How To Get The Most Out Of Working From Home

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Right around this time last March is when the ACHS staff transitioned from working in the office to working from our homes full time. After a year of working out of our homes during a global pandemic, here are some tips to we picked up on how to get the most out of your work-from-home experience. Even if you are heading back into the office, these tips can still benefit you.

1. Time Blocking

Sometimes you wake up with a whole list of tasks that you hope to accomplish, and by the end of the day, you’ve barely checked anything off. What happened? You thought you were being productive, but you were really just doing busy work. Or maybe you just had too many distractions that kept breaking up your focus.

 “It is important to establish clear goals and priorities in order to set aside non-essential tasks that can eat up time and to monitor where the time actually goes.” [1]

-Psychology Today

One effective way to get more out of your day and avoid distractions is time blocking. It allows you to schedule out your time in batches rather than going back and forth between different tasks all day. For example, instead of answering emails as you get them throughout the whole day, you would schedule one or two times during the day to focus solely on responding to emails. 

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2. Create Transitions 

Working from home and spending all of our free time at home is an adjustment that has lowered many people’s moods. In one case, a therapist discovered that the low mood was a result of the lack of transitions in our daily lives that we were used to when driving into the office. [2] Our time used to be broken up by driving to work and driving home, whereas now we abruptly transition from event to event without leaving the house. For example, there is no transition between parts of the day if you sleep in your bed and also work from your bed.

Creating a morning ritual and an evening ritual after work can help to create more of a transition even though we may no longer have a physical commute. Practicing gratitude throughout the day can also help, as well as designating only one spot as the work area and not working from all areas of the house.

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3. Maintain Boundaries

According to the online hiring platform Monster.com, “69% of workers are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during COVID-19, a 35% increase since early May (51%).” [5]

When your home is now your office, it may start to feel like you are at work all the time. But it is important to still set some boundaries so that you don’t start to feel burnt out. By working during your set hours only and not feeling like you are always on call to answer work questions, you will be giving yourself some peace of mind. According to Harvard Business Review, “employees who feel “on” all the time are at a higher risk of burnout when working from home than if they were going to the office as usual.” [4]

Having some mental space after work where you are able to relax and focus on other aspects of your life is essential to maintaining mental wellbeing. Using your free time intentionally will also help you to feel more fulfilled. If you find that you are still thinking and worrying about work tasks after hours, writing down all your worries and thoughts can help release them from your mind so you can focus on relaxing. Listen to this podcast on avoiding burnout if you’re looking for more tips.

In the comments, please let us know what other tips have worked for you when working from home!

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Disclaimer: This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

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References:

[1] Time management. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/time-management

[2] Robinson-Kiss, S. (2021, February 18). Anxious, overwhelmed, and working in your pajamas. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/they-re-not-coming/202102/anxious-overwhelmed-and-working-in-your-pajamas

[3] Brené with Emily and amelia NAGOSKI on burnout and how to complete the Stress cycle. (2021, January 21). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emily-and-amelia-nagoski-on-burnout-and-how-to-complete-the-stress-cycle/

[4] Giurge, L. M., & Bohns, V. K. (2021, February 01). 3 tips to Avoid WFH Burnout. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://hbr.org/2020/04/3-tips-to-avoid-wfh-burnout

[5] Monster poll results from work in the time of coronavirus. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://learnmore.monster.com/poll-results-from-work-in-the-time-of-coronavirus

[6] MacKay, B. (2020, February 20). Time blocking 101: A step-by-step guide to mastering your daily schedule. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://blog.rescuetime.com/time-blocking-101/

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