How to stay sane when working from home
From the outside looking in working at home can seem like a “dream job” and it definitely has its perks -- like working from your couch and chilling in your PJ’s. (Gotta love that laptop lifestyle!)
But, what some don’t know is that mixing your home and your work environment can be a challenge -- to say the least.
Regardless of whether you like flying solo or you crave more human interaction it’s important to create a home work-environment fuels you.
I’ve worked hard at creating a routine that gives me plenty of white space to breathe and inspires creativity.
Here are 5 ways I stay sane when working from home.
Create your space
“... imagine living in a space that contains only things that spark joy…” - Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method
Regardless of whether you have a dedicated home office or you work from the kitchen table, it’s important to create an environment that inspires your best work.
Make sure that your workspace feels clean, uncluttered and inviting. Tidy your desk, organize your books and files, open the curtains to let in more natural light, go buy a couple of plants, and invest in a great office chair -- your back will thank you later ;)
You’ll be shocked at how much more you can get done - and how much your own creativity can swell - when you work in a space you love.
It can also help to break the silence with music. I love listening to playlists full of fresh new beats, or sometimes I put on brain.fm for background music that helps me stay focused.
Podcasts are also a great way to break up the day, not to mention extremely valuable for our growth. Some of our favorites include; Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger, and pretty much anything from Marie Forleo or GaryVee.
Don’t skip lunch
Ever hit that afternoon slump and realize that you haven’t eaten anything since your coffee and bagel at 8am.
As entrepreneurs it’s easy to feel stuck in hustle mode trying to do all the things, and the first thing that tends to get thrown to the waste side is taking care of ourselves... but it’s important to remember that food = fuel.
Skipping out on lunch may give you an extra thirty minutes to your day but skimping on fueling your body with good food will never help you be more productive.
If you must skip lunch make sure that you have plenty of healthy snacks stocked up to grab to eat on the fly -- nuts, cheeses, or even a protein bar.
Taking a lunch break is a crucial to stay on top of your game. Carve out at least 30min a day to step away from your computer and eat a healthy meal to stay up on your mental game.
Leave the laundry for later
Yes, we just advised you to keep a tidy desk, but when it comes to working from home it can be hard to simply walk in the kitchen without feeling the immediate need to do the dishes or take care of the laundry.
When it’s all sitting right there in front of you, it can be super hard to keep yourself from doing random chores throughout your day. For me personally, chores were a huge distraction so I had to find a solution.
TIP: Save chore day (and other menial tasks that don’t make you think) for the days where you just need to check out. I do this, and it helps me feel “accomplished” even on days when I just feel creatively drained.
Establish “office hours”
Working from home is such a great opportunity, but it also means that work is highly accessible to you at all times and in the space that you need to live.
Putting perimeters around your work and life can help save you from burnout and establish routines that support both creativity at work and being present when you’re with your family.
My personal boundaries are 9 - 4:30pm work day, break for school pickup, dinner, time with kids (which usually means running around to soccer, cheer, gymnastics, etc)
Then I typically work another hour around 8pm after my kids are tucked in bed.
You guys, having a set schedule will decrease your stress dramatically!
Now when I’m with my kids, or my husband, or even a night out with my friends I’m not stressing out in the back of my mind about work.
Setting “office hours” is a great way to set specific boundaries/standards for knowing when to shutting off the entrepreneur side of your brain for a bit.
Pull up a seat next to your favorite barista
Last but not least, if all else fails, get out of the house and pull up a seat next at your favorite coffee shop!
Make time during your week to get dressed and get out of the house (c’mon, I know you’ve been wearing those yoga pants all week). Working at home can be amazing, but it can also feel a bit depressing when you realize you haven’t actually been around other humans all week.
Pick one day a week where you carve out time to sit at your local coffee shop and connect with others. Chat with your fave barista or sit at a communal table and strike up a convo with another entrepreneur who forced themselves outta the home that day.
Fresh environments with fresh faces can do a lot of good for your mental health - and, in turn, for your business.
Once the excitement of working from your own couch wears off, the realities of working from home set in, and it’s important to create a space and routine that works for you.
Don’t let yourself get settled into a routine that’s not working.
Use the freedom of owning your space to motivate you to constantly reimagine and upgrade it in a way that keeps your creativity flowing.
And most importantly, though your spaces may overlap, never lose the balance. At the end of the workday, close your “office” and let your home simply be your home.