How to Stay Sane While Working from Home
Working from home means no more commuting or spending hours away from home in a stressful environment. It also means you’ll have to take charge of your work life and create the type of life you really want. When you work from home, you have the flexibility to make your day look however you want. But, if you don’t actively set yourself on the right course, you may just go insane staying at home so many hours every day!
Healthy Work from Home Habits
Whether you’re an entrepreneur working on your own projects or businesses from home or you’re a remote employee for a company, you need to get yourself into some healthy habits.
1. Create a Separate Office at Home
When you’re not going to a separate location for your work, it’s still important to keep work life and home life separate wherever you’re staying. If you have space in your home, set up a specific area as your office. This can be a room or a small corner of a larger room, as long as you’ve got the space you need for your work-related activities. Most work from home jobs just require a computer at least, so it’s ideal to have enough space for a desk.
Separating your office space at home makes it possible to disengage your mind from your work once you step out of your office space. You’ll be able to take breaks, relax, and work harder if you don’t try to do leisure and work activities from the same places in your home every day.
2. Treat Yourself Like a Normal Employee
This is most relevant to entrepreneurs, but it can also apply to remote workers. Normal employees have regular working hours and certain work responsibilities. They are expected to get their work done within a certain time frame, and not to work crazy hours and late nights all the time. Set a specific time each day as the latest you will work, and stick to it. This is going to help you work harder during your working hours because you know you won’t be working all day, and it will improve your health dramatically.
Some exceptions can be made if you’re an entrepreneur working on a new start-up since these notoriously take up a lot of time and energy in the beginning stages. Also, if you work mostly with clients or companies in different time zones, you can adjust your working hours to fit communication needs. Flexibility means you don’t have to stick to a traditional 9 – 5 schedule, and you can make a schedule that works well for you.
3. Schedule Your Work – and Stick to It
Extending on the last point, it’s really important to schedule your working activities within your normal workday. Once you set your working hours each day, schedule what you want to do each day, and break it down into times if possible. This is going to keep you more organized and motivated and will help you to remember all your responsibilities. Once you make a schedule, stick with it and don’t ignore it!
4. Take Regular Active Breaks
At the office, you may get up every once in a while to go do different things. You’ll also have a lunch break where you will probably get up and move around every day. At home, you’ll need to make an effort to stay active. Being active while you’re working at home means adding active breaks to your schedule. This can be anything from taking a 10-minute exercising and stretching break or going for a short walk around your neighborhood.
It’s extremely unhealthy to live a sedentary lifestyle with little to no daily activity. Sitting all day can actually reduce your life expectancy. Since you’re not getting up to go anywhere on normal office errands or lunch breaks, make sure you take a few outside trips or active breaks around your own home.
5. Prepare Meals
Yes, it’s tempting to keep a stash of quick or ready-made snacks for lunch or dinner, but that’s not going to keep you in good shape or help you to feel energetic for work. Taking care of your body will help you do your best work from home. Look up simple meals to cook, like these delicious recipes from Tesco Ireland, and stock up on bulk ingredients. Keep a handy stock of healthier snack options that you enjoy, and cook your own meals. If you want to save some time, make large dinners and eat the leftovers again for lunch the next day!
6. Correct Your Posture
Back pain is a common complaint for people who sit for most of their working hours. Invest in a chair or seat that helps you keep good posture, or try a few simple exercises to help correct your posture over time. This is going to make you more comfortable during work and afterward as well.
7. Honor Your Boundaries
If you say you’re going to stop working by 8 pm, then stop working by 8 pm. If you decide not to work over the weekends, then don’t work on weekends. Boundaries are important for your time, but also for what the amount of work you’ll take up. If you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, make sure you set a boundary of how much work you’ll accept by yourself, so you don’t run yourself into the ground.
8. Hold Yourself Accountable
Joining an online group of other remote workers from around the world or even your co-workers is going to help you stay accountable for the work you’re supposed to be doing. It can be difficult to work at home because no one is supervising you to make sure you’re doing everything you need to on time. Accountability is going to help you get everything done and stay on track for a good work life. It also gives you a little social interaction like you would get from a physical office environment.
9. Remove Stressors
Make your working environment as stress-free as possible. If industrial looking spaces with boring colors make you feel rushed or stressed, add some colorful paintings or choose a spot near a window. Add things to your desk that will make you more comfortable. The better you feel while you’re working, the better your state of mind will be after work.
Working from home is a new step for some. While it can feel freeing at first, you need to get into good habits as soon as you can so you can stay physically and mentally healthy at home!
Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer, specializing in Outreach strategies and Influencer Marketing. Besides his passion about digital marketing, he has graduated from university with a bachelor degree in Cultural Anthropology which makes him extremely curious about anything “foreign” and “international”. He is always happy to talk with new people and you can reach him at his Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. He has recently started his own blog about digital marketing DigitalNovas.