The first time around may have been a bit of a novelty, but how are you feeling about working from home again if you can? Or maybe you are STILL working from home?
Are you missing the chats, the banter or a few drinks after work? Do you find that one day merges like fog into the next? Are you feeling tired of it all and unmotivated?
If home now feels like your work place but without any of the benefits and all you seem to do is work, then read on.
Having worked from home freelancing for many years I know that it takes time to adjust. It can be lonely. It can be hard to keep your spirits up. It can be hard to switch off from work. It can be hard to self-motivate without meeting people. It can also become one big long place of just work right?
…and then there is the constant Zoom! Urrrgh, I feel your pain. It’s exhausting in a whole different way being wired in all day.
But there is a way to stay energised and it does help enormously.
That sounds impossible, I know.
How can you do this when they are not separate? When your kitchen table is your office amongst the breakfast, family, cat and other parts of your life.
Normally you would have the mental and physical process of getting ready for work and then leaving your work place behind. Both home and work then have a new energy. Without this physical break things can all start to get a bit foggy.
Here are 5 things that will help:
Get up, get showered and always get dressed
I know many people think the best thing about working from home is that you can stay in your pyjamas. Trust me – once the novelty has worn off it really does not help. Those lines between work, home and sleep, even night and day, become blurred. Soon you won’t know what day it is.
You need that energy of arrival.
Go out and walk around the block or get a take away coffee before you ‘arrive at work‘ if need be.
Choose a work location
No, that is NEVER in your bed.
Your bed needs to be a place that is restful and nothing to do with work. Don’t be tempted even to check work emails on your phone from your bed. It will bring stress into a place that is for sleep, and lethargy into a your work. This can make sleeping difficult at night too. (If you want to read more about how to sleep better, click here)
You may have a make-do workspace, but try to contain your work only to that space. If it is the kitchen table, then clear all your work stuff away when you are done. Equally, clear all the breakfast stuff away before you work.
Create your own aromatic Zen Desk Space
Using essential oils in your work space can help create energy or calm stress and anxiety. The mood depends on which ones you choose.
To take the guess work out of this I have created two very different Aromatherapy Room Sprays that I can highly recommend.
For a Zen Desk Space, spray a little Breathing Space onto this gorgeous little felt pot plant. Then place it beside your desk.
This is the one for when you are feeling stressed, anxious or chaotic. The peaceful aroma is the perfect de-stress for mental calm without being sleepy.
For a motivating kick up the backside, or during that 4pm slump, try Morning Mojo. Blended for creative energy, positivity and boldness, it is a confident blend. Spray onto this cute Happy Hound who will be cheering you on. You can’t help but be lifted with this. I call it my ‘Get Sh*t Done’ spray.
Use this one if you are procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed.
Our bodies and minds are not made for staying in one position. However good your posture and however good your focus, you will be way more productive if your body and mind are energised by movement and breaks. It can be helpful to set an alarm to stand up and stretch each hour.
Make time for breaks
Diarise break times too and do something else.
Make a social call, hang out the washing, make a healthy lunch, get a cup of tea, do a quick 30 second plank or a yoga pose, take a walk outside, run up and down the stairs. Whatever your thing, just move.
For your own health you need to rest your eyes, energise and stretch you body and get some day light. Don’t forget to drink some water too.
End your working day
- Plan what your finish time will be. Diarise it and put an out of office on
- Physically put your work away and actively close down your computer
- Turn off work email notifications on your phone
- Have a finishing activity planned – exercise, shower, change, a social phone call, a drink and a chat with your partner, a walk outside so that you can come home
Don’t beat yourself up if everything is not done.
Work is never ‘done’, nothing is ever ‘finished’. That work hamster wheel will always be there.
You just have to choose to get off for a rest so that you don’t burn out.
You are also working in unusual circumstances. Celebrate what you have done instead. Then list your priorities for tomorrow so you don’t have to think about them.
Now pack up and ‘go home’.