Work from Home Tips for Everyone to Avoid Burning Out
Learn from these helpful tips to stay motivated!
Here’s a familiar scene: You’re usually organized and prepared, but lately you just can’t be bothered to write a to-do list. The things that used to make work fulfilling don’t do it for you anymore. And you just snap at everybody over the smallest thing. If emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion is just hounding you day in and day out, chances are, you’re experiencing burnout. If you’re feeling this way and are in need of some work from home tips, read on.
In this age of working from home, we are expected to perform and be productive as usual, even as we juggle other responsibilities. According to a study, the average workday has increased by about 48.5 minutes where people attended more meetings, and more emails were sent after office hours. So how do we cope with this new work reality without burning out?
Work from Home Tips for a Work-Life Balance
Many things about working from home contribute to feeling drained. It’s not just the work. The above study also suggests that, yes, workdays may be longer, but it’s because we must accommodate so many interruptions in between. Chores, texts, deliveries, a cute dog demanding our attention — all of it adds up to more hours of work later in the day. This accumulation of stressors can, in turn, add up to burnout.
According to the WHO, burnout is a result of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and is characterized by feelings of depletion, increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativity, and reduced efficiency. If this is you, or even almost you, best to nip the burnout in the bud with these work from home tips:
Create a workspace that you love and make it your anchor.
Creating healthy boundaries between life and work has always been key to avoiding burnout and is even more important now that we are working from home. This is easier said than done for someone who lives in a one-bedroom apartment, compared to someone who has an entire house and a garden.
This is why establishing an anchor is far more helpful than redecorating: an anchor — a simple desk and a comfortable chair — signals you that it’s time to work. It helps shift your focus and allows you to buckle down and start working, no matter how big your space is.
Customize your work schedule and stick to it.
Even if your office still follows regular 9-5 work hours, allow yourself to adjust and accommodate other activities in your work-from-home life. After nine months, we’ve found our groove and established a regular routine.
If you’ve discovered that you are more productive in the morning when there are fewer distractions around the house, go ahead and start working as early as 7 a.m. and get big tasks out of the way. Doing this opens your day to other responsibilities, as well as to a leisurely lunch break! The workday may still officially end at 5 p.m., but it won’t feel as heavy nor crammed.
Take your lunch break at lunchtime. Hydrate frequently.
It can be tempting to just power through work until it’s all done before having lunch but having three meals a day at the right time is also a form of setting boundaries. Meals are anchors as well. These scheduled breaks are important because they give you balance, apart from, of course, nourishment to get through the rest of the day. These breaks give you a chance to recuperate and avoid exhaustion.
It’s also important to drink enough water. Dehydration can cause all sorts of problems, including headaches, stress, and fatigue. You can download apps like Water Reminder, which sends you a reminder to drink x amount of water every hour.
Shower, dress up, do your hair, put on makeup.
Why is this important? A study describes how people draw a line between work and home with “boundary-crossing activities.” These are dressing up in business attire and physically going to work. Research suggests maintaining these physical and social boundaries when working from home. So, go ahead—style your hair and add texture using TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Texture Hold Hairspray, ace your base with the POND’S BB+CC Cream. Take advantage of being mask-less and smile (closeup Natural Smile Toothpaste will take care of your teeth). Seize the opportunity and wear lipstick, too!
Dress up for the day in something comfortable but presentable; maybe even something fun! These actions act like on-and-off switches that serve as the vital demarcation between work and the home life we desperately need.
Say “no” to being 100% “on” all the time.
There is immense pressure to feel “on” all the time in this hyper-connected world that we live in — and this is the fastest highway to burnout city. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to reply to every message ASAP, or read all your emails, or have your video on during meetings. These are not true measures of productivity.
Instead, focus on your most important tasks, and insist on being given the time to finish them uninterrupted. Set your apps to turn off notifications after work hours and resist the need to check unless absolutely necessary. Your company will thank you for it, and so will your health.
Get yourself some oxytocin and endorphins.
Known as the “love hormone,” oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a response to love. It is also a huge stress reliever, proven to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, boost the immune system, and improve one’s mood.
Bonus: this burnout stopper is free. You can get it by hugging your loved ones at home, snuggling with your cat, or kissing your dog. It only takes a few seconds to teach your body that it is okay and that it will be okay. While you’re at it, get yourself some endorphins, too. As Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands!” Find different at-home exercises with no equipment needed.
Keep your weekends sacred.
It’s important to train your mind to log off from work once you literally log off from work. It might take a while and it might even make you feel anxious at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an empowering feeling. Keeping your weekends sacred and devoted to family, home, and self-care gives your mind, body, and spirit the time to breathe and find nourishment. Now that we don’t really have a lot of options in terms of going out, making weekends special, even just at home, can make all the difference.
Working from home is a challenge that we all continue to face but adjusting a few habits to accommodate better ones can help avoid WFH burnout. If you like these work from home tips, share this article and help a friend out.