Whether you’ve been working from home for years or you’re just starting, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks on your everyday to-do list. It’s absolutely fair to say that it’s not always easy to adjust to new ways of living and working, so it may be time to look into ways to simplify your home-office life.
Even though there are numerous works to working from home, including having a more flexible schedule to fit in your family responsibilities and the lack of a commute, feeling boredom, stress, uncertainty and anxiety is also completely normal.
The following simple steps to simplify your home office life can help you feel more productive while also taking care of your mental health when you work from home.
1. Set a routine and stick to it
In the absence of a steady schedule, the lines between work and personal time can become quite blurry, which results in a lot of stress.
It’s important to find normal work and sleep patterns and remain consistent as much as possible. Try to get up at the same time every day, have your breakfast, and then get out of your pyjamas and dress into something that makes you feel that you’re ready for work.
If you had a commute before, you might try to schedule some “commute time” that you can spend reading, listening to music, or exercising before logging into work.
And what’s even more important, when your workday stops, don’t forget to stop working too. Focus on your home life at the end of the day without checking your emails or worrying about any of the tasks you must complete the next day.
2. Learn to say “no”
“No” is one of the most powerful words that you need to learn how to use more frequently if you want to really simplify your home-office life.
Many people feel the need to say “yes” to most requests, but it’s important to remember that you’re taking time away from something else by saying yes to something that wasn’t already scheduled.
Make sure that the task you are taking on it’s the best use of your time before agreeing to it. If it’s something that will force you to rearrange your entire schedule without bringing you any real benefits at all, saying “no” would be your best bet.
3. Give yourself a break
When you’re working from home, you may feel like you have to be available all the time. However, being “present” is no use to anyone if it affects your mental health.
Make time for breaks to help manage feelings of stress, and don’t forget to do it every day. For example, you could take regular screen breaks or set half an hour to have a quiet lunch by yourself without checking any work-related stuff. Even short 5-to-10-minute breaks each hour can boost your productivity.
4. Cut toxic people in your life loose
We all know that person never has anything positive to say. Whether it’s a friend or client, people who only contact you when they want something without bringing anything positive in your life shouldn’t be worthy of your time.
Try to surround yourself with clients and friends who want to work with you without undermining your efforts. Even though it may sound ruthless to cut people loose, it’s never a good idea to associate with people who aren’t interested in you and would rather see you fail than succeed.
5. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries with your family members is key to your mental well-being when you work from home.
It’s true that you can be much more flexible when working from home, but it can also be difficult if there are a lot of distractions to deal with. For example, you may have children at home who may think that just because you don’t have to get out of the house to get to work, you are there to spend all your time with them.
Have a serious discussion with other members of your household about your needs and remind them that you need quiet time to work and that they should respect your schedule.
It’s also important to set boundaries with work. Try not to take on more work than you can do comfortably in a set period of time so you can enjoy time with your family at home.
6. Trim your to-do list
If you are home office is littered with sticky notes stuck everywhere, and your daily to-do list always seems never-ending, it’s time to declutter it. Take a closer look at the tasks you have scheduled for the day, week, and month ahead and decide which of them you can remove from the list altogether.
It’s always a good idea to only keep tasks on your list if they’re somehow helping you achieve your goals. Don’t focus on the actual number of tasks but on their quality instead, so you don’t end up wasting your time with things that don’t contribute to your success.
7. Keep everything organized with a calendar/planner
If you haven’t got one already, it’s time to get a calendar or planner that can keep you on track. You can use a virtual or regular calendar to note important deadlines, holidays, virtual meetings, times when your co-workers may be out of the office, and more. There’s no one to keep track of things for you when you work from home, but a calendar will help you simplify your home office life tremendously.
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