While working at home may feel like a welcome change for anyone who has previously always worked in a traditional office environment, it can quickly become a little more tiring and stressful than you may have first expected.
For many reasons, those working from home may find themselves more likely to suffer from a lack of motivation, increased stress, increased tiredness and even feeling completely burnt out.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to prevent yourself from falling into these traps and to improve the working from home experience as a whole. Here are just a few tips you can try out for yourself in order to combat working at home fatigue.
Look at Your Nightly Routine and Sleep Schedule
It goes without saying that having a poorer quality of rest each night or keeping an inconsistent sleep schedule can lead to increased tiredness during the day, and this can, in turn, lead to a lack of focus whilst working.
If you’re struggling to focus during the day, this is bound to harm your productivity and leave you feeling stressed or burnt out as a result. It’s important to keep a proper sleep schedule and look at improving the quality of your sleep in order to prevent yourself feeling tired and lacking in focus during the day.
Start by making some small changes to the things you do before you settle down to get some sleep each night. As you have probably heard, a good habit to get into is to stop using any electronic devices – phones, tablets, computers, etc. – for at least an hour before you go to sleep. This may be easier said than done, but is definitely worth doing.
Once we switch off from electronic devices, our brains become less active and don’t have to work as hard, meaning it will be much easier to fall asleep. It’s a good idea to replace scrolling through your phone before bed with an analogue activity, such as journaling or reading.
Next, look at the actual time you are falling asleep. The average person needs around eight hours of sleep each night in order to focus effectively the next day, so make sure you’re going to bed at a time that allows you to sleep for at least eight hours in order to make the next day as easy as possible. It helps if you can go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, too – eventually, you’ll train your subconscious to switch off at the same time each night, making it easier to get to sleep.
Put Good Working Habits Into Place
Getting into some good habits during your working day will make things much easier for you in the long run.
First, start making a list of tasks that you need to do during your working day before you start anything. This will give you a much clearer idea of how to organise your time during the day and ticking each task off the list will motivate you to continue working rather than giving in to a loss of focus.
You should also get into the habit of taking regular breaks. A short break every couple of hours, even just for five minutes, will break your day up into much smaller, manageable sections – try not to use these breaks to check your phone, though, as the minutes will go by in a blink. You should also give yourself a set amount of time for your lunch break and, for the duration of your lunch break, take time away from your desk.
It also helps to take some time during your lunch break to talk to someone, as working from home and can start to feel very lonely after a while, which is sure to leave us feeling downbeat and less focussed. If you can, take fifteen minutes to call a friend or family member for a chat.
It’s also well-known that having team members can be a driving force in motivating us in the workplace. For those of us who work from home and don’t have colleagues there with us, it may be helpful to become a part of a community of other home workers who will be dealing with some of the very same issues. Sign up for Aspect Avenue membership to connect with other home workers from across the globe.
Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Free Time
Whilst working from home, there is no clear physical boundary between your working hours and free time – no saying goodbye to colleagues or commute home from the office to signify the end of day.
It’s important that, even without these physical boundaries, you draw a metaphorical line between the time for work and time to relax. Don’t be tempted to allow your work to eat into your free time.
When you finish work for the day, make sure that you really do finish. It may only take a few minutes to do a particular task or just take a moment to reply to an email on your phone, but doing so will blur the lines between work and your spare time, meaning that your brain never really switches off.
Even if your home is your office, it’s still your home – and you still need to enjoy your free time there. Try not to give in to the temptation to work late and get ahead for tomorrow, as this will mean you’re losing out on important hours to unwind. Overworking ourselves even just a little can quickly lead to a spiral of overworking ourselves completely – and before long, you’re entirely burnt out.
Remember that working from home doesn’t mean that, just because you always have access to your work, you should spend all your time working. It’s even more important as a home worker to take time for you.