Some people love the freedom of working from home. In the other camp are those who desperately wish they could return to the office they once occupied in pre-COVID times. Is it a classic case of “the grass is always greener?” Maybe. But there’s something to be said about the less-than romantic realities you encounter when working remotely.
If you’ve been struggling to manage your workload in an at-home setting, we’re here to help. Use these five strategies to relieve stress so you can get back to your peak performance as soon as possible.
Tip #1: First Identify the Roadblocks in Your Workflow
How can you alleviate the problem unless you know what it is in the first place, right? You might not even be aware of the root cause of your anxiety, so let’s take a look at a few of the most common challenges remote workers face:
- You’re surrounded by distractions outside of a professional environment.
- It’s difficult to manage your team of employees at a distance.
- Or, conversely, it’s easier to fall behind without a manager’s close supervision.
- The internet service at home tends to go in and out throughout the day.
- Your kids, roommates, or next-door neighbors are causing a loud ruckus.
- Construction is going on outside your window.
- The adorable dog wants to play all day.
- You recently purchased a pair of the best trail running shoes and can’t wait to take them for a spin.
We weren’t kidding when we were talking about obstacles! Of course, not every example will apply to your situation at home, but once you figure out what’s been giving you so much grief, you can begin making changes to remedy the issue.
Tip #2: Dedicate a Designated Work Space
No matter what’s been on your mind, you should set yourself up with a work zone that’s separated from the rest of your living space. Do your best to keep distractions in this area to the very minimum; a Bluetooth speaker that helps drown out sound so you can focus is A-Okay, but don’t even bother bringing your phone with you.
Leave it on the other side of the room, and if you’re concerned about incoming communication from a client or colleague, consider establishing designated hours you can be reached at, checking your messages at 60-minute intervals to ensure there’s no hot fire you need to jump on. Sorry, Fido! Even though petting the put may relieve some stress, it’s ultimately going to worsen the problem if that sweet, little angel causes you to fall behind, so establish some space whenever you’re in the zone.
Tip #3: Change out of Your Pajamas
The temptation to work from bed in your PJs all day is nearly impossible to resist, but fight the urge and pull yourself up. There’s a lot of merit behind making your bed in the morning; it makes you feel empowered by starting your day with an accomplished task.
Chillin’ in loungewear may be one of the reasons you were drawn to remote work, but if that’s what your standard M/O is, it’s also probably part of the reason why you’re feeling in a funk. As they say: look good, feel good, so pull yourself together and put your best foot forward each morning.
Tip #4: Live by Your To-Do Lists
You may or may not be on the bullet journal train, obsessed with #listlife and hyper-organized highlighter color-coding. But if that’s not your thing, you can still benefit from task organization using project management software online.
Juggling multiple deadlines for projects that are spread across different departments? No sweat. These platforms streamline organization and collaboration so you can check yourself whenever you begin to fall behind.
Tip #5: Create a Work/Life Balance
We saved the most important tip for last. Even though a loose schedule may seem alluring, working on and off throughout the day will cause you to blur the lines between your work life and personal life. Rather than allowing work to bleed all day, set a time every evening when it’s time to put the laptop to rest until the following morning—your sanity will certainly thank you!
Ready to manage your work (and your stress!) like a boss? Then take these tips and put them to the test. Just watch how much easier your day to day feels as you breeze through tasks like nobody’s business.