How to Avoid Burnout While Working From Home amid COVID 19

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When the COVID 19 pandemic hit the world out of nowhere, it changed our way of living as well as the way of working overnight. Millions around the globe turned to remote working to curb the spread of the deadly virus. For some, it might have felt like newfound freedom with no commute and more flexibility. But, after working from home for quite a while, the reality seems somewhat different. The idea which once appeared as exciting and interesting has now become dull and monotonous amid the frightening pandemic. 

With a constant barrage of dire headlines, growing health concerns and isolation, employees are now struggling to maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional life. Most of us are overworking in an attempt to appear productive and reflexively moving towards impending burnout. So, given the unusual situation that we are in today, how should we maintain a healthy work-life balance to keep this burnout at bay? Here are a few tips that you can implement to combat burnout while working from home.

Create a Routine

While doing the standard 9-5 job with a commute, at least you had a solid routine to follow. You wake up with the alarm every day around the same time, head to catch up your bus, take breaks with your colleagues and have a cup of coffee after an exhausting day at work. Well, you might have a little different routine but you get the point, right?

Now that you are working from home, you feel the pressure to turn on your computer as soon as you roll out of your bed. Your routine is suddenly disrupted and this creates a sense of despair, anger, and frustration. Therefore, it’s important to have a routine and follow it. Determine your most productive hour of the day and adjust your work schedule according to that. And instead of diving right into work after waking up, do your early morning workout, take a shower and eat a healthy breakfast to gear up for the day. 

Set Aside a Specific Work Station 

Sure, working from bed sounds like a dream come true. But if you become too comfortable, you might land in the dreamland without realizing it. So, it’s better to set up a separate workspace so that you can switch into work mode. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room for work, that’s great. But if you don’t, just make sure to have a specific space or desk where you can work without distraction. 

Define Working Hours and Stick To It

When your home becomes your workplace, it becomes hard to set a boundary between work and personal life. Slowly the lines between the working and non-working hours start blurring, afternoon merges with evenings and you find yourself working all day. With the fear of losing the job creeping in, you work around the clock. You start making unhealthier choices when it comes to food as you have no time to cook or you are too tired to prepare something nice. This all together can affect your health and mind and result in burnout.  

So, it’s important to prompt yourself to stop working as soon as the working hour is over. To make sure that you finish your work on time, you can make a to-do list of daily tasks. This will enable you to ensure that you do not miss something out. Meanwhile, you can also assign specific hours to each task and set a reminder to finish the work within the designated time.  This approach will save you time as you don’t have to keep checking your email every hour to know what to do next. Once you are done with your work for the day, come out of the work mode. That means no work calls and no emails. 

Take Frequent Breaks 

When you are in office, your colleagues come around to ask if you want to go grab a coffee or take a walk. But as you are working remotely now, it’s hard to do that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks. Taking a break is critical not only for rejuvenating your mind but also for increasing your productivity. So, decide how many breaks you would need to avoid burnout and work accordingly. 

For instance, you can take a 5-minute break after every 2 hours or you can simply take 10-minute breaks to clear your head before diving into another task. You can take a shower, do meditation or have a coffee while transitioning from one task to another. Also, stop having the working lunch while you’re working from home. Instead, spare some time to have a good healthy meal, you deserve it. 

Efficient Communication with the Team

Whether remote working or not, clear communication is the key to keep up productivity and avoid mistakes. Lack of communication can lead to more confusion and delayed timelines. So, make sure to understand everything about your ongoing project and resolve your doubts before proceeding with your work. Many digital tools are out there for online communication. So, utilize those tools to regularly check-in with your teammates and manager to stay on track.

Wrapping Up

Lastly, give your brain a break once your workday is over. Escape into an interesting book or watch your favorite show or spend quality time with family members to detox your attention. Indulge in some activity that makes you happy but the only rule is it shouldn’t be professional or business-related. 

Remember, physical and mental health must be your priority in this time of uncertainty. It’s difficult to say how long this pandemic will last. But chances are we will be working at home longer than we want. So, just take a breather and unplug before you experience burnout from work overload.

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