In this guest post for the Virtual Vocations blog, Sireesha Narumanchi—career blogger and founder of Crowdworknews.com—provides her top six tips to prevent burnout when working from home.
Work from Home Burnout Is Real
Most people think home-based workers don’t experience burnout because we can take a break and relax any time we want.
But the truth is we can feel more prone to burnout compared with people who work in an office, regardless if we have the same job description or not. Why? Because apart from doing household chores and taking care of our kids, we also feel somehow disconnected from the rest of the world.
It’s more difficult to let go of stress because, unlike those who work in an office, we don’t always have co-workers to talk to when we feel overwhelmed with work. To be honest, I’ve lost count of the times I felt like quitting and days when I didn’t want to work anymore.
6 Tips to Prevent Burnout When Working from Home
The good news is exhaustion and burnout are part of the process and they will come to pass. When I started working from home nine years ago, it was all new to me. I found it hard to juggle tasks, balance family and work, and give my best shot to everything I do.
Sometimes, with too many things going on at once, I can’t help but feel exhausted. Over the years, I created a plan to prevent burnout. I have also developed working habits that increased my productivity.
Here are six strategies I practice to prevent burnout:
1. Schedule ‘Me Time’
It took me a while to realize this, but hey, it’s not a crime to set aside a fraction of the day to nourish yourself.
Your family and your work need you in the best form, and you can do that only if you are in a good state of mind.
During my ‘me time’ I stroll, take naps, have a cup of coffee or read books without looking at my laptop or phone. I also love spending a few hours of the day talking to my readers through email and practicing my photography skills. My ‘me time’ allows me to forget work and other things so I can recharge and feel good about myself and life in general.
Take a break, do your thing, and you will be the best version of yourself.
2. Delegate and Don’t Attempt to Solve Everything on Your Own
Recently, I found a way to avoid frustration and stress: I stopped attempting to do things that are out of my expertise. Instead, I delegate them. I know it is hard to let go of the feeling that nobody can do a job better than you do, but believe me, it will be beneficial for you to find people who can work with you and accomplish the same goals you have set for yourself.
Rather than spending an hour on a technical glitch on my blog, I hand it over to my tech guy, who is far more skilled in fixing glitches.
You should not waste time doing something you’re not good at and be stressed by it, especially if you have the option to hand it over to someone else.
This rule should apply not only to your work but also to your family life. If there are people who can do the laundry or clean the house for you, delegate those tasks so you can have more time for work or for yourself.
3. Separate Work and Personal Life
This is very challenging for people who work from home, simply because we can get distracted by so many things and we usually end up spending time for work when it’s supposed to be for family or vice versa.
When you’re working in an office, the moment you leave your workplace your work for that day is done. But it’s not the case with people who work from home. Often, telecommuters end up working more hours than we’re supposed to, and we justify it in thinking those hours are equivalent to the hours we’ve saved for not commuting to work.
While it’s true that the more hours we spend for work the more money we can get, it wouldn’t hurt to set a fixed time of the day when we log out from all of our working tools and communication platforms to focus only on ourselves and our families.
This way, we will feel less stressed as well as more connected with our loved ones.
4. Prepare for Surprises
Preparing for unplanned events and circumstances is something I learned very early in my work-at-home journey.
As a mother of two kids, I am continuously changing my work schedule to suit their needs. I also prioritize saving money so I can afford not to work for a few days or months even.
I have had days when I had tight deadlines to meet but my kids got sick. Although I had to leave everything behind to take care of them, I didn’t feel guilty about missing work or failing to meet the deadlines because I know I have saved enough money to pay our bills so I don’t have to compensate for the hours I wasn’t able to log.
Surprisingly, many remote workers feel burned out because they don’t have time to relax, thinking that if they stop working, even for a day, their finances will go into disarray.
5. Choose the Right Jobs
One of the reasons why I can do all of the things I have listed above is that I ensure I only say yes or accept jobs that allow me to work any time I want. What’s the point of working from home when you’re still tied to a desk or required to be online all the time, right?
One of the critical parts of designing the lifestyle you want is choosing the right job. Everyone wants a flexible online job but the good news is there are many flexible jobs available.
Another thing that I need to mention here is this: if you’re working from home because of the money, you will prematurely feel burned out.
If you’re focused on high earnings potential without being passionate at what you do, you’ll lose the drive to succeed or feel demotivated.
6. Be Clear With Your Employer
Many people get exhausted easily because they took up jobs thinking they can still accommodate the additional workload and long hours. Because others have the tendency to push themselves so much, they end up getting too overwhelmed and disappointed. Their stress manifests in their relationships with family, friends or even spouses.
You can avoid this situation by informing your clients that you have other work commitments.
Remote companies give a lot of flexibility, and most employers don’t mind the fact that you don’t work solely for them.
If you’re a mom who has kids to take care of, disclose this to your employers so they can prepare themselves in case you have to take some time off for school activities or illnesses.
Make it a point to meet your deadlines and produce quality work so that your boss won’t have reasons to hold your side gigs or other priorities against you.
Home-based jobs are more readily available now than ever before. Every industry will soon need more virtual workers and it will be a lot easier for newbie and skilled freelancers to land remote jobs. But before you grab additional jobs, you need to be prepared to face stress and exhaustion.
If you feel dissatisfaction brewing with your work-at-home job, remind yourself of these tips and I’m sure you’ll once again find working from home enjoyable.
Photo Credits: 1. iStock.com/Foryou13
About the Author
Sireesha Narumanchi is a career blogger and founder of Crowdworknews.com. She helps remote job seekers find legitimate online jobs, blogging tips, and side hustles through her blog. She has successfully grown her online business from scratch to a full-time gig in just two years. Sireesha has been featured on websites like MyCorporation, Fairygodboss, Moneyish, and Side Hustle School.
Joining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.
Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.