Working from home comes with several benefits. Some of these include a more flexible schedule, choosing where to work, and not worrying too much about commuting to the office. Statistics reveal that about 77% of those who work remotely believe they’re more productive when working from home. However, working from home can also be stressful due to several distractions, balancing work with some household responsibilities, and no fixed structure or boundaries during working hours. If you’re working from home, be it a nine to five job or running your own business, here are some practical tips to help you manage stress.
1. Develop a routine
Sometimes the lines can get blurry when you’re working from home, and you may end up using your working hours for both home and business activities. However, this could affect your productivity. As such, it would help if you developed a daily routine to help make your day more organized. Setting the alarm to help you have a consistent wake-up time for work can help. You can also start your day with some activities to set the tone for a productive day, such as some stretches or meditation to put you in the right frame of mind and start your day right. Eating a healthy breakfast will also help minimize the likelihood of grabbing unhealthy snacks constantly during your working hours.
While setting your routine, it’s best to tackle the most pressing tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed when the deadline approaches. At the end of work, it’s best to put your working materials away entirely so you can relax and have time for other activities such as spending time with your family.
2. Try not to overthink things
This tip is crucial for your mental health and productivity, especially when running your own business from home. There may be times you’ll face some challenges or setbacks, but overthinking things may prevent you from finding practical solutions to tackle the problem and instead cause you to be highly stressed and anxious. For instance, if your business is experiencing a lengthy dispute, it’s best to contact professionals to help out and make the process easier for you instead of trying to take matters into your own hands. Suppose you’re in the Wichita area and need assistance with any litigation concerning your business. In that case, you can visit https://www.fleeson.com/practice-areas/corporate-and-commercial-litigation to help you make an informed choice for your business. This way, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business without worrying too much or leaving other areas unattended. It would help if you also kept a journal to vent your feelings to better process your thoughts and emotions and renew your mind to face your tasks while working from home.
3. Have a dedicated work area
Working from home can get very comfortable as you can work from anywhere, including your bed. However, if you don’t set up an area purposefully for work, you’ll have many distractions that affect your productivity and make you feel stressed. A demarcated workspace will help you focus and make it easy for you to put away your work after a long day. Your home office doesn’t have to take up too much space; even a corner with a good chair and desk can go a long way in helping you shift gears mentally from home to work. While working here, remember to put away distractions such as social media if it isn’t related to work. If your workspace is big enough, you can also hang a motivational quote or two around to help keep you going even on the most challenging days or a few potted plants to bring a touch of the outdoors to your indoor space and impact your well-being.
4. Avoid isolating yourself
One disadvantage of working from home is that you may lose the human connection from going to the office in person if you don’t make a conscious effort. Therefore, it’s best to find ways of staying in touch with your colleagues, employees, friends, etc., even when working from home. If you feel overwhelmed when working, you can communicate with your manager to find ways to improve your work schedule or make some changes that will help. If you feel any sense of isolation while working from home, getting in touch with people you know can support you can help remind you that you’re not alone. Occasionally checking up on your teammates will help sustain a connection between you all, enabling you to maintain good relations even while working from home. During your break, video calling your loved ones, friends, etc., can help improve your mood, and you can get back to work without feeling isolated.
5. Learn to say no
You may not always be able to take on everything during your working hours, and that’s fine. It’s best not to be too hard on yourself if you can’t attend to everyone’s requests at once, especially when it’s not work-related. If you’re running a business from home, one of your main goals may be to have as many customers as you possibly can a day. However, overpromising your clients could lead to you experiencing burnout and under-delivering. Doing this could negatively impact your work output and lead to you losing customers in the long run.
Having clear boundaries about what you can and can’t do during work doesn’t make you selfish. Instead, it helps you focus on your daily tasks and gives each activity your best shot without feeling like you have to deal with several things at once.
6. Celebrate the little wins
Sometimes in trying to achieve your goals while working from home, you may end up being so focused on achieving significant tasks that you overlook the little victories. However, consciously celebrating your wins, no matter how minor, and rewarding yourself, could help encourage you to keep going. There are many ways to reward yourself without breaking the bank. For instance, you can take a short break and get some fresh air while listening to your favorite music. You can also affirm yourself, boosting your self-confidence by patting yourself on the back and reminding yourself why you’re unique. You can also buy yourself something you’ve been meaning to, that is both practical and fun, such as a personalized journal, so it comes in handy often. It’s all in the little things and about identifying what yields the most results for you. Sometimes, even canceling the tasks you’ve completed for the day can help motivate you.
7. Don’t compromise on your sleep
The quality of your sleep can significantly impact your productivity when working from home. Although you may want to extend your working hours to achieve whatever goals you’ve set for the week, this could eat into the number of hours you spend sleeping. As such, it’s best to have a sleep routine that will help you have a good night’s rest and prepare you for the next day. It would help if you developed positive habits known as sleep hygiene that will positively affect the quality of your sleep. You can start by putting your devices away after work and reducing your screen time. You can also have a particular time you go to bed each day to build some consistency and help you set boundaries. Watching what you eat before bed can also go a long way in improving your sleep. It’s best to reduce your caffeine intake before bedtime and avoid eating meals that are incredibly high in fat right before you sleep. You can also create a conducive environment in your room by clearing your bed, dimming your lights, and reading before bed. A warm shower could do wonders too!
8. Ask for help when you need it
Handling your work responsibilities can be challenging when you have to attend to household stuff as well. However, asking for help when you need it or delegating tasks will help make things easier for you. You can ask your spouse to help out with the kids depending on their schedule or get a sitter if the need arises. You can also try sleeping in during the weekend by getting friends or family to watch your kids, so you can get some extra rest without having to worry about your alarm as you would during your working days. Asking for help and delegating tasks allows you to focus on work, gives you more time, and helps you make room for other activities you enjoy doing. Remember not to worry too much when you ask for help or think they may not do the tasks you’ve assigned to them as well as you’d have. It’s best to let go, so you won’t be distracted while working.
Working from home can be very rewarding but can also take a toll on you if you don’t manage stress well and prioritize your well-being. With these practical tips, you can effectively deal with any anxiety or stress you feel while working from home and make the most of your day.
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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