Lifestyle

How to Stay Sane While Working at Home

May 13, 2020

Under the current circumstances, an increasing number of office workers are now working at home. This is a major change for anyone who is used to working in an office and the transition can be challenging. I know, the idea of working at home is fascinating. However, the reality might be a bit different. There is a lot more freedom, but I've recently learned that with more freedom, comes more distractions. With everything that is going on around us, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unproductive. I've been working at home for a little over two months, so I know I'm yet to master the art, however, I picked up a few techniques which make it a little more manageable. Which is why I wanted to share some tips that will make working at home a little easier for those who like me aren't used to doing that.

Establish a Routine

I am in no way saying you must wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning to start working at 8 because then where's the benefit of working at home if you can't sleep in. If that is what works for you then, by all means, proceed. However, it means you should have some uniformity in how you approach each day. Ensure that you create a plan and stick to it. This way you can sleep in, but still have enough time to get work done, prepare a meal or two, eat and complete any additional task you may have. Having a routine ensures that you will be in the right frame of mind for work during work time and you will know when to shut down at the end of the day.

Create a Workspace

Since most of us do not normally work from home it's unlikely that you have a home office ready and waiting to be used. It is good to have a designated workspace. Whether you sit on one end of the couch with your computer in your lap, or use your dining area, having a workspace lets your brain know that you are ready to get some work done when you get into that space. It will also help you stay focused when you do start working by giving you a sense that you're still in the office. Creating a workspace in your home shouldn't be a hard task, especially if you have the available space. Here's a helpful post about setting up your workspace at home.

Listen to Music

When working at home you want to be comfortable and one way to do this is by listening to music. I've come to realize that listening to music while working helps me to focus more. For one it can be used to drown out more distracting sounds such as dogs barking, motorcycles passing or loud neighbours. Listening to my favourite music while working keeps me calm whenever I get flustered. Music also helps to increase productivity. Research shows that classical music is the best genre to increase productivity while working. So, if you like classical music you're already on the track to increasing your productivity while you work at home. This tip may not work for everyone as music can also be a distraction from your work.

Take Breaks

While working at home it's easy to become so engrossed in your work and completing tasks that you forget to take breaks. Taking breaks in between is essential. Working at home should be treated similarly to working in the office, this means you should take your bathroom breaks, lunch breaks or breaks just to stretch your legs and to rest your eyes away from the computer screen. It's a good idea to go outside and get some fresh air. Fortunately, my space has a few windows, so I can get fresh air and sunshine without going outside. My breaks tend to involve a few stretching and breathing exercises which help to clear my mind as well as leisurely reading. You can also use your breaks for self-care or be extra productive by cleaning or tidying up your space. Just ensure that you take your breaks.

Don't Be too Hard on Yourself

You may feel tempted to put in extra hours to make up for lost time. Trying to complete all your tasks in a shorter time is a guaranteed way to become overwhelmed or flustered. This will only make you less productive. It's normal to feel down for not doing enough but be reasonable. Remember that you are not alone in this situation and no one is expecting you to be as productive as you would be under normal circumstances. You are not required to work longer hours. Go easy on yourself and if everything else fails remember this, "You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work."

Conclusion

Working at home may not be as simple as you think. How you view the situation will determine the quality of work you put out while working at home. It is okay to not be on top of your game under the circumstances. You are not alone in this and no one is judging you for not handling everything perfectly. There are many ways to ensure that working at home is easier for you. You must not forget to take care of yourself. Your sanity at this time is of utmost importance and the onus is on you to protect it.

"You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work." - Anonymous

Tell me in the comments below how you're managing to work remotely.

See you next post!

Pin for later!

You Might Also Like

54 Comments

  • Candi
    Reply Candi May 13, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Great post! I’m currently in a lull in my work from home experience and these tips were helpful. So thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for the back link too!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 13, 2020 at 10:57 am

      I’m happy you found them useful. Thanks for reading and no prob!

  • Devrhoid – Jamaica – Self motivated, passionate, professional investor and personal development student.
    Reply Devrhoid Davis May 15, 2020 at 3:34 am

    Thank you for the reminders Kimberley. I’ve been enjoying your stay at home articles.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Thank you so much. I’m happy to hear that.

  • amandakaybradley – I am a wife, mom of 3, nurse practitioner, dressage rider, pianist, and blogger!
    Reply Amanda Bradley May 15, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Although my position does not allow me to work from home, I do think these tips could also be applied to those completing degrees while working. I recently completed a graduate degree and employed all of these techniques to various degrees to improve my productivity. All great tips – thanks so much for sharing!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

      I agree that they could be used by students as well. Thank you for reading!

  • ashleymcconnell07
    Reply Ashley McConnell May 15, 2020 at 7:23 am

    I’ve been working from home for 8 weeks now and I felt like I was stuck in a rut. This helped to bring me out of that and helped me evaluate what I can do differently in my daily routine!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 11:18 am

      I know that feeling all too well. The important thing is to realize that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes and just work on getting back on track. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Ria May 15, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Great post – very practical and useful!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Thank you for reading!

  • mikebeatty1 – Qatar – I have been living a life following “the script”. I grew up in England, went to school, university and then got a job as a teacher. I bought a house and got married (obviously the best decision of my life as my wife, Sarah, is possibly the greatest human being on the planet and a big reason as to why I’m starting this!) But I’ve always felt like there is more to life than just waking up and going to work for someone else. We have always loved adventures and exploring the world, so we decided to teach internationally… We now live in Qatar, with summer all year round and South East Asia a short flight away. This has created soooo many opportunities for us in our personal lives but also in our financial lives. We now own a property investment company in the UK and have met some people who are literally “crushing it” (stealing the words of Gary V). The thing we have noticed about all of these successful people is that they are completely normal. No different to you and me. No superpowers. Nobody comes from a family of millionaires, or can do extraordinary things. Just ordinary people who use their time much better than I have ever done... My mission is to: Help others to make money online to free up their time. It is possible and it is being done by normal people all over the world. Plus it doesn’t take all of your time or ridiculous amounts of money to be able to do it. Check out my website for more information maketimeonline.com
    Reply Mike May 15, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Getting the workspace right and taking breaks is so important, I defo need to use breaks better throughout the day! Thanks for sharing

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 11:45 am

      You should make the most of your breaks throughout the day. It doesn’t matter how you use the time as long as you take the time.

  • Reply Jaymee May 15, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Creating a workspace and not being too hard on yourself are the two things I struggle with that are making me lose it! I just want to work from bed! And as a teacher, I want all my babies to learn the same way they were while in school. But this is a unique situation and I’m glad you reminded me that I should over load myself!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      I imagine that working from the bed would cause you to feel a little too relaxed so I wouldn’t recommend it LoL. But I know how you feel. Thanks for reading!

  • brittshedhappens
    Reply Britt K May 15, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Great advice! I have been working at home for a little over 3 years now and I quickly learned that I can’t get through the day without music rolling in the background. It really does make a world of difference. Spotify has become a necessary part of my work day!!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Music has been keeping through the days as well. I’ve been listening to different genres, depending on my mood for the day. Thanks for reading!

  • Lisa M. Alioto – I am a lawyer, career coach, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis warrior with a strong belief in the power of positivity! I primarily focus on writing articles about ME, along with invisible and chronic illnesses in general, with the goal of increasing awareness and providing hope, help and support. I am also the Vice President of the MInnesota ME/CFS Alliance.
    Reply Lisa Marie Alioto May 15, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Taking breaks seems like a no brainer but I constantly forget to do it! Thank you for the reminder! I’m setting up an hourly alert.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      That’s true, it’s shocking how easily we forget to take breaks. I’m happy I could help.

  • Amanda
    Reply Amanda Kerr May 15, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Yes! Great list! The key is to keep busy, but also take breaks. I have been blogging more, but yet take breaks to get an hour workout in. After that I feel great and productive!

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      I’m struggling to get in the excercise but everything else is good. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Serena May 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    You’re right, for how much people praised working from home before the lockdown, I feel like many have come to realize that it can actually be harder (and more frustating!). Thanks for the tips 🙂

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      I too was guilty of that, but boy did I learn haha. Thank you!

  • Reply Kimberlie May 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for these things on working from home productively. I’ve not done well at creating a workspace or being patient with myself. I’m having to focus on caring for my son while working from home which greatly impacts my productivity and I’m trying to be realistic about goals, but it’s hard since I like to perform at a certain level consistently.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 15, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Having a child at home would certainly make it harder to do but girl you’ve got this. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Stephanie May 17, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Music is a great tip! I also listen to podcasts or radio 🙂

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 17, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      I do that too sometimes. Thanks for reading!

  • Anxious Butterfly
    Reply Anxious Butterfly May 18, 2020 at 8:07 am

    I’m working from home and i really needed someone to remind me about taking breaks. Sometimes I don’t leave my computer except for lunchtime. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of routine

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 18, 2020 at 11:30 am

      I’m happy I could help. Thanks for reading!

  • joyfulmudpuddles
    Reply Meaghan Jackson May 18, 2020 at 8:12 am

    This are some great tips. I’m going to try listening to music today.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 18, 2020 at 11:31 am

      Thank you, that’s a great idea, tell me how it works out.

  • Rebecca @ Boss Single Mama – I'm a single mom of two and freelance entrepreneur. I teach moms how to launch their freelance writing business, start a profitable side hustle, be more productive and organized and master their money at BossSingleMama.com.
    Reply Rebecca @ Busy Mom Smart Mom May 22, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Working from home is great in some ways, exhausting in others. Especially when you have kids. Having a routine definitely helps, along with putting boundaries between work and the rest of life.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 22, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      That’s my routine has helped me to get enough rest but still get work done without feeling overwhelmed.

  • secondtimearoundhomestead – This blog is one of the steps we are taking to be more self-sustaining. We’re glad you are along for the ride! Rachel has been a SAHM and a Humanities Teacher. Chris is a Welder and Fabricator as well as an expert in many of their fields like hydraulics, snow plows, auto mechanics,...We would prefer to live simply and spend every day together. Our children are 6th grade to early college, as two boys and two girls. We have gardened, hunted, canned, and created our whole life. We began raising chickens and turkeys last year. After a few close encounters with neighborhood raccoons we finally had a fully secure coop and we have added 18 more chickens, replaced the two turkeys, and have three ducks. This blog covers all sorts of aspects of our life, but often relate directly to Homesteading.
    Reply Rachel Roy May 22, 2020 at 7:30 am

    As my children finish school at staggered times, I think I shall start listening to music to drown out their play, since I won’t need to be helping them so intensely.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm

      I think you’ll find that music works really well in that regards.

  • missmvmaria
    Reply Maria May 22, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Following a routine is my main issue. I get distracted by social media a lot, plus I cannot find motivation all the time.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 22, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      Haha, I know that feeling all too well.

  • Reply Jen May 22, 2020 at 11:56 am

    great post! I try to get a bunch of blogging stuff done when the kids are playing nicely, so frequent breaks are inevitable. It’ll be easier when they’re in school full time. Thanks for all these other tips.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 22, 2020 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, I’m happy you found them useful.

  • alexisabloom
    Reply Alexis May 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    These are great tips, I particularly need to start using my designated work space and stop working on the couch haha

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley May 22, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Lol, it’s actually okay to work on the couch as long as you get work done.

  • Greg - Year of the dad – United States – Father and blogger. Can be found at yearofthedad.com
    Reply Greg - Year of the dad July 9, 2020 at 9:47 am

    I am currently working from home and I find listening to music to be a wonderful way to stay in the zone. It tunes out the other noises in the house and helps keep me focused

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley July 9, 2020 at 7:17 pm

      It works the same way for me. Thanks for reading!

  • The Cheetah Buzz
    Reply The Cheetah Buzz July 12, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Yes, I am finding that establishing a routine and taking breaks are key in keeping my sanity while in the house. I am trying to use my time wisely and not be too overwhelmed with blogging and everything that is going on in my life. Thanks for sharing – Josie xxx

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley July 12, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you! It can certainly get overwhelming if you don’t take regular breaks.

  • Imran Soudagar – Gulbarga, India
    Reply Imran Soudagar July 23, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Working from home is tough as there are so many distractions. The best way to focus during lockdown is to have a dedicated space for work and have rules for everyone who is in the house.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley July 23, 2020 at 9:08 am

      That’s really good advice, thanks for reading!

  • lidcruz
    Reply Lidia Y De La Cruz August 3, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for such great advice! I agree setting a routine and listening to music has helped me & increased my productivity.

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley August 3, 2020 at 9:02 pm

      Same here, thanks for reading!

  • Reply Shilpa August 5, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Great post and SO needed right now. Music has been a savior! Thank you

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley August 5, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      I know exactly what you mean. Music certainly helped me while working at home. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Kerrin January 25, 2021 at 7:06 am

    This is a great post! I think many people need to hear this so thank you 🙂

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley January 25, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks so much for reading!

  • Reply therosetoast.com February 5, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks for the tips, it can be so hard to keep motivated when working from home. I have been trying to create a routine and a schedule like you suggested to give my day some structure

    • Kimberley | Kimberley Writes
      Reply Kimberley February 6, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      I’m happy you found it useful. I know exactly how you feel because it was a real struggle at first. Thanks for stopping by!

    Leave a Reply