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How to avoid work-from-home burnout?

How to avoid work-from-home burnout?

How to avoid work-from-home burnout?

Most people fall down a steep staircase that ends in work from home burnout. Are you in the same boat? Then keep on reading!

There are many positive factors to working from home. You do not have to bother about the dress code; there will be no supervision, no time wasted commuting, and you have the freedom of deciding where you choose to work. However, there are many psychological effects of working from home as well. Some people have embraced this culture and are enjoying it. However, some are facing many challenges when working remotely. Here are 19 tips to help you relax, destress, increase your productivity and reduce work from home burnout when you have to work from remote locations or if you work from home itself.

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Once the initial excitement of work from home weans off, the reality starts to set in. Most people feel working from home is more stressful than working from an office. There is a blurred line between office time and home time. People have no personal lives. There is more burnout and increased depression, anxiety, and stress. The office hours have suddenly become unlimited. All these factors are seriously impacting the mental health of some people. 

 

However, those who are workaholics and enjoy their work have taken this in a positive stride and are utilizing all the time to give to their work. However, there is a chance that workaholics too may feel exhausted after a specific time. Thus, it is essential to understand how to combat the stress of working from home and prevent work from home burnout.

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Tips to prevent work from home burnout

If you feel highly pressured due to their work-from-home schedule, you are not alone. Around 70% of the people engaging in work from home feel the same way. But, many options can be used to help manage stress and prevent work from home burnout. These will also help boost your work productivity.

Maintain a routine

When you go to the office, there is a specific time when you wake up. There is a time when you have to catch the bus or your commute; there is a time by when you have to be in your office. All of these factors go out the window when you start working from home. The office work extends late into the night, and you may wake up late in the morning, et cetera. Such circumstances throw off the circadian rhythm of your body. This contributes to work from home burnout. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a specific routine and stick to it. Having a pattern will not only help you manage your time; it will also help you chalk out some time for your family as well.

Have a beginning of the day ritual

This beginning of the day ritual may include going for a walk before you start your work, engaging in some light exercises or stretches, enjoying a few pages of your favorite book with tea or coffee, et cetera. All the activities that are involved in getting you ready for the day.

The end of the day ritual

The end of the day ritual includes putting your office things away. Go for an evening walk, meet up with your friends and family. If you cannot meet physically, meet up on virtual platforms. Follow the ritual every day.

Set alarm

When you have to go to an office, you set your morning alarm. The same routine should be followed even in work-from-home schedules. Wake up at the same time that you would if you had to go to your office. You may adjust your wake-up schedule a little later because you do not have to commute to the office. However, try to be ready by the time you reach your office.

Have a specific lunchtime

Make sure that you have your lunch at the same time every day. This will not only give you a much-needed break, but it will also help your body’s clock adjust and stay at par with your office schedule. During lunch, do not take any calls from the office or conduct any meetings. Make sure your phone and laptop are away from sight.

Move around

One massive problem that people engaging in the world from home culture are facing is neck and back pain issues. This is happening because of the prolonged periods spent sitting at one place and constantly working. If you were in an office, you would work for some time, get up, move around, go to the coffee machine, get a cup of coffee for yourself, engage in a light conversation with your colleagues, or discuss work strategy et cetera. 

 

Engagements with colleagues, meetings with bosses, etc., provide a much-needed movement of the joints. The same should be engaged in when you are at home. For this, you can have a quick stroll around your entire house, walk around the block, or you can do stretches to free up those muscles that are getting cramped.

How to avoid work from home burnout?

Set timers

One can get distracted very quickly when at home. There are thousand different things on your mind when you stay at home. If you have kids, you will be worried about your kid’s education, online classes, snack time, etcetera. If you don’t have kids, you would be concerned about laundry, cooking for lunch, dinner, what groceries you must buy, et cetera. These distractions may seem tiny, but together, they become huge and can seriously hamper your productivity. Therefore, to keep your productivity high and prevent work from home burnout, make sure that you use timers. 

 

You can use timers that are available for phones and laptops. Set the timer for 90 minutes. Work sincerely during those 90 minutes. Once the 90 minutes are over, get up and go for a walk. Spend 10 minutes away from your laptop and your phone. This will keep your mind fresh and enhance your productivity as well.

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Get some fresh air

Once you have completed a few sessions, it is time to take a long break. During your long intervals, make sure that you get some fresh air. Step out of your house, walk around the block. If you have a park nearby, go to the park. Stepping out of the house will not only reduce your stress but will also make you feel energized, fresh and boost your mental health.

Prioritize your tasks according to the importance

If you are unsure of which task to finish first, talk to your supervisor. Work on those tasks first that have a closer deadline. This way you will not have to catch up on work at the end moment. Try to finish the job one day before you have to submit it. This is not only a good work ethic; it will also keep you from falling victim to work from home burnout.

Have a specific workplace

Make sure that you are not sitting in your bed and working. Working from your bed is the first step to inviting work from home burnout. Have a dedicated space for work. This can be another room or even a corner of your whole house. However, this corner should only have items that are related to your work and nothing else. 

 

The best tip here would be to have a separate room that you can convert into your office and work from there. If that option is not available, you can set up your desk at a place where there is the least distraction. Having a dedicated workspace will help you switch your mental mode from relaxing at home to working from an office. It will also help you switch off the mode and get back to your home mode once your office time ends. This is a crucial step to avoiding work from home burnout.

Eliminate distractions

When you are starting your work, make sure there are no distractions. This will include switching off your phone and switching off unnecessary apps that may distract you. Only calls, emails, or any other notification from the office should be allowed. If you live in a noisy neighborhood or have kids in the house, you may consider using noise-canceling headphones to keep your work distraction-free. Alternatively, you can also use relaxing music to create a peaceful ambiance in the room where you are working. If you do not enjoy working alone, you may put up some office background music on your phone or laptop to give you the feel of being in an office.

Stay in touch with friends.

Friends are important. If you feel lonely working from home, having your friends in your corner can be a big boost. However, all your friends may have different schedules of work from home. Thus, set up a meeting time depending on everyone’s schedules when you can meet online. You can also have a group chat to stay in touch with one another. But do not isolate your friends. Friends form a supportive community that helps prevent you from falling down the rabbit hole of work from home burnout.

Reward yourself

Motivation is extremely important for boosting productivity in any job, sector, or field. If there is no motivation, there will be no desire to work. Thus, you must keep your own motivation up when you are engaging in work from home. Break down the tasks that you have to do in a day into smaller parts and reward yourself when you complete them. Your rewards may involve:

 

The rewards will differ depending on your preferences. Therefore, try out a few options before you finalize your reward strategy.

Follow these tips to prevent work from home burnout

Learn to say NO

Saying NO is something that a lot of people struggle with. Even when people are working from an office, there are instances when your colleagues or supervisor may ask you to do a task that is not work-related. A lot of individuals would struggle to say NO to authority. This needs to change. You need to understand that it is entirely okay to say NO. This is especially important if the request may interfere with your work. Boundaries are essential whether you are working from home or from the office. Having limits in place may keep you from taking too much burden on your shoulders and then struggling later.

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Protect your sleep at all costs

When you are working from home, it is very tempting to stay up late at night and get up late in the morning. However, this needs to change. The absence of proper sleep can severely impact your productivity and can force you towards the work from home one house situation. Therefore, do not let anything come between you and your sleep. Switch off your screens one hour before bedtime. Start engaging in your night-time rituals so that your mind can get geared up to sleep. If you are not used to sleeping at a specific time, it may take you a while to adjust. However, it does not mean that you start scrolling through social media if you are not feeling sleepy.

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Practice self-care

Self-care is possibly one of the first things that go out the window when one starts to work from home. Due to the absence of work-life boundaries, people tend to forget that self-care is as important as having a job. Engaging in self-care can prevent work from home burnout and promote a healthy work-life balance. Your self-care routine may be different from someone else’s self-care routine. Thus, try not to follow the influencers. Give yourself some time to understand what works the best for you and add those rituals to your daily self-care routine. Some of these self-care routine rituals may include:

 

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Walk away

If you feel under severe stress and are already battling the effects of work from home burnout, step away from the task you were engaged in. This is one of the fastest ways to bring down the levels of the work from burnout. Even a few minutes away from your task can bring down the burnout levels by a serious margin. All you must do is transfer your focus onto something else apart from your work. You can give yourself 5 minutes to play a game on your phone, check social media, play with your dog, et cetera.

Be compassionate towards yourself.

Work from home has its unique challenges. One of them is expectations of high productivity from our selves. You are only human. You cannot be productive all the time. Some days, you will only be able to do the bare minimum number of tasks. That is okay. You are allowed to feel the stress, but you cannot let the stress consume you. You have a high level of mental strength, and you can get through any of the problems that you face. Keep reminding yourself of this fact whenever you feel stressed.

Be dedicated

Since you are working from home and do not have to adhere to the office dress code, this does not give you the freedom of treating your work like a side job. The seriousness is a crucial part of avoiding work from home burnout. If you are serious about your career, you will put the effort from your side to do your best. Your workplace will be adequately organized, and you will have separate time for your family and office, et cetera. 

 

One piece of advice that many experts give to maintain your dedication levels is to dress up like you are going to your office. When you get ready, it signals to your brain and your family members that you are in your office mode now and that they should not disturb you unless it is essential.

Be positive

The loneliness and solitude that is a part of working from home throw many people into desolation. The problem with desolation is that this feeling compounds in itself and quickly leads to work from home burnout. Thus, focus on the positives. Understand that you are saving time and money on your commute; you can wake up a little later than your typical, if your family needs you, you are available, you do not have to deal with the hustle-bustle of the office environment, etc. Every coin has two sides, one positive, one negative. Which side you decide to look at depends on you.

 

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Conclusion

As mentioned before, work from home comes with its perks and downfalls. Whether you are experiencing the perk or the downfall is dependent on your mindset, your circumstances et cetera. However, these downfalls do not lead to work from home burnout. These downfalls can easily be converted into perks, and the work from home burnout can be easily avoided. 

 

However, you will have to place some effort from your side to ensure that your plans succeed and that your productivity increases even when you are working from home. Follow the tips mentioned above, and feel free to reach out to me or cite your queries in the comments section. I will be happy to help.

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Shruti

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