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.