“Ugh … I really don't want to work today. I have a ton of stuff to do but don't want to do it. What the heck, am I bored or feeling burnt out?”
How many of you have asked yourself that question? I know I have. Many times. Not only when I worked the “9-5” jobs, but also while I worked in what I thought was my desired work-at-home niche. I realized changes had to be made if I wanted to continue with my dream of working at home. So, after a ton of soul-searching and a bit of self-discovery, I no longer have the feeling of burnout. How did I overcome this feeling? By following these ten tips for avoiding work-at-home burnout.
1) Do What You LOVE
Seriously. If you don”t truly enjoy what you're doing, then you will certainly experience burnout. Take inventory of your interests, assess your strengths, determine what you love doing, and do it. It may take a few tries to find your niche. You will probably go through a few different ideas you thought you might like. But you'll never know for sure until you go through a trial and error period.
2) Know When You're Most Productive and Set Aside Those Hours for Work Only
This may take some time, but finding out which hours of the day you are most productive will allow you to feel like you have accomplished a ton of work. I like to work for a few hours, take a break to do non-work stuff, then put in a few more hours of work. Cutting my work hours into segments helps me be more productive. But, and a big but, I don't do any housework, homework, or personal tasks during my set work hours.
3) Get Regular Exercise
Yep, exercise does so much more than make you look good. It relieves depression, anxiety, and as an added bonus (for me, anyway) it is an appetite suppressant. A win-win-win. The time of day you exercise doesn't matter, nor does the type of exercise. Perhaps during one of your non-productive parts of the day, you can go for a brisk walk.
4) Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks
Eating well is essential to maintaining normal functions. When your body is working well, you think more clearly. Coffee is a great starter fluid, but nothing beats a decent breakfast. Sure you're busy, but take time to eat.
5) Outsource the Tasks That are the Root of Your Burnout
There are probably a few things you absolutely cannot stand to do, so why not have someone else do them? Check out the many “microwork” job sites to post your tasks and pay a virtual assistant a few bucks to do them for you.
6) Take Breaks When Your Body Tells You to
Feeling hungry? Take a break and eat something. Tired? Take a nap. Sure, breaks cannot always happen when you want them to, but give it a try. You”ll feel so much better.
7) Listen to Your Dog
He (or she) knows when it's time to go out – or play – so listen to him. Take your break cues from your pet.
8) Drop the Jobs You Hate
If you are a consultant or freelancer, quit the jobs that are the most stressful. There are plenty of other clients in the sea. A few months ago I had to drop one of my clients, and it was the best move I ever made. The client provided simple work but was very disorganized. It was harder for me to keep up with this client than my larger, more complex ones. Too much stress, so I dropped them.
9) Spend Time with Friends and Family on a Regular Basis
This is so important in your everyday life. Give yourself the chance to get back to reality by spending time with those who are most important.
Let it out. Express your concerns with your closest friends or mentors, but do so in a constructive manner. Also, there are many business forums where you can share your experiences with others in your field. Getting things off your chest not only makes you feel better, but it also gives you an opportunity to view your situation from a different perspective.
The takeaway: Remember that you are working at home for a reason. Follow these tips and you will re-find your lost passion!
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Kathleen Lewis, the founder, and owner of EWomanWeb.com, is committed to providing work-at-home job leads to anyone (not just women), so they can fulfill their dream of staying at home and becoming a solopreneur.