3 Simple Tips to Avoid Burnout while Working at Home
Published on May 13, 2020
While working from home has its merits, it is a myth that it's an easier option. It is just as conducive to burnout as the workplace but for entirely different reasons. The covid-19 crisis has brought to light the value of an independant workplace/school, the need for human contact and most importantly the need for space and healthy boundaries in our work and personal relationships. It is amazing how this crisis has helped identify what used be a priority as unimportant and inversely the little things we took for granted now have great value.
Why is this?
1. Everyone at Home
As much as we love our families, we are not designed to spend all this time together. There are two scenarios that lead to stress. Everybody in the house together all day long where finding a place to have a quiet call is a problem. The other is being home alone missing the social contact that is a basic human need.
Stress Reducer Tip 1: Make the time
· If everybody is home –make time and space for yourself and respect that others need the same.
· If you are alone- Make the time to socialize with others using virtual media
2. Being organized
I used to work in a busy hospital, very organized and well structured environment. It was only when I left to start my own business that I appreciated the level of freedom that structure gave me. I found that while I am great at my work, my organizational skills were sadly lacking. The thing is, not everyone is wired to be organized. I found it difficult to motivate myself and discovered there are many more ways to distract myself at home. My work routine was all over the place. Do you find this happens with you?
This meant I wasn’t as productive at home than in a work environment and continually found myself lacking, not getting what I wanted done and giving myself a hard time for it. I know there is an element of this in the work place, setting unrealistic time goals for the task at hand. But for some reason the “what I should have done” attacks were more glaring when working from home. This lead to working longer hours than normal and effectively increasing my chances of burning out.
Stress Reducer Tip 2: Create your OWN realistic expectations
Disconnect from others productivity claims on social media. Allow yourself to do one thing at a time, and give yourself the credit for it. Get the organizational help you need, whether online or in-person resources.
3. Set up and shut down of your work time
While we bitch and moan about the commute to work, you may be starting to appreciate its value by now. The drive to work is essential time needed to set yourself up for the day. It creates a start point for work and helps to separate home from the workplace.
The trip home is your debrief time. Letting go the stress of the day, creating a separation from the stresses of work and the sacred space we call home.
What are you doing with this time now? I remember the days I would dream of not having a commute. That would be the time I would work out or meditate or whatever it was I could do to nurture myself. What really happened was my boundaries became blurry. I found myself checking for messages before I got out of bed, deciding to save myself time by looking over emails while I was having breakfast and unless I was already scheduled for meetings, a morning could fly by with nothing concrete achieved other than internet surfing to see what everyone else was doing for the day.
When there was no shutdown time. This meant my work frustration or unresolved conflicts didn’t get resolved in the car on the way home, they spilt into home relationships. Suddenly we are arguing about things that never bothered us before not realizing that it’s work stuff we need to resolve.
Reducer Stress Tip 3: Set clear start up and debrief times.
Take a walk, or discuss the day for 20 mins while you cook the dinner.
If you want more of these tips to help reduce stress and navigate the changes created by this covid-19 crisis, sign up for my free masterclass using the link https://www.annitakeane.com/3-steps-to-positive-change