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When it comes to working from home, there’s a clear divide in those who really love it and those who hate it.
For me, it’s somewhere in the middle.
At first, it can seem exciting because you’re not expected to get dressed in smart clothes or a uniform every day. And you can set a schedule that works for you. That’s probably the most appealing aspect of working from home if we’re being honest.
But like anything, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
When working from home, it is far too easy to get distracted. Look around you. There are tons of distractions. You might feel tempted to put on the TV and then before you know it, you’re 2 hours into a film or documentary. It happens.
Sometimes, the opposite thing happens. You might find yourself glued to your screen, working 12 hours a day, and unable to wind down at the end of the day.
In order to make working from home work for you, it comes down to having a schedule and having self-discipline. Be kind to yourself. Know when you’ve done enough work for the day and shut down your devices. Turn off. Your brain needs that much-needed rest.
I’ve been working from home on and off for the last few years but I’ve just begun working for myself again which means spending a lot of time at home. As I’m writing this post, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, which means any activities outside of the house are quite limited. It makes working from home more challenging, but I’m more determined than ever to work hard and stay distracted.
Here are a few ways that you can make working from home a little bit more bearable.
Create a schedule
As I’ve mentioned above, having a daily or weekly schedule is really important when working from home. This can be created with an excel sheet, a word document, or you could just write it down in a notebook or a planner. Whatever works for you. It’s just a way of keeping track of your daily tasks and figuring out what needs to be completed each day. There’s also something really relaxing about ticking things off your to-do list if you ask me.
Go for regular walks
If possible, try to go for daily walks as it’s a good way of clearing your mind and it helps with productivity levels. Naturally, getting out in the fresh air will be good for you, and it helps break the day up. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of laying in bed with a laptop and staying in the same position. Trust me, I do this from time to time, and I always find it exhausting— mentally and physically. I always recommend getting up every hour and doing some stretches and light exercises for 5 minutes.
Try to block out negative opinions
It’s easier said than done but learning to block out the negative opinions of others is key. There will always be someone who will have something to say about your job and there will always be assumptions made on what it is that you do. But you know just how hard it is working from home, so you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.
Let people know that you’re in work mode
The most annoying thing about working from home is the assumption that you are always free and willing to drop whatever you are doing. Many people who have never worked from home just don’t understand. They seem to think that we somehow make our money with a click of a finger, and while that would be amazing, that’s not how it works. We put in just as much work as anyone else and that’s a fact. When you’re working from home, make sure that the people around you are aware so that there are minimal distractions.
One thing that ‘s become apparent recently is that we heavily rely on social interaction. Whether you’re an introvert like myself or extremely extroverted you still need to have interactions with people. It’s essential to our wellbeing. I find that I’m far more productive if I have people to speak to throughout the day. Even if it’s just a couple of messages, it keeps me from feeling isolated, which is so beneficial to my mental health.
I hope that this post has helped you in some way, or provided some much-needed understanding and compassion during these difficult times. Please feel free to leave a comment to let me know about your own experiences working from home and what works best for you.