As many of us head into the second half of 2020 still working from home, lack of motivation and restlessness continue to creep in. It may be getting increasingly difficult for you to stay focused and productive. And you aren’t the only one. According to an article published by Business News Daily, 31% of remote workers say they find themselves needing to take more days off for mental health purposes.
A big question moving forward is, “Is this the future of the workforce?” If you’re dreading the answer to that question, you’re probably beginning to feel the effects of burnout. To help you combat this enemy of productivity, we’ve outlined a few tips and pointers below.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion that comes from prolonged or excessive amounts of stress. In other words, if you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed and losing your drive, you’re probably experiencing burnout.
Burnout doesn’t just affect CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or industry leaders, it can affect anyone. What causes one person to experience burnout isn’t necessarily what will cause another to experience the same symptoms.
For some, it could be a feeling that you are losing control of your work. On the opposite end, it can be caused by no longer feeling challenged by your work. Regardless of what may be causing your sense of burnout, there are a plethora of methods to help avoid it.
What can you do to avoid it?
Burnout affects your physical health as much as your mental health. It can crossover into aspects of your life outside of your work environment such as your relationships or general well-being. For obvious reasons, you’re going to want to avoid it as best you can. To help, here are a few simple methods you can incorporate into your daily routine to avoid burnout and stay productive while working from home.
1. Take breaks
Oftentimes, people experience burnout because of the overwhelming amount of stress, pressure, or work that is piled onto their plate. When there’s so much to be done, many of us may opt for working through lunch breaks or even working late. We may tell ourselves that taking a break will only waste time, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
According to this article published by Psychology Today, taking frequent breaks throughout your workday can boost productivity and even help restore motivation. For more tips on how to keep your motivation levels high, read our article here.
2. Set boundaries
When working from home, many of us may begin to lose our work-life balance. After all, you aren’t clocking in and out of the office as you normally would. The divide between your work life and home life naturally begin to blend as they are now happening in the same place, which is why it is so important to set boundaries.
To begin, develop strict times in which you begin work and when you end work. Those times set aside for work mean not throwing in a load of laundry in between meetings or running to the store to do grocery shopping. Just because you have the option to finish work tasks after your errands are done, doesn’t mean you should. Aside from those designated breaks we mentioned earlier, you should not be doing anything unrelated to work during the hours you’ve set.
3. Make time to leave your home
Physical exercise and sunlight can really boost your mental well-being as well as your physical well-being. In fact, multiple studies have been conducted linking low productivity levels to low levels of sun exposure. Plus, leaving your home to go on a walk or sit outside can help you avoid feeling stir-crazy.
You should aim to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Even breaking those 30 minutes up into 10-minute increments could boost your mood for up to two hours, according to this article.
4. Make time for social interaction
Social interaction is so important to your mental and emotional well-being, which means it’s important to performing well at work, believe it or not. It can help to alleviate a lot of that stress that can lead to burnout. To be clear, we are not referring to social interaction as going on social media during your sanctioned breaks or sending out your Snapchat streaks every morning. And it definitely doesn’t mean scrolling through Tik Tok for two hours.
While social interaction has been trickier to manage than usual thanks to social distancing, it’s still possible to make time to be social. Whether you decide to Facetime family and friends after work or choose to spend time outside properly social distancing, there’s still plenty of options for you to interact with others. Take advantage of your weekends and your free time after work hours to relax and enjoy your time with those closest to you.
5. Get enough sleep
Pretty much everyone loves sleep. So why is it one of the first things we always push off? Being sleep deprived affects your health and it can take a toll on your body and mind as well. Without the minimum 8-9 hours of sleep each night, you’re bound to find yourself not only waking up tired, but you’ll probably also notice that it’s taking you a longer amount of time to work up to your usual level of productivity and speed.
When we spend a lot of time at home, we sometimes may experience a harder time falling asleep. Here are a few methods you can use to help relax at the end of the night and get a full-night’s rest.
- Put down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed
- Try breathing exercises and meditation
- Write down any thoughts that may be keeping you awake onto a piece of paper
- Go to bed at the same time every night
Burnout isn’t pleasant and it can be easy to come across when working remotely. However, if done properly, a remote workforce can be even more productive than working in the office. It will save you time and money on the commute and allow you to spend more time at home with family or friends. If you incorporate these tips into your daily routine, we’re sure you’ll begin to feel better about work while getting more done. For more tips on career-life balance, be sure to check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays to read our latest articles.