COVID-19 wasn’t the best incentive for the business world to switch to an online format (I am knocking on the table hoping we won’t experience it again), but it is what it is. Working from home is much more common than a couple of years ago when it sounded exotic. Listening to people working remotely from any spot they wanted was indeed exciting. But during these talks, one thing was always overlooked – burnout. Perfect as it might seem at first, working from home introduces a lot of challenges you should come to grips with. And whether a dog’s barking or a noisy TV turned on by your beloved one or kiddo, it negatively influences productivity and attention, adding to burnout, which occurs quickly within such circumstances.
So what do you do? Return to the office? Could be an option, especially when mixed with the remote format. The problem is, though, you won’t get rid of burnout but postpone it by mixing formats. So is there a way to help you deter fatigue and weariness? There is! Below, I provide a list of tips to help you enjoy your work, have enough enthusiasm to live outside your shifts, and leave no chance for burnout to take over you!
1. Engage in various activities
I have worked in the online format for years, so the pandemic outbreak and its forceful shift to Internet life weren’t new to me. Grappling with exhaustion wasn’t something novel either, but what’s striking is how work can take a toll on you! You can work day in and day out, handling monotonous tasks quickly, and then you rapidly feel your productivity plummet. How is this even possible, right? Unfortunately, we’re no scholars and can’t explain this phenomenon correctly. However, I have found a way to combat this feeling – getting involved in various activities.
Focusing on things like sewing, cooking, listening to music, and meeting friends has proven effective. Such activities produce loads of positive vibes and help me refresh my brain, setting me out for work the next day. I have also observed that documenting such get-togethers and events and re-experiencing them by looking at photos boosts my mood and gives me a good kick of energy. Carving out memories with a moodboard maker evokes unforgettable emotions while looking at them. A mood board can be an excellent source of inspiration during business days. Try it out!
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2. Try changing patterns
The great thing about working on schedule is that it’s often flexible, at least more flexible than the office. This format allows you to go to bed late and wake up without an alarm buzzing close to your ear. While cool and stuff, I prefer to work on schedule; I wake up early in the morning, drink some good coffee and kick off my work. Although it makes me less versatile, I like the approach because I finish my daily tasks at noon. But since I am human and susceptible to burnout, completing the tasks before noon is the perfect case scenario.
Sometimes, I can sit on the project until evening, irritated by the world for no reason. After years of such things, I have devised another way to reinvigorate my productivity – changing the patterns. By deviating from the schedule and changing approaches, I swift my lifestyle and challenged my brain, which has shown promising results. So, for example, I might do something else upon waking up, like riding a bike, jogging, or doing some yoga, approaching my business tasks at noon or even evening. Altering my schedule when I feel close to burnout helps me forget about it, thus preventing it.
3. Automate tasks
It may not look like a secret tip, but automating tasks has improved my effectiveness and let me do more in less time. We live in a fast-paced environment where technologies develop so rapidly that we often can’t keep up with them. The least we can do is benefit from using available tools that can power us up. The set of tools will range depending on the area you operate within. I, for instance, like using apps like Google Docs, Grammarly, and Cold Turkey when I’m engaged in writing. These help me stay focused and bolster my style. I encourage you to explore apps relevant to your niche (don’t hesitate to take advantage of simple tools, like note-taking apps, organizers, and planners) and use them daily. Not only will they do the legwork for you, but they will also help you ward off tiredness.
4. Divide tasks
The issue of burnout started bothering me several years ago, and it was a nightmare. I was the type of person who used to complete an entire task–no matter its size–in one sitting. No breaks, no nothing – just sit on it until it’s done. And boy was I wrong! Thankfully, that didn’t last for long, and right before COVID, I met a girl who gave a piece of advice I’ve been sticking to since that day – break down tasks into crunchable entities. After that, I started working on my tasks in advance, outlining them and making them doable. When I see the assignment will take three hours to complete, I divide it into five smaller parts, for example.
She also introduced me to the Pomodoro Technique, which has been a game-changer in my life. This method helps me stay attentive and efficacious throughout the day, regardless of how much work I have. To speak nothing of burnout – it’s not near my premises!
5. Pause on work
That is not to say that I have entirely freed myself from burnout. It still chases me sometimes, and there are moments when I can’t do anything but call it a day and put everything work-related aside. All those “100% working methods” promoted on the web don’t and won’t work if you are burning the candle at both ends. Overworking is the thing that will result in burnout, so whenever you feel it’s coming, it might be best to take a day (or two) off and enjoy life outside work.
6. Consider communicating your concerns
You might miss effective communication with your coworkers and managers as an employee working from home. Slack and similar apps are excellent for assigning tasks and communicating, but workspace communication goes way beyond it. Without articulating the problems you encounter, managers won’t know you have burnout and need intrusion. So please don’t hesitate to reach your team lead or manager and ask for recommendations.
7. Lead a balanced lifestyle
At last, I have observed that a balanced lifestyle, including a diet, commits to my strengthened efficiency and allows me to be concentrated for a significantly longer time. I’ve refrained from saturated fats, switched to healthy ones, forgotten about sugary drinks, and started drinking kombucha – previous blogs have described what to eat; just check them out!
8. Savor the format!
Working from home is a fantastic format that can provide you with new opportunities to live and explore the world. However, it’s essential to be able to tackle inevitable challenges you will face, like burnout. Hopefully, my experience fighting exhaustion and the lack of motivation will come in handy. Good luck!