Working from home can be the most fulfilling, or tough, business move you make depending on how well you prepare. When your workspace is next to your refrigerator, cozy bed, and cute pets, you may feel tempted to do anything but work. Whether you work from home now or hope to in the future, a healthy work life balance is key. Without regularly practicing healthy and sustainable work from home habits, the adjustment can lead to burnout. While you need to focus, meet deadlines, and earn a paycheck, you also need to enjoy yourself in the process. Here are 10 tips for you to stay healthy, sane, and live your best work-from-home-life possible:
1. Set Up a Neat, Quiet Workspace
Working from bed in your PJs might seem tempting, but it’s important to work in an environment that promotes productivity. Firstly, a neat space free of visual distraction will allow you to attend to your tasks at hand. Working from an organized space, versus a desk covered in papers, helps minimize distraction and overwhelm.
Secondly, working in a quiet space helps keep your attention on your work. Can’t escape the noise of your roommates or your neighbor’s lawn mower? A pair of noise-cancelling headphones will do the trick!
Lastly, make sure your work area is inspiring. You don’t have to be the next HGTV star to arrange a work area that feels comfortable and cozy. Pick something that lifts your spirits, like framed photos, fresh flowers, or crystals, and keep them in proximity of your workspace.
2. Plan Out Your Days
The best way to prepare for your days while working from home is to create a schedule for yourself. Planning out your days helps you to stay focused on deadlines and ensures all of your work gets done.
Working from home, you face distractions you’re not used to at a traditional job. Do you find yourself spontaneously doing laundry, baking a cake, or going through your closet during work hours? All of these tasks are great if you plan them into your agenda, but can be tempting forms of procrastination.
Most importantly, be sure to not overstuff your schedule. Leave some wiggle room for relaxation, fun, and life occurrences.
3. Have a Morning Routine
The days of commuting are over, but don’t let that tempt you to stay in bed all morning. One of the greatest perks of working from home is the elimination of the morning rush.
Whether you dedicate an hour or squeeze in 10 minutes, start your day with something that makes you feel good. Maybe that includes making your favorite coffee or tea, getting dressed, reading a chapter of a book, or doing yoga.
The key is to not do things just because you feel like you “have to” do them. If the thought of journaling first thing in the morning fills you with dread, choose a more aligning activity. Starting your morning on a good note truly sets the tone for the rest of your day.
4. Communicate Boundaries with Family and Clients
If you cohabit your space, whether with kids, your spouse, or roommates, it’s important to set and enforce work boundaries. Making those around you aware of calls, virtual meetings, or deadlines sets the expectation for uninterrupted work time. Disclaimer: furry friends may not get the memo to leave you alone during your Zoom chats. Most people are totally okay with this.
Be sure to communicate boundaries with clients or your boss, too. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you need to immediately answer every email sent at night or on the weekends (unless that’s the nature of your job, of course).
5. Take Breaks, Especially Lunch Breaks
Stepping away from your work for a bit can actually help increase your productivity for the rest of the day. After several hours of concentrated focus, it’s important to give your mind a break. Plus, you need to eat anyway!
In addition to a lunch break, be sure to take several smaller breaks throughout the day. Get up for a glass of water, step outside for fresh air, or take a quick 30-minute power nap.
6. Seek Supportive Community
Millions of people work from home regularly, and even more at least once per week. That means there are plenty of others who understand the pains and joys of working remotely. Making connections with likeminded people is one of the best ways to stay motivated and excited about your work. Find a support system you can cheer on through the good, and lean on when things get tough.
7. Move Your Body
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, couch potato, or somewhere in between, moving your body is critical for optimal health. Working from home doesn’t have to mean confining yourself to a chair all day. Pick a physical activity you enjoy and try to get in at least some movement daily. This could be a morning jog, a mid-day gym break, bike ride, or a walk in the evening.
8. Set a Time to Stop Working
The biggest struggle amongst people who work from home is finding a comfortable work-life balance. Even if you love what you do, working from morning to night every day guarantees burnout. Overworking can actually hinder your productivity through heightened stress, physical fatigue, and an inability to focus.
Research warns of the strong connection between workaholics and depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADHD. If overworking is negatively affecting your life, seek support and see if you can decrease your workload.
There will always be things that need to get done. Remember that there is more to you and your life than your job. Pick a time to close your laptop, put on some music or a movie, and relax!
9. Do Something to Unwind in the Evening
Every human being should do something outside of work to relax, whether you work from home or not. Having a hobby or something you look forward to outside of work promotes creativity, inspiration, and motivation.
A healthy work-life balance encourages a plethora of mental health benefits, including increased optimism and life satisfaction. Whether you enjoy reading, baking, creating art, or watching shows, let’s remove the guilt from guilty pleasures. Life is meant to be enjoyed!
10. Give Yourself Grace and Adjust as Needed
Don’t worry about mastering every single tip from day one. The adjustments that come with working from home definitely take time and can seem overwhelming at first. As you adapt to working in the same space you eat, sleep, and relax, see what works and what doesn’t. Fine-tune as needed.
We all have those days where we sleep in a little too late, work a little too long, or don’t move more than the number of steps it takes to walk to and from the fridge. Show yourself compassion, stay positive, and remember to smile, because you’re not stuck in commuter traffic!
About the Author: Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a holistic copywriter for health and wellness entrepreneurs. She loves encouraging others to live their healthiest, happiest, most passion-filled lives. When she’s not writing, you can find Melissa biking, reading personal development books, and cooking and baking delicious vegan treats.
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