Title Card - Burning Out Working From Home

Burning Out While Working From Home

Not all that long ago, working from home felt like it was nearly impossible to find. With the onset of the pandemic, nearly every job went remote and the face of the workplace changed completely. Now, many of us find ourselves working from home the grand majority of the time, and it can sometimes feel difficult to manage.

“What,” I hear you saying, “we all wanted to work from home, it was the dream for us!” Yes, that was indeed the dream, and for many people still is! But take a moment to stop and think about how your life has changed while you’re working from home. Do you find yourself taking on more responsibilities while you’re working? Maybe you’re getting up more often to go put in another load of laundry so it can run while you’re working, or you take a break to do the dishes. Perhaps you get distracted by your kids or your pets, who just come into your office with an innocent look on their faces saying they’re either hungry or want to play.

The result of this is leaving many people finding that they’re often juggling more instead of less. Sure, you don’t have a commute, and that means that you have all that time you’d spend in a car extra to do other more important things like the aforementioned chores. The problem is, when we were going to work, work time was work time and that’s it. There wasn’t an easily accessible laundry machine at the office, nor is there a child or cat that needs attention. There may have been distractions, but they were different, and likely didn’t place you far from your desk.

Sit back and think to yourself, how often do you get distracted with other things you feel you need to do now that you’re working from home? Do you find that you’re constantly juggling many different things now? How much time are you actually dedicating to your work, instead of the other household activities that are screaming for your attention?

This increase in perceived expectation has caught a lot of people off guard, and sometimes makes them feel even more exhausted, even though they think that they’re going to be having so much more time and energy with the absence of a commute. You often don’t even catch yourself doing it until it’s too late. The important thing is that you can sit back and recognize your issue, and now that you’ve identified it, you can do something about it.

There are a number of ways that you can help your productivity. I’ve spoken about them at length in this blog, including things like setting up your workspace for success. I mentioned the same thing about writers, and the same principles apply: you can’t focus if you aren’t prepared to focus.

Set some boundaries with yourself and understand that there are certain times when you are just going to have to do certain things. Time blocking is an important and necessary skill that will allow you to get around your issues.

Of course, as I have always said on the blog, it’s important to take breaks as well. Make sure that what you are doing is actually relaxing, rather than filling your break time with more work. Mental health is not something you want to take lightly, and it’s an important step to take to ensure you’re productive both at work and at home.

Working from home is definitely a privilege, and you want to make the most of it when you can. How do you work from home? Do you have any tricks that help you keep your distractions away?