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How often have you got to your desk on a morning and just not really been present? How often do you just feel tired and overwhelmed by everything you need to do? Burnout when working from home is a huge problem, and many people are reaching that point.
You’re tired, you’re fed up, and you just want to do something else. Facebook or Instagram look like such better options.
The good news is you can get over work at home burnout. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or why you’re at the burnout phase. You can move forward.
I’ve suffered from it in the (recent) past. I’ve worked through the slump with these five top tips.
Take more breaks when working from home
Taking more breaks during the day is certainly going to help, but it’s not the only thing you need to do. It’s time to take some time off work completely.
I suffered from burnout recently just before Christmas. My energy levels were running low, especially as I realized I hadn’t had a break since the Christmas before. You see, we were supposed to take a vacation during the summer but then, well, you know what happened!
So, I worked a straight 12 months without taking time off. It’s no wonder burnout happened.
And more of us are working longer and harder than ever before. As more people have gone to work at home, they’ve put in more hours because they don’t have the commute or their bosses are piling on the pressure.
Take a step back. That extra work isn’t doing you any good.
You need to take time off to protect your mental health. Even if it’s just a day or two instead of a full week, it’ll do you far more good than trying to power through.
Yes, at the same time, take regular breaks during the day. My dogs force me to do that because they need walks, but find something that gets you away from the computer regularly throughout the day.
Have a schedule for your work
Create some sort of schedule to get through your work. I use time blocking to help me, but there are different ways to manage time throughout the day.
When it comes to blogging, I also have an editorial calendar. I plan out a week’s worth of posts on one day. Sometimes, I’ll plan out a month’s worth of posts. I know what I’m going to be writing about wherever I turn so I don’t suffer from white page syndrome.
You can do this with most work. The schedule just helps you know where you are and when, slotting in the breaks during the day to avoid burnout while working from home.
Accept you’ll have bad days working from home
You will have days where everything goes wrong. There will be days where you can’t get anything done that you want to.
Life is allowed to happen. You just have to allow it to so it doesn’t affect your mental health in the long term.
We all get unwell some times. Or our families need us more than other days. Take a step back from the situation and take a breath.
Now, if you’re on a deadline, I get that you’ll be worried. I tend to set personal deadlines ahead of the main one. This helps to set some milestones so that if something does happen on the day of the deadline, I’ve not got too much to worry about.
If you can’t change something, there’s no point getting annoyed. If you can change something, go ahead and change it!
Learn to say no
Sometimes, burning when working from home comes from taking on too much work. You can’t see the end of the pile, and you’re going through the same monotonous tasks day in, day out.
Where is the joy in your work?
It’s time to learn how to say no. If your boss is expecting more than they would in the office, make it clear that this is unacceptable. You’re not working the hours you would usually commute. You wouldn’t usually be working then and you’re not getting paid for them either (it’s different if your boss is paying you extra for them).
If you run your own business, you can say no to projects. You can say no to people wanting your attention.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I shut down my email during the day. I don’t want to be pestered, so I only check my email now and then.
Do something fun just for yourself
I hate one day of the week. That day is my time for a particular project that I’ve come to dislike. I’m sticking with it for now, but that’s for another article.
This project used to take up an hour or so every day of the week. I switched to time blocking so I only do it one day of the week and I can look forward to other work on all four other days of the week. This has helped me deal with burnout.
There have also been times where I’ve never had something that is purely for me. That’s changed in recent months, further helping to get out of burnout.
You need to do something for yourself. It’s important to look forward to something each day or a few days a week.
This could be a project that takes 10 minutes at the end of each day. It’s the reward for getting to the end of the schedule. Or it could be something that takes up one of your days off work (it’s okay to do your own projects on these days).
Whatever it is, you need to make sure it’s for you. Just you…okay, maybe your kids can join in too.
Are you dealing with burnout while working from home? Share your top tips for dealing with it.
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