Avoid Becoming a Work at Home Monster

Whether you run your own home business or work from home as part of your job, one of the best reasons for working from home is the fact there is no commute.

When you are working from home you can jump right out of bed, grab that first cup of coffee, and deal with your email while still wearing your pajamas (if you want to).

This has got to be many people’s favorite aspects of working from the privacy of your very own home office.

A lot of people don’t even get out of bed at first. They just reach over and get their laptops or phones and check their email while still propped up against their bed pillows.

All that is great but you should be aware that there is also a downside to working from home, and you need to understand this and take some conscious steps to “manage yourself” before you take the work at home plunge

1. Get Dressed Properly

My advice (and it has worked for me) is to start the day as if you are going to work.

Start by taking a shower when you get up in the morning. You can do this while your coffee is brewing so you have something to look forward to following the shower.   Go for a run or do a bit of exercise first so you are killing two birds with one stone.

You don’t have to necessarily get dressed in full suit and tie and put on the whole range of makeup you normally do, but just do enough to feel professional when you are working from home.  It will really set you up for the day and your family will appreciate it as well

Imagine a work colleague called at the door unexpectedly, or a client, or you had to pop out unexpectedly.

Get dressed before you start work – it will help get your “work head” on

2. Take Steps to Avoid The Isolation

There are lots of positive things to say about working from home due to the many advantages that it can provide.

However, the one thing that people may not prepare for may be the isolation that can hit.

If you have children who visit your office frequently, that may alleviate the loneliness somewhat, but after a while, you’re going to get tired of not having any adult conversation. Other than that, though, you tend to enjoy being able to work from home and have your schedule basically your own.

If this is something that you’ve started noticing about yourself, you may be relieved that there are ways to get around this and not be so lonely. They’re actually all right there in front of you.

It’s just likely that you’ve been so busy that you haven’t had the chance to think about it at all.

The first thing that you may want to try out is right there on your computer. It’s hardly surprising that there are a number of people who work from their homes.

You will even be able to find many sites that cater to people in your field or type of work. There are forums and chat rooms. You can visit these chat rooms and start to make all sorts of online friends. They will understand your work and you’ll be able to strike up friendships in that way.

It doesn’t always have to be work- related chat rooms that you frequent. You can also find them that center around hobbies, favorite movies, music, and television shows. Any of these can be great to visit so that you can find some people to talk to during the day or night when you’re working, or when you’re not. At any rate, you have contact with other adults that have things in common with you.

Working from home can become a bit confining sometimes. So why not take some time to walk around your neighborhood and see if you can get to know some of your neighbors?

Or you can just as easily join a gym close by that will allow you to have human contact with others while getting in some exercise.

If you have a dog that would love to be walked, take him or her out and about. You may even want to go to a local park to walk the dog so you will have even more of a chance to meet new people.

Don’t go overboard and get distracted but just make sure that you are aware that you might feel isolated – especially if you are used to the buzz of an office – and so take some positive steps to deal with that possibility up front

3. Keep Healthy and Stress Free

Working from home can be one of the most wonderful things anyone can ever do.

It can also become stressful, tense, and overall unhealthy for someone who doesn’t know how to deal with all of this unstructured freedom. To keep from falling into a trap of this sort and continue to enjoy working from home, there are a few suggestions for you to implement that will keep you both healthy and happy.

Try a Power Nap at some point in the afternoon. That’s usually when most people find that their eyelids have a will of their own. These naps can run from 15 to 30 minutes. Set a timer and get comfortable. A bit of trial and error will let you know how much time you really need. It can be longer than 30 minutes but still a short enough period of time where you’ll still have plenty of the day left to finish up some work. Because you have a timer, you can truly relax because you know that something will be waking you up so you don’t oversleep.

A Change of Scenery: If you have paperwork such as editing or proofing that you need to do as part of your job, take it and go outside. In that way, you can get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.

If you’re able to read and walk at the same time, you can get a bit of exercise while working. That will no longer be a tedious part of your day.

Put together your lunch and some healthy snacks the night before. This works out really well if you have kids that you make lunches for, too.

But even if you don’t, it will keep you from grabbing chocolate when you get stressed or bored and want a snack. Instead, you’ll have an assortment of fruit and vegetables ready to snack on.

Work in some stretching throughout the day. This will give your cramped muscles a chance to breathe and make you feel a bit more energized.

Even just getting up and walking around your office can make you feel a bit more alert and awake. You can even think of this as your morning and afternoon 15 minute break if you need to.

Office jobs are required to provide these breaks, as well as a specified lunch break for employees. If this will keep you on track, adopt that same policy for your work at home job.

Take your weekends and evenings off. Pick a time that you’re going to stop working every day and then do it. This can be 4PM, 5PM or 6PM. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s workable for you and you stick to it. You don’t get burned out this way, either.

Last of all, try taking small and frequent vacations. All you need to do is plan for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go away for a bit. Actually, you don’t even need to leave your home if you don’t want to. A simple backyard camping trip can accomplish a lot when it comes to recharging.

Take a walking, jogging, biking or tennis break: One of the reasons you started to work from home was so that you could make your own schedule.

In that schedule, block an hour or whatever works best for you, so that you can get outside and go walking, jogging, biking or playing tennis. This time is meant specifically for whatever physical activity that you enjoy doing.

Install a treadmill or stationary bicycle in your home:  On those days that the weather is too bad to go out in, or you’re expecting an important call, or you just don’t feel like going out, have a treadmill to hop on or a stationary bicycle. These can be set facing a window so you can see outdoors or the television, whichever motivates you more. You can still get in your physical activity.

Eat a healthier diet: Now that you work from home, you’re right there at your kitchen. When you do your food shopping, you can now include healthy things such as fruits and vegetables, or low calorie meals that can be heated in the microwave. Following a better eating plan will do a lot to help you LOSE unwanted pounds.

Be faithful about following your new routine: If you start working in a daily exercise activity and eating healthier, you’re going to be amazed at the differences you’ll see not only in the physical appearance of your body, but in your mind and spirit. You’ll be more motivated and less susceptible to burn out.

Remember why you started working from home and don’t lose sight of those reasons.

The fact that there’s no one looking over your shoulder.   You can generally schedule your own time, manage your own priorities and in essence manage yourself.  It’s important to realize this early and take steps to deal with the issues that working from home can bring  … hopefully this article will help

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