7 Sanity-Saving Tips For Working from Home

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen some serious changes in our work lives. Many companies have been forced to lay off employees and send the rest home to work from the comfort of…their beds?

Working from home is a great opportunity to relieve some of the stress that accompanies the office, factory, or whatever work environment you’re in. Unfortunately, however, working from home is also a huge responsibility. It’s much easier to slack off at home without someone around to hold you accountable. Temptations lurk around every corner, your comfy, warm bed beckons to you every time you take a break, and according to your brain, there’s always “time to do it later”. Except you didn’t do it later, did you? And now, you’re falling behind.

Let’s take a look at this list of seven tips for working from home that will help save your sanity. This is the list we all need right now.

1. Create and Maintain A Work Schedule

If you had to be at work at 8 am before the new guidelines went into place, you need to be at your home workspace at the same time every day. Don’t think that because you’re working from home you can sleep in and ignore your schedule. This is a good way to fall into some seriously bad habits and maybe even jeopardize your job. Create a work schedule and stick to it. Get up, get out of bed, and get moving. Don’t hit the snooze button twenty times. Your work doesn’t just disappear because you fell back asleep.

2. Get Rid Of Distractions

That brand new 60-inch flatscreen smart TV you just got looks pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? It’s been four hours. You can take a break. Oh, and you might want to check Facebook while you’re at it. And maybe catch a game on your Playstation.

Does this sound familiar? That’s your brain telling you there are a million other fun things you could be doing with your day instead of slaving away behind a computer. The catch is that your brain is right—there are a million things you can do that would probably be more fun than finishing those proposals. But that doesn’t mean you should do them. It’s time to minimize your distractions by creating a workspace for yourself and putting distractions out of eyesight.

3. Create A Comfortable Workspace

Creating the perfect home workspace starts with designating a room or section of a room solely to work. There can’t be any distractions in your workspace or within eyesight of it (within reason, of course). The fewer distractions you have around you, the more focused you’ll remain throughout the day.

A room with a closing door is the best option. That way, you can put your work materials in that room, close the door, and you won’t see any distraction beckoning to you to abandon your post and come enjoy a nice Netflix binge.

4. Don’t Slack Off

Speaking of binging on Netflix, how much did you get done today in proportion to how much TV you watched? It’s so easy to slack off at home without someone to hold you accountable. We have to hold ourselves accountable in the sanctity of our own homes, and sometimes, this is easier said than done.

This is a good time to master the art of discipline. Discipline keeps you in line when your brain is encouraging you to eat that extra scoop of ice cream, take that extra hour off, or skip your exercise routine for the day. 

Being at home with extra free time can allow you to learn new skills also. There are tons of online courses available. You can learn anything from coding to drawing to how to make a conference call more productive.

5. Exercise and Eat Well

If you’re like many people stuck at home during COVID, you’ve probably gained “The Quarantine 15”, or at least, a few extra pounds than you had before. Stress, new changes to your environment, and the threat of a deadly virus have a way of interrupting good habits. After all, ice cream is so good, and sugar gives you a temporary mood boost.

The problem with that is the fact that you’re at home now, and it’s easier to fall out of your good habits. Don’t buy junk food, and try to maintain an exercise routine at least a few times per week. Exercise also helps minimize stress!

6. Take Breaks

While you shouldn’t be slacking off, that doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks. In fact, taking breaks throughout the workday is a crucial part of maintaining your sanity. No one can sit and look at a computer screen all day without feeling a little loopy. When the words start blending together and you start thinking about other things, it’s time for a break.

It’s a good idea to have productive breaks. Clean up a room. Go for a walk. Maybe even fix that leaky pipe you’ve been putting off for months. Or, sit in your favorite chair and read a book or just relax.

7. Be Kind To Yourself

The most important sanity-saving tip of all is to be kind to yourself. Yes, you’re going to mess up. Yes, adjusting to work-life at home is quite difficult. And yes, it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. This is a time of great change, and you’ve been thrust into it almost overnight. It’s ok to feel some stress and to fall victim to that stress now and then.

The important thing is that you don’t beat yourself up. Ok, so you slacked off today—come back stronger and ready tomorrow. Ok, so you ate too much junk today. Don’t do it again tomorrow. We’re always our own worst critics, but there’s a difference between being critical for the sake of growth and just tearing yourself down.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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