Telecommuting is stressful. Running a full-time business from home is, perhaps even more straining. I know it and you probably do too.
Whether you’ve been doing it for a while like me, or you’re going to start working from home soon, below are some really useful tips on how to work from home without crawling the walls – and without “growing into your house” if you get what I’m saying.
Please keep in mind that most of the information you’re about to read is nothing ground-breaking. It’s from my own personal experience. Much of what I’ve learned while running my online business has been learned the hard way – by waking up out of a daze on several occasions and realizing that working from home is a “J.O.B.”
You have to treat your home-based business, or telecommuting job like you would a day at the office. You have things to do, and if they don’t get done, you don’t get paid. Plain and simple. If you can’t accept that fact, just don’t telecommute.
Keep Your Health and Sanity While Working From Home
I’m not going to tell you how to run your business in this article, rather I’m going to give advice on staying sane and healthy.
1. Get Up and Get Dressed
This might sound silly. Who doesn’t wanna roll out of bed and work in their pajamas?
The simple fact of the matter is that getting dressed has a psychological-boosting effect on your mind and body. Even if you don’t have clients or employees that come by the house, you have to put some clothes on.
It helps you to feel like a productive member of society. After a few days of sitting around in your pajamas, you’ll start to feel the walls closing in. Like you’re trapped and not allowed to leave the house. Cabin fever isn’t a phenomenon that only applies to any mountain men you may know.
2. Start Every Day Early and with Exercise
I bet you thought I was going to tell you to get up and eat a hearty breakfast, or to get your “to do” list together.
Nope, you have to do something physical to get your brain working and your metabolism fired up. Exercise stimulates serotonin (happy hormone) production and will give you a calorie-burning boost that will last several hours while you’re sitting in your desk chair.
One of the worst pitfalls that comes with working from home is feeling like you have a license to be lazy and sleep in.
“The early bird gets the worm” is still one of the most fundamentally true quotes. Don’t throw away that alarm clock, at least until you’re retired.
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast and Start Planning Your Day
I would actually say that you should skip breakfast, but that would raise some controversies. So the best thing for you is to eat healthy breakfast. Keyword healthy: Eating lots of bacon in the morning is not necessarily a healthy way to start your day.
For some of you, this is going to be one of those expedited processes that you don’t allot much time to. That’s okay. Consider starting the day with a protein shake and a bit of oatmeal, or some other kind of slow-digesting carbohydrate meal. Lots of carbs are important for intense exercise, but will make you fat and your blood sugar levels soar if you’re not terribly physically active while you work. (Yes farming is technically considered working from home, but this post refers to working within the four walls of a house.)
Elevated blood sugar levels strain your body and cause dizziness, elevate blood pressure, incite fatigue and cloud your thinking (proof.) None of these things will contribute to your well-being or effectiveness. As always, consult with a nutritionist on how to start your day with the right kind of breakfast.
While you’re making your meal and/or eating it, concentrate on formulating a brief outline of what you’re going to do for the day. Some people like to write these items down. This helps get you into a working mindset, without diving right in and feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t watch television during this time. It’s much more rewarding to do something you ‘want’ to do later, after work. By contrast, nothing feels worse than realizing an entire day, or even an all-important hour of work time got away from you because you got sucked into a morning talk show or movie.
4. Take 15 Minutes Every Two Hours
This is another tip that can be personalized to your own schedule and preferences. Perhaps you can go four hours comfortably without a break. Nonetheless, you have to take some time away from the computer or phone to unwind.
This is a great time to grab a healthful snack, jump on the treadmill, do some pushups or pullups, etc. A little exercise is great for getting the blood flowing, especially to your back and neck, which take a lot of abuse while sitting. Forum or social media posting is also good for a psychological boost, so long as it isn’t of the negative variety.
Don’t watch television, unless you have to watch the news for your job. Again, this can break your focus. It’s really crucial to keep on a schedule and to make sure that you’re working again within a short time period.
5. Wear Noise Reducing Headphones with Classical Music
When I have many tasks I need to get done quickly, nothing beats noise-reducing headphones. Those of you who can work with bombs going off around you might not benefit from this advice. But believe me, anyone who’s easily distracted needs noise reducing headphones.
I prefer classic or baroque music, anything without vocals. Non-vocal music has proven effects on improving productivity and the way your brain processes and develops information.
If you begin to incorporate even just a few of these methods into your workday, you’ll maintain a healthy balance.
Frustrated Photo via Shutterstock