Today, I’m going to share some ideas about how to stay sane when working from home.
Chuck had this idea that I would be the perfect person to write this post. After all, I have been working from home for nearly 10-years as a freelance writer. But, I think I may have my good friend fooled.
He thinks I am sane…
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” ~ Mark Twain
I did author the book Insane Sanity and there are many of my friends and family that are not fooled. Let’s keep my sanity level out of this equation and I will share 15 ways to stay sane when working from home. Enjoy!
15 Ways to Stay Sane When Working from Home
“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at you 3 best friends. If they’re ok then it’s you.” Rita Mae Brown
# 1: Take Frequent Breaks
Staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time can cause severe headaches. Not to mention, sitting on a chair can create an oversize booty. I have become adapted to automatically taking short breaks every hour at the maximum. I will do some house chores, walk outside, or just stroll around the house.
A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign noted that even small breaks can improve your ability to concentrate and improve focus. A lack of proper breaks, on the other hand, can reduce productivity.
# 2: Have a Set Work Area
It is something I have had to integrate again. After leaving the island of Puerto Rico and getting into a farmhouse in Nebraska, I have had to make a work-only space. Call it my office or what, when I enter this space, I know it is time to work. It helps me define work/play.
Studies show that having a specific workspace is important to help you focus. Having a designated spot in your home where you “go to work” can result in less distraction and deeper focus.
# 3: Play Hard
As entrepreneurs, we can have an issue with work-a-holism. We put in hours that would leave many in tears. While it is okay to put in long hours, you have to know when it is play time! Play hard! Do it in style!
You might find you work best when you know there’s a little reward waiting for you. For example, tell yourself you can watch your favorite show if you get your work done by 6 p.m. Or tell yourself you can have a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you finish this report.
A little incentive can often go a long way toward helping you get work done efficiently. And it’ll help you see what you’re capable of accomplishing.
# 4: Set Boundaries
This can be one of the hardest areas to keep control of. As a home-based business owner, you want to stay on top of everything. So you hear your smartphone give you that notification sound meaning someone commented on your business Facebook page. But you have just sit down at dinner with your spouse and in-laws.
What do you do? That questions should be easy to answer if you have developed boundaries… Your smartphone can wait for 1, 2… even 3 hours. Better yet, start finding ways to outsource those types of tasks.
Set ground rules and boundaries for others who live in your home about what they can and cannot do while you work. Setting a clear distinction between free time and work hours will ensure your productivity levels remain high and you stay focused.
# 5: Be Comfortable
One area you should never “scrimp” on is your comfort. You should have a comfortable office chair… That is priority #1! Make sure your surroundings are appealing to your creativity and energy. Maybe you need to paint or hang motivational posters. Just make sure you enjoy entering your work space because of the comfort within it.
In a study published and conducted by UpRight and Ernst & Young, 71% of the employees who researched with good posture emit a higher confidence level. It also showed that the study members who experienced good posture were more productive at work, up to an impressive 75%.
# 6: Get Dressed
Ahhh… the thought of being able to work all day in your pajamas…
Some MLM’ers push the idea of working in your “jammies.” As a person who has tried it, I have some helpful advice…
A small percentage of work from home entrepreneurs may be able to work in their night-wear, but the majority of us will have a non-energetical attitude when we are trying to get tasks completed.
It is a subconscious thing; when we are in our pajamas, our brains equate it to sleep. We will be fighting sleep when we should be working.
Test it yourself! Wear clothes one day and see how much you complete. Now wear your pajamas, underwear or heck, go naked and do your work. Odds are, you will get more done while wearing clothing.
Just because you can get away with wearing your PJs doesn’t mean you should. You may still be interfacing with colleagues, partners, or customers via video. Plus, dressing comfortably yet professionally helps get you in the right mindset to stay productive.
# 7: Call People
While you can stay social by “popping” into Facebook during a break, does it really count? We need to hear a real voice. I suggest picking up your phone and calling someone twice per day. This helps me stay sane and I know it will help you too! I usually call someone mid morning and again, in mid afternoon.
Some folks love the thought of working in solitude, but even the most introverted among us can start feeling a little claustrophobic after a few weeks at home, alone, staring at the same project for long hours. It can get lonely. Be ready for that, and try to schedule some connect-with-the-outside-world time, like a lunch date (even if you take it at 3 p.m.), a video chat with a friend, or an exercise class.
# 8: Stay Tidy
Looking around me, I really need to practice what I preach. But it is true, your mindset will be much better if your work area is kept neat and tidy. I guess it’s about time for me to take a break. I believe I will tidy up my work area.
A simple and clutter-free office can make a world of difference. It can increase productivity, focus and efficiency in your team. In fact, clutter can impact productivity by up to 13.5%. With a little organization, time-wasting can be minimized where possible.
# 9: Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays a major role in sanity. I have discovered that bypassing the temptation to work into the wee hours and by going to sleep at a consistent hour, I actually get more achieved over the long-term. Also, make sure you are on a comfortable mattress and sleeping area.
“Sleep is an especially important and often underutilized component of brain functioning,” said Lin Anderson, a psychotherapist at Family Addiction Specialist. “Adequate sleep will result in working more efficiently and effectively and subsequently being more productive and saving time in the long run.”
Source: Business News Daily
# 10: Learn to Say No
One thing I had to learn real quick was, I cannot take on every task people throw at me. It is okay to say no! Do not let yourself get overwhelmed. Keep the main thing the main thing.
In order to have the best return for your investment of time on tasks, you need to prioritize and stay laser-focused. Learn how to say no to things that won’t have a significant return for you, and focus your efforts where it will make a difference.
# 11: Scheduling and Planning
It is highly important that you make a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly plan. You want to schedule out each day. Believe me, just trying to run your home-based business by the seat of your pants does not work. Plan your work and work your plan.
Keep yourself accountable with a daily to-do list. At the end of each workday, jot down a task list for the next day, detailing what you need to get done and by what time. You should also include any meetings or calls you’re participating in. The goal is to pull up that list as soon as you log on the next morning to help you get off to a good start.
# 12: Listen to Positive Music
Personally, I do not listen to music while I am working. But I know some who work at home do. My suggestion… Make a playlist. Do not allow negative or downtrodden music to have an effect on your work-mo-sphere.
Beyond providing background noise, music has been shown to improve both productivity and cognitive performance, especially in adults. Listening to music can help people manage anxiety, become motivated and stay productive.
Source: The Guardian
# 13: Work Away From Home
I find it refreshing to head out to the local library or internet cafe and work from there at minimum, once per month. Just having that knowledge there is a world outside of home will help you stay sane… I think!!!
It can get a tad boring after working from home for some time. Although remote workers can save thousands of dollars on commuting fees, formal attires, and cosmetics, they sometimes lack novel experiences that spice up their lives.
A great way to bring more joy and novelty into work is by changing the scenery. Whether big or small, a change can help break the monotony, improve the brain’s capabilities, create new habits, and boost mental health.
# 14: Pay Attention To The Numbers
One of the MOST important tips I am going to give you today… Those numbers can make, or break your sanity. Know how much time you are spending on each task and what you are actually making in the form of profits from it. You absolutely have to pay attention to the numbers! Always work smart and don’t confuse being busy with being productive.
According to one study by the American Psychological Association, checking in frequently on your progress toward your goals increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed.
# 15: Be Grateful For What You Do Have
Did you ever commute through rush hour traffic to get to a job you hated? Was your job boring and predictable? You have a blessing being able to work within your home. It can get lonely and monotonous at times, but I am grateful and…
You should be grateful too!
“One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” Nikola Tesla
You know what… It is okay to be completely crazy; you just have to play it off and let people think you are eccentric. It works for me! And you? Let’s hear about you…
How do you stay sane when working from home? Just leave your comments and questions below. And, share this with someone you think is insane! Have a great day.
20+ Year Network Marketing Professional
Top Earner & Top Recruiter
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26 thoughts on “Top 15 Ways To Stay Sane When Working From Home”
Working from home sounds exciting. It’s even fun for a while, but it does get tiresome. It gets lonely. It gets boring. I think it’s important to have human interaction. That’s one of the major benefits of having a job.
I agree. Most days I love working from home, but every once in a while it would be really nice to be around a bunch of other people. I think it’s different for each person.
Working from home is not everyone’s preference. Even those of us who love the idea of working at home or those that find themselves in it, with no choice, often find it hard to be efficient and productive while maintaining sanity.
Our home is designed primarily for our comfort, but it becomes difficult to balance it when it becomes our office and work area.
The tips given in this article are worth practicing, to maintain one’s sanity. I also take a break from work to stroll out and engage in physical discussions with people. This helps replenish my energy and makes me more active.
Yes, working from home can be a blessing and curse. It’s nice to have the freedom, but it can get lonely. It’s nice to be around other people from time to time.
As I always say work hard and have fun. When you work, work. When you have time off, take time off and relax.
We all need this, especially now that we are all at home. It is not boring per se, it is just a matter of creativity and imagination.
This is something I struggle with. It’s easy to keep working when your home office is right next to you. I try to set boundaries, but it’s as if my computer and office speak to me asking me to come back to work.
However, when I do take time off for a nap, or a lunch date with my bride, I always feel 10x better.
Working from home is really fun, at the start. But when you realize that everything is the same thing day after day, your sanity will be tested. Thank you so much for the list!
The routine can definitely get boring. You have to mix things up from time to time to keep it interesting. Start work earlier or later. Go work at the library for a day. Meet someone for lunch at a local diner. Go to meet with a client at their location. Any of those things can help mix up your routine.
I actually find myself more stressed out when I work from home by myself than I do when I am at other places working with others. I think it’s because I am an extrovert and enjoy spending time with others.
Yes, many people are wired that way. Extroverts love to be around other people. Perhaps you can find ways to Facetime people, call people, or do random meetups from time to time, to keep it enjoyable.
I love being at home with my dog all day. I can still get my job done, but I have a companion around to keep my company. I even get to take breaks and take him for a walk and play with him.
Having a dog is a great way to stay sane when working from home. You have someone to spend your day with. I need to get me a dog!
Working at home is not always what it seems to be. It sounds fun and exciting, but it can be boring and mundane, especially socially. When you go to a job or separate work location, at least you get to interact with other people.
It can definitely get boring and mundane. We just have to find ways to mix things up and keep it fresh and interesting.
Lots of people have started working from home since COVID started. I have friends who have regular jobs and now work from home. Most of them told me they look forward to going back into the office, even though they do not miss their commute.
I can see why people don’t miss their commute. I never enjoyed commuting. But working from home does have tradeoffs.
Great advice on keeping a structured work ethic (and schedule) from home. I like the idea of dressing up, rather than wearing pajamas all day long. I mean, wearing pajamas is cool, but I personally feel better when I am dressed up in work clothes.
This seems to be a common thread in these comments. Like I told the other commenter, I’m going to start dressing up. I love working in my pajamas and being comfortable, but maybe work clothes would make me feel better or help me be more productive.
I love these tips about how to stay sane working from home. I enjoy working from home for the most part, but there are definitely days I miss the social aspect of my job. Plus, it’s pretty easy to gain weight when you are home all day long and always near the refrigerator.
Even though most jobs I’ve had in my life I did not enjoy, I did enjoy the social aspect of it. I might not have realized it at the time, but now that I spend so much time alone, it’s quite obvious.
I also do work from home and I have my laid down rules too. However working in my pyjamas isn’t one of them. I make sure I take my bath and look good before working, it makes your mind clear and ready for the day.
I’ve been working in my pajamas for years. Perhaps I should mix things up and try getting dressed up, just to see how I feel. I’m going to try it and see if it makes a difference for me.
Working from home is really not an easy thing to do, because there are lots of distractions. But when you have laid down principles on how to work from home, then it won’t be a drag.
There are definitely lots of distractions:
And the list goes on. It really boils down to self-discipline. If you can set a work schedule and stick to it, at least most of the time, that will make a big difference.
I like your point about having a great office chair. This can make a huge difference. If you are sitting at your desk all day staring at your computer, you should at leas be comfortable.
My wife bought me a very high quality office chair about a year ago. It’s so comfortable. It keeps my back from hurting. A good chair can make a huge difference with your comfort and pain.