If you work from home, you’re with me on this one: It can get boring. It can get lonely. It can get repetitive. But, as creatives, we should be able to get creative with our work-from-home lifestyle, amiright?!
Here Are Five Ways that I Keep Life Exciting While Working from Home:
Now, before you judge, I don’t own a tank of helium, and I’m not talking about inhaling it. Helium is a free app you can download that allows you to watch shows while you work! The screen hovers over everything so it doesn’t get lost among your millions of tabs and editing programs. Whether or not this will work for you depends on what type of work you’re doing. For example, if I’m writing emails or blog posts, it’s too distracting to have a show on in the background. But, when I’m doing creative work like designing a logo or welcome magazine, I’m sort of on auto-pilot and I’m able to focus on both. In fact, having a TV show on helps me stay calm and focused rather than getting stressed or distracted. Everyone is different, but give it a shot and see if it works for you! (Side note: I recently realized this is only available for Mac OS X; please comment if you know of something similar for other systems!)
2) The Beloved Lunch Break.
I don’t care how busy you are. TAKE A BREAK. I look forward to my lunch break every day, as if it’s a week long vacation in Tahiti. For this hour, I don’t do any work (that includes checking email!). Sometimes I watch Netflix while I eat (I know, I know, I might have a problem), sometimes I sit outside and get some fresh air, sometimes I read, sometimes I catch up on snail mail. Whatever it may be, as long as I’m taking a break from work, I feel so refreshed and calm when I’m finished. I also love to use this as incentive for my work in the morning. A lot of times I’ll write out my to-do list in the morning and say “Okay, I need to get XYZ done before I take my lunch break. And wouldn’t ya know, it works! (I’m so easily motivated by food, guys.)
3) Walking to Work
“Walk to work?! But I work from home!”
Ah, do not fret, young grasshopper. This is intended for those who work at home.
Okay, for real though. When I say “walk to work,” I mean go outside and take a walk. Do this before you start your work for the day. Not only do you get fresh air, but you clear your mind in preparation for a new day. When you get home, you are now in the mindset that you’re at work. Then, once you finish work, take another walk. Clear your mind again, and return home in the mindset that you’re home now and work is over. When your workspace is literally 10 feet away from your bed like mine is, it can be tough to draw the line between work and home. But it’s so important to keep the two separate so that you don’t become overwhelmed. ‘Walking to work’ is a great way to help draw that line.
4) Call Your Mom.
(Or whoever your equivalent is.)
Not everyone still has their mom. Not everyone has a great relationship with their mom. But everyone has someone who gives them those ‘mom’ feels. Sometimes when I’m hitting the afternoon slump, when I’m sleepy and losing focus, I call my mom. We talk about the day and catch up on life, then she tells me to make coffee and get back to work. It’s so simple, but it’s a nice way to break up the day and catch up with someone you love all at once.
5) Reach Out to Your Biz BFF.
If you don’t have a Biz BFF, here’s why you need to get one ASAP. When all else fails, I reach out to her. Sometimes I have days where the lunch break rewards, the TV shows, the walk to work, the phone call to mom—they just don’t work. Sometimes I’m just OUT OF IT. But my Biz BFF knows how to reel me back in and keep me on track. This also helps break up the monotony—whether it be via G-Chat messages like “GET OFF FACEBOOK” or Voxer recordings of her three-year-old saying “HI KALSEY!” or an email recapping her goals for the day. Working from home can get boring. It can get lonely. It can get repetitive. But it helps to feel like someone is there with you… even if they’re two time zones away.