If working remotely has been your new normal for a while now, you may be starting to feel like you’re falling into a funk. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve discovered that help me avoid the dreaded work burnout.
Fix up a designated work area for yourself and stick to it. If you are constantly filling out reports in front of the television, TV night will start to feel like you’re at your job. Entrepreneur advises, “If available, choose a separate room as dedicated workspace. Then you can close the door to keep business in and family, friends, and pets out.” Decorating this space like you would an office or cubicle you’d commute to can also have benefits to helping productivity and creativity.
Set your working hours and draw a line in the sand with your boss and yourself. Decide that quitting time is quitting time, and unless you had to be on call before you started working from home, don’t accept that you must be available at all hours now. Turn your work phone off and leave it in your dedicated workspace when you’re on your own time. Stop taking work emails during dinner. Chances are good it can wait. If you’ve comingled your personal phone as a work phone, now is a good time to ask for a company cell.
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take personal, vacation, and sick time. If you aren’t well, don’t feel pressured into attending video conferences from your bed. Personal and vacation days are still important, too. You’re working even if you are at your house, personal errands and family adventures shouldn’t suffer. If you just need a mental health day to sit around in your pajamas and watch daytime talk shows, that’s okay. You deserve it.
If you find that you have a few minutes here and there where you don’t have a lot to do, but shouldn’t leave your workspace, there are productive things you can do for yourself to help pass the time while you wait for your next meeting or assignment. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that none of these things involve fighting with strangers on social media apps, but rather you can do surveys for some extra cash, grab a quick meditation session, or some fast cardio.
Working from home can be convenient for people who have good time management skills, but the downside is that burnout can creep its way into your life even quicker when your work is at home. Avoid letting your workdays, and your attitude grow stale by drawing some firm boundaries and sticking to them.