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Work From Home Tips: 8 Ways to Avoid Burnout

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    Are you among the millions of workers who recently was forced to work remotely? If so, then you probably would benefit from some valuable work from home tips.

    While someone who’s a veteran of telecommuting may feel at home in the current times, another person who is accustomed to getting up and going to work five days a week is traveling on foreign territory.

    If this is your case, then these work from home tips will speak your mind.

    "Remote work is the future of work."

    It’s impossible for me to overstate the value of this advice.

    A few years ago, I spent six difficult months when I was forced to work from home after a serious injury.

    Now, not all of those six months were torturous. Recovering from my injury made the first two months challenging, but even after that, I was struggling.

    I felt adrift, disorganized and unproductive. Even worse than that, I sometimes wondered, not entirely ironically, if I was losing my mind. I really could have used some work from home tips from an expert.

    Work From Home Tips

    What you may be experiencing now is probably a lot like what I went through then. Think of it as a sort of culture shock. Until you get more familiar with this foreign way of life, you’ll probably feel all at sea.

    So, these work from home tips are derived from the system that I developed myself over those long-ago six months. My hope is that they will help you to get organized, stay productive and maintain your sanity.

    My Work From Home Tips

    Each of us is living in a unique situation, and this means that not all of these work from home tips will be ideal for every individual. Still, I think most of them are applicable to a majority of circumstances. Feel free to tailor them to meet your own needs or those of the people around you who probably are feeling as unmoored as you.

    1. Create a Morning Routine​

    2. Get Dressed

    3. Keep a Dedicated Office Space

    4. Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space

    5. Set a Clear Schedule

    6. Schedule Breaks

    7. Look for Training Opportunities

    8. Be Positive

    1. Create A Morning Routine

    When you were commuting every day, you probably had a rock-solid morning routine. Most of it was likely built around whatever time you needed to be at your desk in the office. Accordingly, you timed when you’d leave your house, when you’d hit the shower and even what time the alarm would go off.

    Things have changed. You no longer have to catch that 7:45 bus to be in the office before 8:30 when you need to be sitting in your desk chair. Now, you could roll out of bed at 8:29, stumble to the computer desk, and call it good.

    It’s even less defined for someone who isn’t required to work regular office hours when they telecommute. This person might stay up until three in the morning, roll out of bed at 11 am, and work straight through from noon until eight pm. They really need this work from home tips.

    Either way, your morning routine is out the window. This may mean that you’re missing out on valuable grooming and self-care activities as well as a nutritious breakfast that helps you stay focused and energized.

    While it isn’t necessary for you to adhere to the morning routine that you used when you were commuting, it makes sense to establish a morning routine for your new normal. This will help you not only maintain a sense of balance and preparedness but also will make you feel more productive as you begin your workday.

    It’s perfectly fine to sleep in a bit later, but set the alarm so that you’ll have time to read, journal, meditate, do some yoga or just enjoy a cup of coffee before it’s time to shower and brush your teeth.

    No skipping breakfast, either. There’s a reason why it’s called the most important meal of the day.

    2. Get Dressed

    It’s tempting to wear pajamas all day or simply to lounge around in a torn Cowboys t-shirt and some ratty sweats. That’s fine when you don’t have anything to do, but these are work from home tips for a reason. You have stuff to get done, and that means that you have to dress like it.

    While it’s not necessary to wear formal office attire when you’re telecommuting, you will certainly feel more put together and prepared if you can manage to drag on some clean clothes that actually go together.

    I’m not asking for anything more formal than business casual. In fact, you may be able to tone it down to just casual if you don’t have any video conferences.

    Some people may balk at this advice, but I swear that it worked for me. When I knew that I looked more put together, I felt readier to meet my workday and all of the challenges that came with it.

    3. Keep a Dedicated Office Space

    Thanks to the prevalence of laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices, you could literally get your job done from anywhere in the world. However, most of us are stuck at home right now, and that gives us an opportunity to carve out a dedicated office space.

    If you already have a home office, count yourself lucky. You’re one huge step ahead on these work from home tips. If you don’t have a home office, then you’ll find this advice especially helpful.

    You don’t have to dedicate an entire room to being your workspace. Maybe just focus on a computer desk, one end of the dining room table or a spot on the kitchen counter where you can draw up a comfortable stool or chair.

    Gather all of your necessary equipment and supplies in one place including your computer, printer, scanner, calendar, telephone, paper and pens. Of course, what you place in your “office” will vary depending upon your profession. Feel free to add a favorite photograph or a vase with a fresh bloom if it makes your home office feel more like your office at work.

    What’s really important here is that you create a space that signals to you that it’s time to work.

    4. Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space

    If you’re sharing your home with a partner, kids or a roommate, let them know what your work hours are. Politely inform them that you’ll have limited availability during this time.

    Make certain to reconnect with your housemates on your lunch hour or during any breaks that you take. Remember, it pays to be a little flexible too, especially with kids. Set a timer that goes off every 45 minutes to one hour. Let your kids know that you’re focusing whenever the timer is on and should not be disturbed. When the timer goes off, you’ll be fully available for questions and play for a few minutes until the timer gets started again.

    Also, try to let everyone know when you’ll be on teleconferences or video conferences so that you won’t be disturbed. This helps you maintain an air of professionalism during these events.

    5. Set a Clear Schedule

    If your employer requires you to stick to your regular office hours while you’re working from home, then this shouldn’t be too challenging. However, some people genuinely struggle with the motivation to get themselves in front of their computer at the appointed time, even when they know it’s required.

    Because time can seem to pass with incredible quickness at home, it’s wise to set some alarms that will keep you on schedule throughout the workday.

    For instance, you may want to set an alarm on your phone for five minutes before the workday begins. Set another one for a few minutes before each teleconference. You can even set alarms for break times and lunch hours.

    Stick with those alarms for a few days, and you’ll start to internalize a rhythm for your day. Instinctively, you’ll know when it’s almost time for lunch or another event. The alarms also serve to bring your focus back to work if you find yourself drifting toward non-work concerns.

    Perhaps most importantly, set an alarm for quitting time. Your off hours are just as important as the ones during which you work.

    6. Schedule Breaks

    It’s tempting to skip breaks when you’re telecommuting. However, this is one of those work from home tips that deserves your attention. Whether your employer requires you to be at work for specific hours or not, you need to schedule regular breaks during the day.

    Why are breaks important? They offer you a chance to recharge. By refreshing your mind and your body, you’re able to bring better focus and productivity with you when you return to work.

    Set your alarm so that you don’t forget breaks and lunch hours. Consider using your break to have a snack, take a walk, play with your kids or your dog, do some laundry or fill up the dishwasher. Whether you choose to relax or be productive, breaks are great for your mental health and productivity.

    7. Look for Training Opportunities

    With these work from home tips, you may be able to advance your career and make yourself even more valuable to your employer. Learning a new skill not only provides your brain with stimulation but also opens up a world of opportunities.

    Acquiring practical skills is easier than ever before thanks to the Internet. Also, with so many people either out of work or with extra time since they can’t go out and do other things, online courses are more readily available. Many of them are even offered at no cost to you.

    Remember that if the training course that you select applies directly to your current job, then you may be able to request that your employer pay for the class if a fee is involved.

    Moreover, don’t neglect the training opportunities that may be available within your own organization. Some companies provide self-paced learning options that let you acquire new skills during work hours.

    If you’re looking for work from home tips that will keep you motivated, then don’t miss this one. Picking up new skills fires your imagination with fresh possibilities.

    8. Be Positive

    Between the bleak headlines and enforced isolation, it’s easy for your mental and emotional outlook to take a nosedive. The weeks keep piling up, and it may seem like you’ll never get back to what looks normal for you.

    However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps you are experiencing a genuinely challenging time, but it will end. Stay positive, and you will emerge triumphant.

    With these work from home tips as your guide, you’ll be prepared to maintain your sanity, productivity and even happiness.

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