How to keep your sanity while working from home.

Working from home has its pros and cons. You can be productive or get very distracted. Read 5 tips to keep your sanity and thrive in your home office.

At the bottom of this article will be an additional infographic to support our readers, who may be in self- quarantine for the COVID-19.

Click here to download our hi-resolution infographic to print at home.

Author: Kristen Dettoni, Design Pool

For a lot of entrepreneurs, launching a business usually happens from home, and it can take a while (if ever) before moving into an office space. Working from a home office definitely has its pros and cons, and when you’re also trying to build a company, it can add a whole new level of stress to your professional and personal life.

On one hand, you can be incredibly productive and save a lot of money in overhead expenses in the early days of founding your company. On the other hand, you can wake up on a Wednesday and realize you haven’t left the house or worn anything besides yoga pants for days (and it’s questionable whether you’ve actually done any yoga). Still, those who have gotten used to working outside of the traditional office environment will often tell you that they could never go back.

Growing your own business is incredibly rewarding, but at the same time it can be a challenge to balance your professional and personal lives. When those two worlds are also under the same roof, it’s additionally challenging. How can you navigate the reality of working from home?

Here are five tips for helping you keep your sanity so you can ultimately thrive in your home office.

Respect your time.

Have a plan for what you need to do and hold yourself accountable to getting those tasks done. With no one over your shoulder, it’s easy to get sidetracked or distracted. Hold yourself to the same standards of work that you did when you were reporting to someone else. Also, be forewarned, something happens when other people find out you work from home, they suddenly assume you’re available. People start asking you to do stuff for them. Run an errand, give them a ride, tasks they wouldn’t ask you to do if you worked a high-rise downtown. It is OK to say no to other people’s requests, even though you love the person asking and would love to help. And you don’t have to offer an explanation either. You’re working. If you don’t respect your own time, no one else is going to respect it either.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Get into a routine.

One of the benefits of working from home is that your schedule is your own and you can work when you’re most productive and balance your professional and personal lives outside of the traditional 9 – 5 model. Suddenly, you can go to a grocery store on a Tuesday morning, instead of a Saturday morning with the crowds. You can make that lunch date or take that spin class. It’s easy for the freedom to lead to a scattered feeling where you’re not sure what to, what’s a priority, or where to begin. Getting yourself into a loose routine, (which you can break out of because you’re the boss!) will help provide a framework to keep you focused and on track.

5-Tips to Maintain Your Sanity Working from Home - Infographic
Find your people.

Working from home can get very lonely, especially in the beginning. Sure, it’s nice to be away from the coworkers who drove you nuts, but it’s also a challenge if you want a second opinion on a creative project or just need something proofread. It’s also harder to drown out those voices in your head full of self-doubt. You know them, they like to show up when it’s quiet. Without other people involved in your work, you can feel disconnected. Get out there and find other people in your community to get together with periodically in person. Even if it’s just for coffee once a month, connect with other entrepreneurs, or former colleagues and establish relationships so you can reach out when you need that second opinion. You will also have a group with whom you can share successes and even resources.

Allow yourself breaks.

If you work in an office, it’s easy to go chat with a friend when you need a few minutes in between tasks, or justify running out for a coffee if you need the caffeine boost. Yet, somehow when you’re home, and each minute has a dollar sign attached to it, it’s so easy to feel like you can never stop and catch our breath. Listen to yourself and allow yourself breaks when you need them, even if it’s just to stand up and walk around. You do not have to be working constantly just because you can.

Give yourself permission to be bored.

Remember that not working is also very valuable, even in this world where everything is designed for efficiency and everyone is supposed to have a side hustle. Your body and your brain need time to do and think about other things that have nothing to do with your company. Just because you can check your email when you’re bored on a Saturday, doesn’t mean you should. You also deserve to relax. Pick up a project you haven’t worked on in a while, put on a movie, or go for a walk. Let yourself be bored or happy doing something frivolous. One strategy for doing this is to dedicate a space in your home where working is not allowed. Giving yourself a physical boundary can help create mental boundaries, and as a result you don’t feel guilty lounging on the couch. Time spent not working will have you returning to work refreshed and ultimately more creative and productive.

Being an entrepreneur is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, and that’s why it takes a special type of personality to succeed and thrive. Turn your work from home life into a productive experience and you will see that you’re more focused and ready to succeed.

Click here to download our hi-resolution infographic to print at home.

5-Tips to Maintain Your Sanity Working from Home - Infographic (COVID-19)
5-Tips to Maintain Your Sanity Working from Home - Infographic (COVID-19)

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