By now, many people have or are still adjusting to working from home. If you are someone who has never worked from home, this could be proving more difficult for you. You are home, alone with your thoughts and distractions, and possibly losing motivation to perform the quality of work you normally would in the office. You might be experiencing stress and feeling that you are incapable, thus leading you to have negative thoughts not conducive to your recovery. Remember, you did not forget how to do your job, maybe you just need some momentum to get you going.
Establish a Workspace
One of the reasons you are not motivated to work is because you are still in bed or sitting on the couch. Try to find a space in the kitchen or corner of the bedroom or living room where you can set up a station. Having an established space tells the brain that it is time to focus. Some like to add a calendar and desk items, pencils, pens, mug, to their space to mimic more of an office setting. If you do not have a proper desk, you do not need one. Some people improvise by converting ironing boards into standing desks, while others convert end tables into a desktop for your computer. Whatever you decide, remember that you want to establish an area to help you focus.
You might like to move throughout the day to maintain motivation. This is perfectly okay. Scout a couple of places where you can accomplish your work. Take advantage of the fact that you do not have to sit at a desk all day. You might transition from a standing workstation to a sitting one. Whatever you decide, just make sure it is ergonomic.
One of the many places where people are failing to maintain a good work schedule from home is because they are suffering burnout. Since your work is home with you, you might be tempted to work an extra hour or two each day because it is right there. Ask yourself, would I stay at the office for an extra hour or two to do work—without pay? The answer is most likely no, so when working from home, you will want to maintain a set of hours appropriate to your normal work schedule. Like going to the office, you will want to maintain these hours on a consistent basis, and give yourself weekends off. This will add some normalcy back into your life.
Prepare for the Day
It might sound silly at first, but you want to continue to take yourself and your work seriously by preparing for your day as if you were to go into the office. This will help get your mind ready for the workday. This includes waking up, showering, eating breakfast, and dressing for the office. Yes, getting into work-appropriate clothes will help you take yourself and your work more seriously. It will also help you separate work time from leisure time as opposed to wearing pajamas all day—just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This will also help you avoid any possible triggers that come with being home in sweats all day.
Set Times for Lunch and Chat
You might overlook the importance of having a set lunchtime and breaks when you are working from home, but there is a reason why you have these breaks in your workday. First, a set lunchtime not only breaks up your workday, but motivates you to work toward something. A hard day at the office is made more manageable knowing that lunch is only a half-hour away, or likewise, that it is after lunch and the end of the day is only a couple hours away. Much like your lunch break you will want to participate in water cooler breaks. There is a reason why most offices share a community kitchen or break room, this is to encourage talk or babble. These quick conversations help you to reset and refocus your brain to work through the challenges of your workday. Since you are working from home, find a friend or another co-worker that you can spend 10-15 minutes just chatting with by phone or text. Maybe ten minutes in the morning and ten in the afternoon.
Track Your Time
This practice could be helpful early on when distractions are still stealing away your time. Having a running clock will reveal how much time you are spending on your work, versus how much time you are spending on your phone, or listening to the TV. It will also clock your productivity rate. How long does it take to work on this or that? A running clock will also encourage you to stay on task because you know that your time is limited, and finishing your work within this time is important.
Be Your Own Boss
Because your boss is not with you, it is up to you to find ways to stay on track throughout the workday. Plan out your day and meals ahead of time to create less decision-making in your day. Know what you are having for lunch and dinner, and know what you are wearing—by managing all of these mundane tasks, you can help keep your brain from feeling overloaded. In turn, you can handle the load that comes from working at home.
Balance Your Day
When it is time to clock out at 5pm, clock out. Seriously, shut off your workday and move on to other activities as you would when leaving the office. It is important to also associate your home with relaxation and leisure because if you only associate it with work, you will then begin to feel stress and anxiety in every room. This is why it is important to designate space for work, and space for play. This time calls for some creative thinking, so you might convert your living room into an office by day, but you must transition it back to space for other activities at night.
The idea is that you maintain focus on what is important. You want to manage your time in a way that does not overwhelm you and lead to negative thinking and behavior. Remember this is just another challenge on your road to recovery, and if you endure, imagine the kinds of challenges you will be able to face down the road. If you are still in need of getting help to get started, True Recovery is available 24/7 to help with your concerns. Call us today at (866)-399-6528 to learn more.