How To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home

Entrepreneurs and envious daydreamers alike know the glorious benefits of working from home. It is only those who have ventured off on to our own that know it’s not all rainbows and sunshine – sometimes things get a little crazy. Here are some of the best ways to keep your sanity working from home!

Plan Your Days Ahead of Time

If you don’t plan ahead you’re just going to run around like a chicken without its head. You’ll get almost nothing done and feel unsatisfied with your day. Make a to-do and display it in a method that works for you. Whether it’s on your phone, calendar, or computer (we’ve found out Taco works great) itself just do it. It’ll keep you in line with what needs to be done and will help you determine a successful day.

Plan Ahead To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home

You’ll hear this a lot from me, but my biggest secret to productivity is sticky notes. I write my to-dos and tasks on them constantly. Sticking them right on my desk shelf, which stares right in my face, it pisses me off. It’s cluttery looking and each one brings out OCD tendencies that make me want to tear it off, feel it crumble in my hand, and slam it into my garbage pale. I know I have to finish my daily tasks to feel that satisfaction, therefore I do my required tasks.

Start Your “Morning” Off Right

The word “morning” is used loosely here. One of the major perks of working from home is that you don’t have to wake up at 6am to get ready and drive to work for a set schedule. Some people like waking up early at 8PM while others like taking the nightshift around 8PM. Do whatever works for you! We all have different times where are brain is most functional. What isn’t optional is making sure you start your day off proper. By this I mean eating a proper “breakfast”, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home
Gray, CC-BY-2.0.

It’s funny because we all enjoy working in our pjs! I love to myself and that’s fine, but only do it every once in a while. It’s all about setting the right state of mind. Getting dressed and feeling good about yourself helps you feel better about your work. It’s weird, but trust me on this one because it’ll keep you motivated to be productive.

Breaks (Entertainment & Exercise)

As humans, most of us have a desire to accomplish tasks in one sitting. Eliminate that feeling because it’ll only drive you insane sitting by your computer for hours on end trying to perfect something that won’t ever be perfect. Instead you should take regular breaks because it’s good for your mind to recollect itself (not to mention good for your body after sitting). I’ve been experimenting with different intervals for a year now, but right now I’m trying for every hour of work taking 20 minutes away from the computer. The results have been positive thus far. In fact I notice I get work done much faster when taking longer breaks than if I didn’t. Weird, right?

Take Breaks To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home

What should you do during these breaks? Enjoy some entertainment by watching something educational or catching up on your gaming catalog. Sometimes I keep a Nintendo 3DS next to me and set a timer for my break. Games like Donkey Kong keep me stimulated with the intense thought process. Another good idea is to exercise. Actually you can do both at the same time if you’re talented. You can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time if you’re taking breaks! Go for a walk, lift some weights, do an exercise program – there’s plenty of home options. Remember you should be taking multiple breaks each day so you can mix and match your activities!

Take a Day or Two Off

It seems counter-productive, but if you aren’t regularly taking at least one day off a week you’re going to run yourself down. Trust me blowouts are never fun and usually end up resulting in multiple days off recovering. Taking a day or two off is a positive experience because it helps refresh your brain and reduce your work-related stress. I know sometimes there are strict deadlines and it’s not possible, just remember to reward yourself afterwards!

Take A Day Off To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home
Cordey, CC-BY-2.0.

Plan some fun non-work related activities. You don’t have to go anywhere special, but getting out of the house will do you wonders since you’re cooped up there daily working. Walk around a store, go for drinks, have a weekend vacation, or visit with friends! What good is working to build a life if you can’t enjoy it?

Make Your Workspace Comfortable

If you’re working from home it is a must that you have a separate room dedicated for work. Whether it’s an office, studio, unused den, whatever. It’s good to separate work and play, although the lines are blurred sometimes. Though that’s only half the battle. The space you work in should be comfortable and set the mood for you to work. Are the colors and decor good for your mood? Is you desk the proper height? Do you feel proud of the space you work in to have a potential client/coworker over? If the answer is no to any of those questions a change must be made or you’ll start to wander off into other places and not work.

Make A Comfortable Workspace To Keep Your Sanity Working From Home

I like to change things up every once in a while; adding new pieces of art, rearranging furniture, switching the rug, etc. A few months ago I had one of those cheap crappy Staples chairs I got on sale for a few bucks. The cushion had been long gone and was unbearable to sit on anymore. I actually found myself calling it an early day frequently because my back was killing me or I wasn’t in the right mindset at my desk. These are the warning signs something is off with your workspace. I actually sprung for a Steelcase Leap and I’ve never been happier with my seating. Remember you’ll be in your workspace for many hours almost everyday, treat yourself to a comfortable and happy environment.

These are some of the tips that keep me sane while I work from home. What are some tips that you use to keep your sanity working from home?

Header image based on “5/365” by Anna Gutermuth, CC-BY-2.0.

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About Garett Southerton

Garett Southerton works as a web & graphic designer, audio engineer, writer, and brand consultant with clients from all over the world. He runs a design & recording studio based in New York and has a passion for all things art in addition to helping others learn how to create.

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