I’m a Social Media Strategist who works from home. While I love working in my pajamas and bathrobe, things can get a little, well, dicey if I never go outside and see that yellow orb they call the sun. Here are some things that have helped me to stay sane and still get my work done.
Keep a Strict Starting Time for Work.
For me, that means I have had my breakfast and am sitting at my desk by 8:00 a.m. Usually a little before. I can still have coffee, but the breakfast has been cooked, eaten, and the dishes are rinsed.
Don’t Be a Slave to the Phone.
This is a really tough one because people often think that if you work at home, your time is their time. Not so fast! If you don’t pick up that phone, the next time they go to call you, they might think twice. You can return those calls later when you have time.
Frankly, I’m not very good at following my own advice here. But every hour, you should get up and stretch. Some people say more often. On the days I take more breaks, I feel better and get more done.
Get out and See People.
Now if you’re at all introverted, you may be resistant to this piece of advice. Even so, I’ve noticed that I feel much more lighthearted if I see two people face-to-face every single day. Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy Word” agrees. A trip to the gym (if you actually talk to people there) counts. The other might be coffee or lunch date with another home-based friend. Maybe you’re fine with only one visit outside the office per day, but figuring out how much “face time” you need is the important take-away concept.
Know When to Fold ‘em.
That’s corny, but you do need to know when to quit. As in, before…
- your fingers start bleeding from typing too much.
- your eyes are crossed and your contact lenses are all dried out because you stopped blinking 3 hours ago.
- you can’t finish a sentence because you’ve been working for too many hours.
You get the idea. If you work on or around social media, stopping is difficult because there’s always “one more tweet.” The Huffington Post article “Facebook Addiction” chronicles some of the telltale signs. Don’t be that person who loses sleep because you have to be social all the time. Go to sleep.
Own a Cat.
Or a dog. Or a tortoise. Or some little creature that makes you smile every once in awhile. My cat, Purrsilla, will dangle her paws onto my keyboard when I’ve done just about enough typing, thank you very much. Sometimes she’ll send me a message. It will say something like “[[[[[[[[[uuuuuuuuuu99999”. I’m pretty sure that means something in cat language. (Get up and feed me?)
What Helps You Keep Your Sanity?
Maybe you have something that helps you keep your sanity. If you do, I’d really like to know. No, really! I’m still trying to figure out how to work from home. And stay sane.