movie tickets, you have the right to treat yourself when you need it.
5. Create A Support System
Never underestimate the importance of having someone to vent to. It doesn’t matter how much you love what you do, at times, there will be things that stress you out, annoy you, and mentally exhaust you. Whether those things are dealing with difficult clients or enduring crippling technical difficulties.
Creating a support system full of people that understand what you’re going through is always important. With them, you will be able to rant, rave, vent, and overall let all of your not-so-pretty feelings out. Having supportive friends or fellow work from home buddies does wonders for keeping burnout at bay.