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How to Avoid Work-at-home Burnout

To most people, working from home sounds like a dream scenario. They imagine hopping out of bed and getting straight to work.

Anyone who has ever worked from home on a regular basis knows the reality is much different. It can be a real struggle to have your workplace and private space be one and the same.

Whether you are new to the work from home game or are a seasoned telecommuter looking to increase efficiency, these tips will keep you from the dreaded home-office burnout.


Have a Separate Office

When you need to focus on work, any distractions can put a wrench in your productivity. You will get more work done if you make a clear delineation between your office space and your home environment. Ideally, you would have a single room in your home that is solely for work purposes. If you live in a smaller space, like an apartment, this may not be possible. Carving out a corner with a desk that is just for work can be as effective. Having a mental boundary can help you get down to business and eliminate distractions.


Schedule Your Work Hours

If you do not set up a strict work schedule, you are soon going to find yourself in trouble. There is no quicker way to burnout than to get in the cycle of taking too many breaks and then trying to catch up by working several hours in a row. Instead, make an outline of times when you know you have to be at your desk, such as scheduled calls or looming deadlines, and plan your workdays around those times.


Get Dressed Like You Are Going to an Office

work at home woman getting ready for work


When you start working from home, you may be over the moon about the idea of not having to shower, get dressed or put on makeup for work. The truth is, if you incorporate those habits into your daily routine, it won’t be long before you start feeling like a slob. It’s important to mentally prepare yourself for the workday. Having a prework routine that includes getting dressed and basic hygiene sets the tone for the whole day. You will find you are far more focused when you are dressed for work and not for sleep.


Get a Babysitter

If you are working from home to save on childcare costs, you are going to be very disappointed. Unless you are a superhuman parent, there is little chance you can be productive while caring for your child. At a minimum, you need to have a babysitter in your home while you are working. Most parents find having their children in the house at all too distracting. They end up needing childcare solutions outside the home.


Let People Know You Aren’t Available

do not disturb post it when working from home desk


You will find that because you have relative control over your hours, people think you are available at any time. To get your friends and family to respect your time, make it very clear to them that you are unavailable during work hours, even though your office is at your house. You may have to gently remind them a few times but having to put your work on hold to entertain can be very frustrating and cause burnout.


Get Out of the House

To the average nineto-fiver, staying at home all day sounds glorious. This will get a chuckle from anyone who has put in time at the home office. Humans are social creatures and staying cooped up all day alone in the house can cause major cabin fever. Get a jump on feeling overly isolated by scheduling at least one activity outside the home every day. Hit the gym, meet a friend for coffee, take a short walk or any other task that gets you outside goes a long way toward preventing burnout.

It’s not easy working from home, but it can be very rewarding. If you go in with realistic expectations, you will find that you have more flexibility with your time and avoid that dreaded burnout.

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