Working from home can be a blessing or challenge, depending on who you ask, but one thing is for certain; it can be exhausting. Remote work burnout is a different kind of exhaustion. According to this article, two-thirds of employees were experiencing burnout symptoms when they started working from home due to the pandemic. It’s a large shift in the way we’re used to working and although extremely convenient the majority of the time, it’s understandable when your motivation wavers.
So, the challenge is to stay energized when it feels like you’ve fallen into a monotonous routine. Or maybe it’s the opposite and your daily obstacles include trying to fit everything, and everyone, into your unpredictable schedule. There needs to be some balance, especially since remote work is becoming the norm with changing company policies that are unrelated to the pandemic.
Here are some tips to help you stay energized and motivated while working from home:
In the past, you most likely associated your home with relaxation – a place to unwind away from work. It’s difficult to do that now that you’re working from home. Self-care plays an important role in how you stay energized and motivated to tackle each day. You should make time for yourself every single day. The line between working and relaxing is easily blurred for remote workers. Do your best to set boundaries.
You need to not only carve out time for yourself but make sure you’re eating healthy meals and getting plenty of sleep. Try not to take work out of the designated work area and work times. When you’re done with your tasks for the day, unplug. Turn your notifications off so they don’t tempt you and you can truly focus on reenergizing.
Evaluate Your Tasks
Which tasks are draining, and which tasks do you enjoy? If you spread the engaging tasks out, it may be beneficial for your energy levels, and help you tackle those less engaging tasks in between. Although, if you are struggling with completing almost any task, you may want to discuss it with your supervisor. If you are a solopreneur or small business owner, take a step back and revisit what you’re passionate about.
The good news is, with more control over your schedule, you can work through the normal workday slump in creative and energizing ways. Going for a walk, eating a snack with friends or family, or working out are all great options when you need to step away from the computer. Trying to work through a task when your motivation just isn’t there can be counterproductive and frustrating.
Building rewards into your day can be a great motivator. Maybe you decide you can have that second cup of coffee after you complete some of the smaller tasks or check your social networks after two hours of work. There are so many ways you can set up a reward system for yourself and it’s a good idea to look into it if you can’t seem to sit still and focus. If you have trouble sticking to a system, writing down the rewards can be helpful when enforcing them.
Designate a Workspace & Get Dressed
This is a common tip for remote workers, for good reason. It ties into the self-care you should practice every day because it helps you compartmentalize work and relaxation. By designating a workspace, you have everything you need within reach, and a physical space you associate with concentration. It doesn’t have to be a big home office, either, and it may call for some reorganization, but a corner of a room is really all you need.
While it may not be necessary for you to dress in full business attire, avoid staying in your pajamas all day. It’s more likely you’ll be motivated to take on the day if you get yourself ready. Establishing a morning ritual, such as these, has also helped many people stay energized throughout the day.
Set Working from Home Routine & Goals
Maintaining a schedule is a must for most remote workers, but don’t forget about setting goals and celebrating your accomplishments. Without coworkers, staff, or any type of work support physically around, your completed projects may feel like less of an accomplishment than if you were in an office environment. Your goals should still be acknowledged and celebrated. Be sure you still enjoy the work that you do.
Do not let your home become a work only zone, set limits. If you are able to establish and adhere to boundaries and routines, you’ll have an easier time staying motivated while working from home. It’s important you have a support system to lean on when you experience this sort of fatigue, whether it be your boss, family, or professional contact, chances are, they’ve experienced it too. Take breaks and be proud of the work that you do.