#ChooseBetter: How to Stay Sane While Working from Home
Working from home has always seemed like the ideal work arrangement–no commute needed, you can get ready for an online meeting in just a few minutes, you are not forced to work in a physical office with all the possible distractions that come with it. But, working remotely comes with its own set of difficulties and distractions, andcantake a bigger toll on you mentally and socially.
It’s for these reasons thatGaze Kasilag-del CastillofoundedWork from Home Pinay PH.It’s a Facebook group that aims to empower Filipino women who are working from home and help them adjust to it more smoothly through tips, educational resources, workshops, and shared stories. It’s a community for like-minded and like-hearted people who come from different walks of life, but can still come together and support each other.
In a special #EllanaLifestyle session, Gaze shared practical tips to stay sane and productive while working from home:
But, first: How are you?
Working from home is not always a rosy picture and doesn’t always feel like “living the life.” It can be a struggle, too, especially during the transition period. There are a lot of distractions and it can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health.
So, it’s important to assess yourself from time to time and check your emotions. Whatever you’re feeling is valid and acknowledging it is the first step towards adjusting better. Working from home is not for everyone and that’s okay. For some, it’s just temporary, while others thrive in it. Each one of us has a different work style and each style has its pros and cons.
What are the signs that you’re cracking from the stress of working from home?
Decreased resilience:It’s the difficulty to concentrate and not being able to enjoy the things that you used to enjoy. You feel hopeless about the future, irritable, and isolated.
Burnout: You feel exhausted and physically unwell, and you want to escape. Lack of boundaries between home and work lives can contribute to burnout.
Feeling negative and emotional:You feel like there’s nothing that you can do, there are no options, and you can’t do anything. While it’s not bad to be positive all the time, it also helps to let the negative feelings out, so that you can move forward.
When you feel any of these signs, pause, breathe, relax, and recognize your feelings.
How to stay sane while working from home
Define your spaces. Separate work from home. When this boundary gets blurred, it can contribute to stress and burnout. Here’s a quick checklist of essentials to get you started on creating your workspace.
Set regular hours and stick to the schedule.Don’t work late into the night. Set defined times for work and when they pass, stop. This helps you have time for yourself and practice self-care. Get enough rest, so you’ll be able to function and work better.
Take a shower.This simple, everyday to-do helps you reset and makes you feel as if you’re going to the office.
Avoid distractions.Close the door, turn off the television, and stay away from your social apps, especially if they’re not needed for work.
Set and agree on ground rules with your housemates.Share your work schedule with them and let them know that you’re unavailable during these times.
Keep three lists of three.Know your top three priorities for the day. Once you’ve accomplished them, add another three tasks that are of less priority until you’ve accomplished all of them.
Give yourself breaks.You deserve breaks! Try the Pomodoro technique: Give yourself 25 minutes to do tasks that you can accomplish within that time period. After that, give yourself a five-minute break. This technique helps you reset physically and mentally.
Mind the music you listen to while working.Classical and instrumental music helps because it prevents you from singing along, which can distract you from work.
Don’t read emails before your work hours.Ready yourself first for work before opening your laptop, reading emails, and getting started on your tasks.
Make time for others– family, plants, and pets. It’s important to schedule time for them because they are the ones that make you happy. When you’re spending time with them, focus on them and be present. This helps you recharge and reset.
BONUS TIP:Say “thank you” a lot, even for the smallest things. It can do a whole lot of good and instantly change your mood!
What are some apps to help you work from home easier and better?
For the mind:
Forest: Relies on your self-control in avoiding phone distractions to virtually plant a tree
Focus at Will: Offers playlists of instrumental music to help boost your mood and productivity
Calm: Helps boost confidence, sleep better, and reduce stress and anxiety through guided meditation, bedtime stories, and soothing music
Worldtime Buddy: Helps coordinate convenient meeting schedules if you’re working with people from different time zones
Skitch: Makes virtual brainstorming possible and visual discussions more efficient