We’re all tired from time to time, and our creative capacity oscillates each day, but such mood changes and energy drops shouldn’t be confused with true burnout. Have you ever felt perpetually exhausted, unhappy with your work and with no time for yourself or your social life? If you’re juggling a family with your work from home, that can only mean you’re likely blurring the boundaries and your dissatisfaction can often affect your personal life, as well.
But just like any unhealthy condition, burnout is best tackled before it strikes. And there are several handy strategies even busy moms can incorporate daily to keep their schedule under control and their energy levels as high as humanly possible. Let’s dive in!
In This Post:
Create clear boundaries
Working from home means that we most often rely on our computers and other digital gadgets to stay in touch with our employers or clients. But that doesn’t mean that you’re available 24/7 or that it goes without saying you will respond to all emails immediately.
Create working hours for every day and turn off all notifications as soon as your hours are up. Resist the temptation to check your emails every ten minutes, and set clear limitations for your clients to know when and how they can reach you – they will respect you for it!
Weed out the culprits
Are you working on a particularly demanding project that you don’t really enjoy and it’s draining your energy? Ditch it! That’s one of the perks of working from home, so use it well and find clients you enjoy working with and subject matters that inspire you and bring out your best qualities.
What you do outside your work hours also shapes your mindset towards your job. Regular exercise is key to keeping your health in check, and regular and quality sleep is key to preventing drops in your immune system. It can be whatever makes you happy, from a dance class, to a walk in the park, just include it in your schedule and stick to it religiously – your body needs the challenge.
Pumping yourself full of sugar and caffeine to push through another deadline will do you no good. Prepare your weekly snacks beforehand, think: fresh carrot sticks, fruit salads, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds. These are all filled with nutritious goodness that will help your body operate optimally and keep your energy levels high. Plus, you can always look for quality vitamins online to supplement your diet when your menu requires extra nutritional support due to your heavy schedule.
Take your breaks
Burnout often happens as a result of piled up work and not listening to your body saying “that’s enough, we need a break.” To prevent overburdening yourself with chores, you need to be aware of your body’s needs and safeguard your health. Maybe several short breaks during your work hours to take your pet outside or read a chapter of your favorite book is all it takes, just take your mind off work and let your brain reset for a new task ahead.
Delegate and say “no”
Before you say that you cannot possibly pass projects on or spread out some household chores, think of it this way: if you work too much, you risk subpar results despite your expertise, so both you and your clients will end up unhappy. Ask your family members to take over dish washing, lunch making or shopping for groceries, and don’t be afraid to say no to a new project until you wrap up the one you’re already working on.
Maybe you could share a project with a freelancer or ask the client to postpone the start date until you’re ready. After all, even if you have to say no, what’s the big deal? There will be more work down the road, don’t be afraid to manage your time and effort wisely.
Plan, plan, plan!
When you work from home, everything deserves to be set up a few days or weeks ahead. Just like you cannot barge in on your beautician for an emergency waxing, treat your daily chores and social engagements as appointments. Call up your friends and work out a weekly or bi-weekly coffee date that works for all of you, set aside some alone-time for meditation, and make sure you spend enough time with your loved ones.
If you can’t keep up with your schedule without taking notes, by all means, get a planner to keep track of your responsibilities as well as your private life. Proper time management and ample opportunities to socialize, exercise and have fun will be the best way to prevent potential burnout in the future!